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Gemfest crew hard at work preparing the 2024 event

The Lismore App

Simon Mumford

13 May 2024, 9:01 PM

Gemfest crew hard at work preparing the 2024 event

The sun is finally shining, making preparations for this weekend's annual Gemfest a lot easier than the rainy conditions on Saturday and Sunday.

A quick trip to the Lismore Showground found the Lismore Lapidary Club crew hard at work preparing one of Australia's largest gem and mineral shows ready to swing open the gates at 9am this Saturday, May 18.

The halls were being prepared, and the first of a huge amount of brilliant gemstones, crystals and opals were being placed into the showcases before the first of the 150 trade exhibitors will start to arrive on Wednesday, with the bulk arriving on Thursday and Friday.

While the weather is always a concern for event organisers, Gemfest has a host of exhibitors inside the main pavilions plus the upgraded drains, concrete pathways and internal roads at the Lismore Showgrounds make for the best drainage in the last fifty years.

Part of the upgrade was the commercial-sized kitchen which will be run by the CWA this year. They will be providing one of many food options available at Gemfest, including:

  • Jom Makan Mobile Eatery
  • Authentic Indian
  • Potato Works
  • Happs Health Bar
  • Rotary and Lions Clubs of Lismore putting on a barbecue
  • Mr Whippy Ice Cream Van
  • Vegan options

Entry is the same price as 2023, $5 for adults and $1 for children and apart from viewing and purchasing some incredible gemstones, crystals and opals, you can also share in $1,400 worth of Lucky Gate Prizes with a $1,200 Amethyst Geode as the main prize. As always, there will be two ATM machines on site, in case you need some cash.

Fossicking on the Hill will keep the kids busy, and this year, for the first time, Sally the Painting Princess will be creating her magic on many young faces on Saturday from 2pm to 5pm and Sunday from 9am to 3pm.

There are two options to get to the Lismore Showgrounds this year, drive & park or new for 2024 is via a free shuttle bus.

The free shuttle bus will run from the Transit Centre in the CBD and the War Memorial at North Lismore. Then it is a very short walk over the railway line to the main gate.

The drive & park option is via Dunoon Road.

Many people ask where the Trade Exhibitors or tailgaters come from. Lismore Lapidary Club Secretary Marcus Bebb said the furthest is from Tasmania.

"He is a newbie," Marcus said, "He's got some nice specimens. A few of the tailgaters are from South Australia and we have a first for Gemfest this year with Minelab Metal Detectors doing demonstrations and retailing near the toilet block stand. He'll run a few little in-house activities and a detection competition."

"Another few tailgaters have a couple of miners among them. One in particular is a family that has a large variety of opals from Lightning Ridge to our white cliffs. He knows how to dig them out of a wall and how to cut them. He's got plenty of knowledge."

Gemfest Lismore has a new major sponsor, Harcourts Northern Rivers, so welcome to them as a sponsor. The Lismore App is another proud sponsor of a local event that brings in an estimated $5 million into the economy and about $50 million in sales.

For more information, click here to view the Gemfest 2024 Facebook page.

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