Prehistoric times soon to arrive at Main Street Mall
Park City is, for a town of about 8,000, a fairly cosmopolitan place. The town has no shortage of concerts, gallery shows, theatre events, oh, and that one film festival every January.
But Park City has yet to see a proliferation of fossil shows, so when one comes through town this Saturday, the event will be a new sight to see for many. The show, which is being organized by Park City Fossils & Gems, will take place on the second floor of the Main Street Mall and will feature approximately 35 major fossils and hundreds of smaller pieces, along with a few minerals.
"We’ll be educating the public, especially the kids," said Sandra Chambers, who owns Park City Fossils & Gems with her husband, Don.
"There’ll be three of us helping kids and answering any questions they do have," added Don Chambers.
Among the fossils that will be present are three triceratops’ horns, several mosasaur jaws, several tyrannosaurus rex teeth and a pair of very rare ammonites, one of which has been opal-ized. Overall, the pieces span a wide swath of history, ranging in age from 65 million to 420 million years old.
"They’re from all over the world," said Chambers.
Also on display at the show will be an assortment of dinosaur eggs, which are the Chambers’ specialty. The event will include a pair of eggs and a single egg from a tyrannosaurus bataar, along with two, full-circle raptor nests and some of the smallest dinosaur eggs ever found.
A collaboration between several fossil companies and collectors, the show will feature many privately owned pieces.
"This give the general public the opportunity to see these pieces that will never be seen again," said Sandra.
"These shows give kids the opportunity to see the fossils close up," said Don.
Since many of the pieces are owned by individuals, they will be unavailable to the public, Sandra noted. But with the event, people can learn something from the pieces before they find their place in a home.
But, Don noted, with the show and other opportunities, the pieces’ educational values will remain intact.
"Just because it (a fossil) is private doesn’t mean knowledge isn’t being perpetuated," said Don.
Generally, he said, scientists are allowed to study the important fossil finds before the store sells them, and nearly all of the pieces, he noted, will likely end up in a museum one day. The show simply gives people a chance to see and learn from the fossils before their availability is limited.
"That’s what got us into the business," said Sandra, "sharing the knowledge."
The Park City store, she noted is the pair’s third. Already owners and operators of a pair of locations in the Canadian dinosaur digging town of Drumheller, Alberta, the couple decided to establish a Park City office after spending nine winters in the area. The store opened this past November on the lower level of the Main Street Mall.
The fossil show will be just one of the events the store offers. The Chambers said the event should be perfect for any dinosaur, fossil or paleontology enthusiast whether he or she is three years old, thirty, or sixty.
"Anybody that has interest in fossils," said Sandra.
"People that appreciate history and science and enjoy art," said Don. "Fossils are nature’s art."
Looking at one of the ammonites on display at the show, one could see how he could make that contention. This will simply be the public’s opportunity to enjoy the pieces.
The 2006 Park City Fossil Show will run on Saturday, Feb. 25, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the second floor of the Main Street Mall. Admission to the event is free. For more information, call 940-1416 or visit http://www.fossil-world.com.
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