Rock On Agate Festival


7th Annual Rock On! With Lake Superior Agates Festival . . . and Lake Superior Rock Hound convention.

Muskallonge Park Beach
Beach rocks covering Muskallonge State Park’s Lake Superior beach

While the weather was cooler than normal and overcast at night, shortly after the opening bell of the show at 10 am each day, the sunshine appeared. Two rows of campsites were filled with exhibitors and vendors for the two day show. Most had agates, gemstones, and unusual Lake Superior rocks on display. Many of the vendors offered artisan creations using agates, gemstones, and polished rocks as part of their art or product. As before a nice backdrop to touring the show were the pleasant tunes provided by musicians and singers Gordon Fergin and the Sunshine Band (Edwin and Augusta Birdsley).

Oiled Lake Superior Agates
Jeff King’s collection. Note for aspiring agate hunters. Some of the rocks in the photo don’t look like much. That’s because they are upside down hiding their agate features. Jeff did this as a show & tell for agate hunting newbies.

Another part of the show involves festival attendees casting a ballot for “Best of Show” among the vendors who were exhibiting their collections. A friend of mine, exhibitor Jeff King, displayed some of his biggest specimens all of which were collected on Lake Superior beaches between Grand Marais, MI and Whitefish Point. These guys aren’t as shiny as some because they are not polished – just oiled. (see picture to the right)

Rock and Agate Hunting on the beach wasn’t as productive as last year. Jo found two, for sure Agate specimens, and a few more that are “maybes” but last year she found five Lake Superior Agates. However, even when we don’t find much in the way of agates or unusual stones for polishing, we still enjoy walking along the Lake Superior’s beaches scanning the water and shoreline for that elusive find. The crisp Lake Superior breeze, the lapping of the waves on the shoreline, and the exercise is therapy for the soul. We always come back with something to add to our collection, but even if not, the “hunt” itself is reward enough.

Because we always spend some time on the beach agate and rock hunting, we never get to attend all the talks, presentations, and demonstrations so we are glad some were repeated from last year. One of the presentations I always enjoy is by Agate Lady Karen Brzys of the Grand Marais Agate Museum. She has a new DVD out on “How to Find Agates” that we’ll be getting. Karen believes you can train your eye and your mind to be much more effective and efficient in finding agates along the lakeshore. We shall see if it works as I do need help!

If you plan on attending the 2016 Rock On Agate Festival, here’s a few things to know to help your planning.

Lodging. While the site of the show, Muskallonge State Park, has about 160 campsites, they all will be reserved in advance by the time the show starts. So if you want a site, make a reservation early. If you can’t get in Muskallonge State Park, there are rustic state or national forest campgrounds within 15 miles of the show. A little further away are modern campgrounds in the Newberry, MI area and at Tahquamenon Falls State Park. For non-campers, there are some nice motels in Newberry and a few smaller motels in Deer Park (the village surrounding the State Park).

Rock On Agate Festival Events
Presentations, Events, and Demonstrations at the Rock On Festival

Daily Schedule. Saturday has the most presentations and is the busiest of the two days. Some of Saturday’s presentations are repeated on Sunday and a few presentations are only on Sunday. If you aren’t staying in the park, the less crowded day for parking would be Sunday, but there will be more things going on on Saturday. We found many of the demonstrations, presentations and talks were repeats of the previous year’s show so looking at the 2013-14 Schedule of Events will give you a good idea of what to expect.

Here’s a slide show of pictures from the 2014 Rock On event to give you a taste of the show.

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Links:

We also did a blog post on the 2013 Lake Superior Rock On Agate Fest that you might enjoy reading and seeing some of the photos.

Here’s a few pages on beach rock, agate collecting and rock polishing from our Rock Hound pages on SuperiorTrails.com

Lake Superior Beach Rock Identification

Guide to Agate Identification and the Difference between real agates and agate wannabees

Tips on Agate and Rock Polishing – including do’s and don’t

Maybe see you at next year’s Rock On Fest –
2016 Rock On with Lake Superior Agates Fest
September 10 – 11, 2016

Ross

 

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