GREAT FALLS — On Saturday and Sunday, the Electric City Crystal, Rock, and Bead show will open to the public in the Mercantile Building at Montana ExpoPark.
Promoter Don Schnittgen wanted a show in central Montana for years, and figured now was a good time. Everything from amethyst and agates, jewelry, and other crafted works line the tables, providing a good variety for customers.
"What I tried to do was get all vendors that have really good quality stuff. And every vendor pretty well has something different to offer,” Schnittgen said. "So the people could get the best selection possible coming here and just looking through there. If they're looking for a rock, they should be able to find it here."
Schnittgen said are about 200 tables featuring 14 vendors, some from out of state, but most from Montana.
Great Falls’ business Stranger Things is just starting to delve into the gem scene, so the show is good opportunity to see what it’s all about.
“It's kind of crazy, because this is our very first event too. So we are brand new to how all things work here,” manager Trisha Gray said. “(Our store) has kind of mutated and changed over the years. But it's definitely gotten a lot of traction a little bit more bigger. And now that we're doing a lot more of the metaphysical things."
Meanwhile, Leo George and his wife Cindy brought their TigerEye Minerals display from Arizona after being from Helena originally. They specialize in carved artwork, with raw materials coming all over the world. But when they heard Schnittgen was putting together a show, they couldn’t say no.
"It's always exciting to do to bring it to somewhere that hasn't seen it before and introduce people to you know, the kind of the world of rocks and, and crystals and minerals and and all that because it's it's very cool,” Leo said.
Visitors can sign up for a raffle for a valuable amethyst cathedral, and Schnittgen’s goal is to start a rock club for northcentral Montana. Schnittgen lived in Havre for many years, but now lives near Whitehall and operates Tobacco Root Rock and Crystal.
"I hope everybody comes and has a good time, and I think they’ll be really impressed with what they see,” he said.
Admission is $3 for adults; children 12 and under free. All attendees will be given a ticket with admission and entered in a drawing for an amethyst cathedral valued at $700.
The event will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 12th; and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 13th.