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After more than a year of waiting, gem show vendors excited for return to Tucson

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TUCSON (KVOA) - The 22nd Street Mineral, Fossil Gem and Jewelry Show begins Thursday morning and vendors are excited to be back in Tucson.

The show will be open everyday for 18 days from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Many vendors have not been able to attend shows for more than a year due to the coronavirus. With safety protocols in place to protect, both vendors and customers say they are optimistic.

"We have our plexiglass. We have our hand sanitizer. We're wearing our masks," said Cory Cotter, owner of Michigan Rocks & Minerals. "I've been vaccinated, we're social distancing so, you know, we're ready to rock."

Admission is free, but parking will be $5 on weekdays and $10 on weekends.

Steven Pugh, who owns Stonestash Gem Stone Gallery, says his last show was in Tucson in 2019, right before the pandemic.

After a year plus of adjustments, he is happy to be back.

"Super stoked to be out here and that the event is still going on even though it's pushed back," said Pugh. "It's gonna be an awesome time. There's a lot of super cool vendors that have been cooped up for the past year and a half and now everyone is out here ready to do it."

Many of the vendors mine products themselves. With the show back on, they are finally able to do what they love.

"We have been digging in the same spot for 16 years so we have quite an inventory," said Christine Terraferma, co-owner of Just Herks Diamonds. "So we're happy to share all of our love with everybody."

Masks will be required to enter and vendors will be providing hand sanitizer.

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Mark Mingura

Mark Mingura joined KVOA as a Multi Media Journalist in October 2019. Originally from the valley and with ties to Tucson, Mark is excited to get back to his home state and tell the stories of the Old Pueblo.

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