Agate hunters set to take Moose Lake by stormThe community of Moose Lake will be rockin’ this weekend — literally — as it hosts its time-honored Agate Days Festival.
By: Wendy Johnson, Pine Journal
The community of Moose Lake will be rockin’ this weekend — literally — as it hosts its time-honored Agate Days Festival. The event has been around for 44 years and attracts crowds from throughout the state and region. The community claims bragging rights as home to the largest Lake Superior agate, and many of its events are centered around this venerable and crowd-pleasing mineral.
The Moose Lake Chamber of Commerce and the Carlton County Gem and Mineral Club have planned a host of events for the weekend, including a Gem and Mineral Show on Saturday, July 13, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, July 14, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The show, which takes place in the Moose Lake High School gymnasium, features fossils, minerals, gems and jewelry, as well as a gold panning display outside. Door prizes will be awarded throughout both days, and a grand prize drawing is slated for Sunday afternoon.
A perennial favorite with all ages is the Clark-Olsen Agate Stampede at 2 p.m. Saturday along Elm Avenue in downtown Moose Lake. Imagine 500 pounds of agates and $500 in quarters disbursed among two truckloads of gravel and spread along a two-block area, the sound of the starting cannon, and a madcap scramble for fistfuls of take-home treasures.
The Moose Lake Public Library, located in the Moose Lake Community Center on Elm Avenue, will host an agate and gem slide presentation throughout the weekend. Agate hunters and wannabes will be able to view a free tutorial on rock identification.
Festival goers will enjoy a leisurely stroll through the Art in the Park display at Moose Lake City Park from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Some 60 art and craft vendors will showcase their talents to the backdrop of tantalizing food offerings and entertainment by area musicians. On Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. there will be entertainment in the park, bingo and a picnic lunch sponsored by the Moose Lake Area Chamber of Commerce as a fundraiser to assist with Agate Days expenses.
The Moose Lake State Park and Geological Center will host a free open house on Saturday and Sunday (no park sticker required). While there, take in the rest of the natural amenities the park has to offer, attend some of the daily activities and soak in some fascinating information in the Geological Center. Free transportation will be available from downtown Moose Lake.
Free park-and-ride transportation, sponsored by Moose Lake Motors-Van Transportation, will be available on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Stops will include Hamlin-Hansen-Kosloski Funeral Home, Moose Lake School, Moose Lake City Park, Lake State Federal Credit Union, Hope Lutheran Church, and Moose Lake State Park/Agate Center. Transport vehicles will run in a continuous loop.
Other area activities during the Agate Festival will include open gravel pits for agate hunting ($3 permits available at the Chamber office), a Fireman’s Steak Fry at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, a Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast from 7:30-11 a.m. on Saturday, and a Bluegrass Jam in the city park from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., also on Saturday.