Mesa, Arizona (PRWEB) December 24, 2013
The Gold Prospectors Association of America will kick off the new year with its first Gold and Treasure Expo Jan. 18-19 in Mesa, Ariz. at Mesa Convention Center.
Executive Director of Operations Dominic Ricci said the GPAA Gold and Treasure Expos were started decades ago by GPAA founder George Massie to introduce people to prospecting and show them how and where to find their own gold.
“We encourage everyone to bring their family and friends because there is no better place to learn how to find your own gold and experience panning for yourself. There are plenty of fun and activities for all ages,” Ricci said.
Besides the fun factor, the purpose of the expos is also to remind everyone that gold prospecting and small-scale mining are still a way of life for hundreds of thousands of people across the country and an important part of American culture, history and the economy.
Gold prospecting has become increasingly popular in the past few years with spiking gold prices and a struggling economy. The growing interest in gold is reflected in not only the longest-airing prospecting TV show “Gold Fever,” hosted by GPAA owner Tom Massie, but several new gold mining reality TV shows.
Each year, the expos have something new and exciting to offer with the constant advancement in mining supplies and, according to GPAA Trade Show Manager Gary Sturgill, this year’s expos will be the best yet.
“We have introduced a few new things for the 2014 Gold and Treasure Expo season,” Sturgill said. “A new Hands-on Prospecting Experience allows participants the opportunity to purchase a bucket of concentrates and get a one-on-one lesson with a manufacturer on how to use small-scale mining equipment. The manufacturer will walk you through the process from bucket to clean gold in a vial that you can keep.”
For decades, the GPAA has been traveling around the U.S. with some of the most well-known and trusted equipment dealers, giving attendees an opportunity to learn about the products that benefit them in the field.
“Dozens of mining equipment vendors and manufacturers are to ready to share their secrets of prospecting with you,” Sturgill said.
Three manufacturers, Gold Cube, D&K Detector Sales and Jobe Wholesale have signed on to be part of the Hands-on Prospecting Experience.
Two different size concentrate buckets for this experience can be purchased in advance at http://www.GoldandTreasureExpos.com or at the GPAA booth inside the Expo for $50 or $100.
Mike Pung, co-inventor of the Gold Cube, is excited to join attendees in the new Hands-on Prospecting Experience.
“This year, the GPAA has something in store for you,” Pung said. “It’s a complete gold prospecting experience. You can come in and learn how to capture that real fine elusive gold, and the Gold Cube was designed for that little stuff. Come on down! Learn how to use the Gold Cube and go home with some gold.”
For those who don’t want to purchase a bucket, there is a complimentary ‘catch-and-release’ gold panning experience called the GPAA Panning Zone.
“For those expo attendees just looking to get hands-on gold panning experience, the new GPAA Panning Zone is the place to be,” Sturgill said.
“Not many shows allow participants a chance to get a gold panning lesson from an experienced prospector using real gold,” he said.
Since this is a free experience using real gold, participants must return the gold when the panning lesson is over.
“The GPAA Panning Zone is made up of 42 feet of water troughs manned by seasoned prospectors who know everything there is to know about panning for gold. Even for experienced participants, this new panning zone is a great way to pick up a few new panning tricks to take with you out in the field,” Sturgill said.
Another feature in store for attendees of the 2014 GPAA Gold Expos is a new spin on a Scavenger Hunt that was introduced during the 2013 tour to encourage kids to participate in the experience.
“As they enter the show, each child will receive a card with eight color pictures printed on it. The photos are of the items painted in gold and hidden around the expo in vendors’ booths,” Sturgill said. “Once they have found and gotten a stamp on all eight items, children can turn in their completed cards at the GPAA booth, where they will be entered in a drawing for a Junior Panning Kit at the end of each day of each show.”
The Scavenger Hunt is not only a way to begin spreading the gold fever in young people at the expos, it is also a great way to keep them entertained and give parents all the time they need to explore everything the expo has to offer, he said.
“The GPAA has brought back the Alaska Gold Expedition giveaways in 2014 — two at each expo. Each trip is good for one person for two weeks and includes airfare to Nome, Alaska,” Sturgill said.
Winners, and others who decide to sign up for the Alaska Gold Expedition, will visit the GPAA’s famous Cripple River Mining Camp, a popular summer prospecting destination on the shores of the Bering Sea, 12 miles from Nome. The 2,300-acre property and camp offers the best in gold prospecting adventure.
“All Gold and Treasure Expo attendees over 18 years of age have an opportunity to win this unforgettable and exciting adventure. With admission to the expos, attendees are given a raffle ticket for the drawing to be held at the end of each day of each show,” Sturgill said.
Along with the grand prize trip to Alaska, thousands of dollars in other prizes, including metal detectors, sluice boxes and concentrators, will given away to lucky participants. Additional tickets can be purchased throughout the expo with all proceeds going to non-profit mining and land rights advocacy organizations.
GPAA Executive Director of Development Kevin Hoagland, a seasoned prospector and metal detectorist, has taken a lead role in the seminar series this year with a “back to the past” theme. Guest speakers will include nationally recognized speakers who will share their knowledge of gold prospecting, gem and treasure hunting and artifact recovery. Local experts will also be on hand to help attendees gain a better understanding of regional geology as well as tips and tricks for working these grounds.
“During the VIP Manufacturer seminars, participants will get a chance to ask questions directly to many of the top small-scale mining manufacturers about their mining equipment and accessories,” Hoagland said.
In addition to the new experiences for 2014, all the old classics will also be present at the expos including demonstrations of hundreds of prospecting products for sale and daily seminars for everyone from novice to seasoned prospectors.
The 2014 GPAA Gold and Treasure Expos are open to the public. Admission is $5 for adults. There is no charge for children under 12. Each paid attendee will receive a 14-inch GPAA Gold Catcher Gold Pan and a copy of Gold Prospectors, the GPAA’s national magazine, a total value of $13.99. Also, the first 100 paid attendees will receive a free vial with real gold. For more information about the 2014 GPAA Gold and Treasure Expos and pre-registration, visit http://www.GoldandTreasureExpos.com.
To join the GPAA or Lost Dutchman’s Mining Association, go to http://www.goldprospectors.org.
Upcoming Gold and Treasure Expos:
Mesa, Ariz. — Jan. 18-19, 2014
Mesa Convention Center
263 N Center St, Mesa, AZ 85201
Roseburg, Ore. — Jan. 31-Feb. 1, 2014
Douglas County Fairgrounds Complex
2110 Frear St., Roseburg, OR 97471
Fresno, Calif. — Feb. 22-23, 2014
Fresno Fair Grounds
1121 S Chance Ave, Fresno, CA 93702
Lancaster, Calif. — April 12-13, 2014
Antelope Valley Fairgrounds
2551 W Avenue H, Lancaster, CA 93536
Las Vegas, Nev. — April 26-27, 2014
South Point Hotel & Casino
9777 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, NV 89183
Puyallup, Wash. — May 10-11, 2014
Puyallup Fair and Events Center
110 9th Ave SW, Puyallup, WA 98371