A LITTLE ROUNDUP HISTORY
In 1965 a young, ambitious club was founded, dedicated to the pursuit of rockhound interests. The members of the new Deming Gem & Mineral Society immediately decided to produce a rock show. It was held in June of 1966 in the new Home Economics building at the Southwest New Mexico State Fairgrounds in Deming. The show was held in conjunction with the dedication of Rock Hound State Park, 240 acres in the Little Florida Mountains donated to the State by The Deming Ranchettes. Governor Jack Campbell noted in his keynote address that the park was one of the few public areas from which visitors were encouraged to take something besides pictures and memories.
The Deming Chamber of Commerce cosponsored the rock show. It featured competitive and noncompetitive exhibits prepared by members and visiting exhibitors. Awards were given for excellence in several categories of mineral collecting, lapidary, fossils, artifacts, jewelry making and faceting. One of the original 41 members (the club now boasts over 300), Anna Belle Tavernier, recalls that they had so much fun, but lost so much money, that they decided to hold another event to recoup losses.
They called it a Roundup, and it was held at Rock Hound State Park in October of the same year. With about 20 dealers whose wares were spread out on the picnic tables, The Rockhound Roundup was off and running.
Over the years, the venture has escalated to the event that now puts Deming on calendars across the U.S., Canada and Mexico each year, and write-ups in national publications.
It is held Thursday through Sunday on the 2nd weekend in
March. Over 110 dealers are booked into the available indoor, outdoor and “tailgaters” sections, and there is a waiting list for space. The Roundup has gained national recognition and attracts hundreds of out-of-state and out-of-country visitors. Many of them come in Recreational Vehicles to the local RV parks, others avail themselves of our local motels.
The Roundup offers daily field trips, Thursday through Saturday. A raffle with cash prizes of $250, $150, and $100, demonstrations, a silent auction on Friday night at 6:30 p.m., and a live auction on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. The public is invited to attend both auctions.
During the day, you can pick and buy a geode at our cutting booth, and a member will saw it open to reveal the beauty inside. For the kids, there will be fossil diggings each day, educational tables and a spinning wheel with prizes. Dealers will have minerals, rocks of all kinds, jewelry, lapidary equipment and everything that a visitor or hobbyist could want. There will be gold prospecting demonstrations also.
Dealer hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day Thursday to Sunday. Admission and parking are free!