Gemfest – Festival of Gems, from 6 – 9 August 2015, is Australia’s largest Sapphire exhibition, where locals and visitors buy and sell treasures, view amazing specimens usually kept behind closed doors in private collections, and party all day and night in the glorious winter weather of Central Queensland.
Perhaps it’s the quintessential outback setting that is drawing people from around the nation and the globe to the event? Held in August each year at the Central Queensland Sapphire Gemfields, the festival celebrates of the beauty of precious and semi-precious stones at the largest sapphire fields in the Southern Hemisphere. The quiet sway of the gum trees, the gentle grit of the niche mining villages and the wide roads that stretch off into the Never-Never, culminating in the collection of townships that make up the Sapphire Gemfields, bring to mind the legends of nineteenth-century Australian poets.
Perhaps it’s the one-of-the-family welcome that the community give you when you arrive that keep people returning, year after year, to stay for the days, the weeks, even the months surrounding the festival. The whole community turns out for the festival and locals, traders and regulars rub friendly shoulders with fresh faces to share the spirit of the event and fossicking to find their own slice of natural beauty.
Perhaps its the energy and excitement of the region-defining celebration. Thanks to the tireless work of the many volunteers, the festival is bursting at the seams with new life and new events and over 7000 visitors are in for a treat as the festival grows even further.
This year local, national and international traders will offer earth’s treasures to festival goers. While local sapphires are undoubtedly the gem of choice at the Festival, diamonds, pearls, zircons, opals, crystals & fossils will be amongst the sparkling array. The Jewels of the Outback Exhibition will showcase rare and magnificent sapphires, gems, and jewellery and treasures from private collections that can only be seen at Gemfest, including an amazing vintage 1970’s display.
The live entertainment will carry revellers through the day at the performance stage, with workshops & demonstrations, a kids zone, food and refreshments available during the sunlight hours, before the free family-centric Saturday Night Spectacular featuring local entertainment, the Miners Heritage Walk in Mine Fireworks Display and bands into the night.
Capricorn Enterprise CEO Mary Carroll said, “Gemfest is one of the major events in our region and we are so excited to see the event grow with such passion from the committees, the regulars and the newcomers alike. Gemfest typifies the best of regional events – the community spirit, the showcasing of the laidback lifestyle and unique attractions, and the sense of belonging that every visitor feels when they arrive. The fact that many of the visitors have been coming back for extended stays for decades speaks volumes about why this event has been a success for so long.”
Gemfest President Lew Proberts said, “The Festival is a wonderful mix of gems, jewellery and fun. A free coach runs continuously throughout the townships of Anakie, Sapphire and Rubyvale, enabling people to visit sponsor business houses and providing the opportunity to view these famous Gemfields!”
Thousands of dollars of prizes will be up for grabs in 2015. Win gemstones, jewellery, a holiday, or $20,000 worth of prizes in the Mega Multi Prize Draw, daily lucky gate draw, the Gemfest Raffle, Silent Auction or the Stake-A-Claim.
So mark it on your calendar, mark it on your map… the countdown to Gemfest 2015 has begun!