Today, the Tucson Gem & Mineral Society announced that the 2021 Tucson Gem and Mineral Show is canceled. While the overall Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase season that takes over Tucson from February to March is home to numerous showcases and exhibits, the Tucson Gem & Mineral Society's Gem and Mineral Show is the largest and the show that launched it all.
"COVID-19-related risks clearly make it impossible for TGMS to put on anything more than a shadow of our accustomed vibrant event," representatives of the Tucson Gem & Mineral Society announced in a prepared statement. "Restrictive COVID-19 travel policies mean many of our major domestic, and most of our international museum exhibitors and friends either won't or can't travel here. This effectively eliminates both our exhibits and educational programs."
However, the society has announced that they intend to use this time to plan for a "blockbuster" 2022 show.
"Most importantly, TGMS does not want to be responsible for a single COVID-19 fatality or serious illness. Our show is run by volunteers and many of us are in high-risk demographics...as are many of our participants and attendees," the statement continued. "Consulting closely with the Pima County Health Department, the Mayor and City Manager’s offices and the good folks who run the [Tucson Convention Center], it is clear that applying the mandated COVID-19 protocols to reduce risk would mean drastically restricted attendance and curtailment of many of our programs."
In 2018, the total Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase brought an estimated economic impact of $120 million to the City of Tucson.