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Cabarrus Magazine

Reed Gold Mine 30th Annual North Carolina Gold Panning Competition Sept. 14

Aug 26, 2019 01:25PM ● By Kristy Huddle

Folks from across the state will be searching for gold in them hills at Reed Gold Mine Saturday, Sept. 14. The 29th Annual Pan-O-Lympics, also known as the North Carolina Open Gold Panning Competition, will be underway. There will be fun, prizes and activities for young and old.

Experienced gold panners and novices will compete for speed along historic Little Meadow Creek, site of the first documented gold discovery in the United States. Competitors will be issued gravity trap pans containing sand and four gold nuggets. They must remove as much sand as possible and leave all four nuggets and face penalties if nuggets are missing. 

The Pro and Amateur Divisions each will have an adult and junior (14 and under) category. Entry fees are $15 for adult and $10 for junior categories. The Amateur division fees are $5 for adults and juniors. Pros are contestants who have competed in any panning competition during the previous two years. 

Fees can be paid in advance or on the day of competition. The Amateur Division practice and competition will be between 11 a.m. and noon, while the Professional Division practice and competition will start at 9 a.m. and end at 11 a.m. 

Proceeds from the Pan-O-Lympics benefit the Reed Expansion Committee, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving Reed Gold Mine State Historic Site and North Carolina’s gold mining history.

Free activities available will include guided underground tours, demonstrations of the 1895 stamp mill which crushed ore to extract gold, and an orientation film and visitor center exhibits. Panning will be available for $3.21 (tax included) for all 8 and older.

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