Crater of Diamonds Turns 40

Spring at Crater of Diamonds State Park is just around the corner.

“We have been looking forward, as we always do, to March when more visitors come to the Crater to hunt for diamonds during their Spring Break vacations,” said Margi Jenks in a news release.

On March 15 Crater of Diamonds State Park will celebrate its 40th birthday. In addition to their regular daily schedule of Diamond Mining 101 and Ask a Park Interpreter programs, the park is celebrating the anniversary with special programs for the enjoyment of visitors. All the programs are free and open to the public. The special program schedule is:

March 15         10:30 a.m.       Tourism at the Crater

March 15         3:00 p.m.         Walk of Fame

March 16         7:00 p.m.         Crater Past and Present

March 17         7:00 p.m.         Famous Crater Diamonds

March 18         3:00 p.m.         Early History of the Crater

March 19         3:00 p.m.         Tourism at the Crater

March 20         3:00 p.m.         Discovery Dig for Kids

March 21         3:00 p.m.         Walk of Fame

All afternoon programs will be located at the classroom in the upper level of the Diamond Discovery Center.

The evening programs will be held at the park amphitheater, which is located next to the campground. If the weather looks rainy, the evening program will move from the amphitheater to the Diamond Discovery classroom at 3:00 p.m.

Children ages 3 to 8 years old will love the Discovery Dig where they can learn why diamonds shine and then dig up their very own special park souvenir.

Three programs will focus on the history of the Crater before it became a state park in 1972.

The Tourism at the Crater programs will discuss the history in the 1950s and 1960s of the Crater’s private tourist ventures.

The Early History of the Crater spotlights the first diamond mining ventures from the first diamond find in 1906 to the 1930s when the Depression closed down the diamond mining.

The Crater Past and Present is an overview of the diamond mine’s history from 1906 to the present.

Two programs will highlight some of the diamond mine’s most spectacular diamond finds. Each diamond has a great story of the person and how they found that large diamond.

The Walk of Fame is a walk out on the diamond search area to the actual places where some of the famous diamonds were found.

In addition to the 40th anniversary program week, in March Crater of Diamonds are introducing the first two episodes of a new program type—Visit with an Expert Miner.  On Saturday, March 17 and 24, at 2:00 p.m. you can come to Diamond Discovery Center classroom.  A state park expert diamond miner, who has years of experience finding diamonds, will there to answer your questions, tell you what to look for, and how to go about it.

The park staff had noted last year that they were getting close to the 30,000th mark. They are as curious as anyone to find out who will find that landmark diamond and when it will be found.

Based on the number of diamonds in recent years that have been registered in February and March, it is possible that this milestone may be reached during March. The latest count of diamonds found at the park is 29,934—just 66 short of 30,000.

The park plans to commemorate the find.

Crater of Diamonds State Park is located 2.5 miles southeast of downtown Murfreesboro on Arkansas State Highway 301.

It is one of the 52 state parks administered by the State Parks Division of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism.

Please Note: This is the eighth in an on-going series of stories on Crater of Diamonds, an Arkansas State Park

Worth Pondering…
Angels are like diamonds. They can’t be made, you have to find them. Each one is unique.

—Jaclyn Smith

Leave a Reply