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Rock Show Is Event Everyone Can Dig

Annual event showcases gems, minerals and fossils

August 21, 2012
By SCOTT McCLOSKEY Staff Writer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

WHEELING - Robert Strong, co-owner of Smart Centre Market, hopes the annual rock, mineral, gem, jewelry and fossil show scheduled for the last weekend in September at St. Alphonsus Parish Center will be a great "springboard" activity to help attract local families to the Centre Market area of Wheeling.

Strong said "Wheeling Rocks," hosted by the Near Earth Object Foundation and sponsored by the Smart Centre Market and Prehistoric Planet of Barrackville, W.Va., will not only be a great showcase for fossils, rocks, minerals, gems and similar stuff, it will provide educational opportunities for children and adults, including interactive science demonstrations provided by the staff of the Smart Centre. It is scheduled for Sept. 28-30.

Strong said they decided to begin the event on a Friday this year in an attempt to attract local school groups.

Article Photos

Photo by Scott McCloskey
Robert Strong, co-owner of Smart Centre Market, looks over a cast taken from a tooth fossil of a cat that lived in North America more than 10,000 years ago. The cast is just one of many interesting items that will be on display during the “Wheeling Rocks” show next month at the St. Alphonsus Parish Center.

He said if a student thinks they have a fossil or a meteorite, they could bring it to the show to get input from the vendors.

"What we're thinking is if it causes an educational sort of buzz for the school kids, then maybe mom and dad will bring them back on Saturday and Sunday ... and what our hope is let's see how many people we can get down here, and let's make this on a regular basis," Strong said.

He noted when special events are held at the Centre Market location, people are reminded of all the neat little shops and restaurants in that area of the city.

"When people are down here and they see all the neat things, they are reminded ... there's great places to eat, and there's antique stores, and there's the Artworks Around Town and there's all the fantastic things that are down here," Strong added.

Strong said organizers are in the process of scheduling other activities for the Centre Market area in conjunction with the rock and gem show. Admission is free.

Light food, snacks and drinks will be available, and door prizes will be drawn throughout each day.

For additional information about the show, call 304-233-4667 or visit the website

Also, at 6 p.m. Aug. 31, Smart Centre Market will conduct the Fifth Friday Science Lecture Series at the center. This event is also free and open to the public. The topic will be "NanoScale Science in the 21st Century."

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