Annual Fossil Day Celebration unites art and science

Published 8:18 pm Monday, October 17, 2016

AURORA — From fossilized shark teeth to Native American artifacts and rocks and minerals, Aurora residents and out-of-towners celebrated a different kind of art this weekend.

Art comes in many shapes and sizes, and as part of the 2016 National Fossil Day Celebration, participants were able to explore the art forms within the walls of the Aurora Fossil Museum, made naturally in the earth and by the hands of those long passed.

They also experienced three scavenger hunts, talked with fossil experts, ate hotdogs and cake and enjoyed live music at Aurora Community Watch’s Jam in the Park.

“It was nice to get out and talk to people, and talk about fossils and community,” said Cynthia Crane, director of the museum. “It was one of those days when you know a lot of your hard work pays off.”

Along with Community Watch, the North Carolina Fossil Club and Friends of the Aurora Fossil Museum were also partners of the event.

Although the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew threatened Fossil Day, the celebration went on as planned and was a hit, according to Crane.

She said one of her favorite parts of the day was an “interactive talk,” in which Crane and participants went through and discussed about 15 questions, including sharing a favorite fossil-collecting story or any silly fossil jokes.

“We had to mix it up a little bit,” Crane said. “All I did was walk around with a big smile on my face.”

The partnership with Aurora Community Watch was meant to be, as Hurricane Hermine caused a cancellation of the original Jam in the Park scheduled about a month and a half ago.

“The Community Watch is becoming more involved. They’re building their group and their activity in town,” Crane said. “It just all fell into place.”

She said it was a needed break from flooding and election news to celebrate something positive, with something for both children and adults alike.

Some say art and science don’t mix, but between historic treasures and fun fossil digging, the combination led to one of Aurora’s biggest days of the year.