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Join the Buckeye Chapter of the GPAA for our annual Gold Rush Days, held Labor Day Weekend at the GPAA Swank Claim along the beautiful Clearfork River near Butler, Ohio. Gold Rush Days are a weekend packed full of gold prospecting and family oriented events. From common digs to kids games and duck races to a chili cookoff, there is something for everyone at Gold Rush Days! Free camping for GPAA members. Directions to Swank Claim and our schedule of events are outlined below. We hope you can join us! If you have any questions, please contact us via our contact form.!

Directions to Gold Rush Days

Swank Claim Address: 1199 Cutnaw Rd. Bellville, OH  44813
GPS Coordinates: N 40° 35.885' W 082° 27.602'

2018 Gold Rush Days Schedule of Events

Alright folks! Here is the 2018 GRD Schedule of Events. This list is subject to change, so please check back often for any updates. Thanks!

Saturday, September 1, 2018
Note: * Denotes Location of Event

8:00AM - Flag Raising and Pledge of Allegiance *Pavilion

8:30AM – Volunteer Meeting At The Pavilion *Pavilion

9-11AM – Adult Common Dig (14 Years and Up) *Common Dig Location

9:00AM – Kids Games and Crafts *Meet At Pavilion

10:00AM – Prospecting Store Opens / Raffle Sales / Metal Detecting Registration *Pavilion

10:00AM – Duck Races Sales Begin *Pavilion

12-1:00PM – Kids Common Dig (Under 14 Years) *Common Dig Location

2:30PM – Speed Panning Competitions *Pavilion

4:00PM - Metal Detecting Hunt *Pavilion. Registration All Day Saturday at Raffle Booth.

5:30PM - Raffles *Pavilion

5:30PM – Silent and Live Auctions *Pavilion (Please drop off donated items by 4:00PM at the green raffle tent).

7:30PM - Dowsing Rod Competition *Pavilion

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Note: * Denotes Location of Event

8:00AM - Flag Raising and Pledge of Allegiance by *Pavilion

8:30AM - Volunteer Meeting At The Pavilion *Pavilion

9-11:00AM – Adult Common Dig (14 Years And Over) *Common Dig Location

9:00AM – Kids Games and Crafts *Meet at Pavilion

10:00AM – Prospecting Store Opens / Raffle Sales *Pavilion

10:00AM – Duck Races Sales Begin *Pavilion

12-1:00PM – Kids Common Dig (Under 14 Years) *Common Dig Location

2:00PM - Kids Metal Detecting Hunt *Old Red Shed Location

3:30PM – Gold Pan Racing *Common Dig Location

4:30PM - Rock Balancing Judging *Common Dig Location

6:00PM – Chili Cookoff Judging *Pavilion

6:30PM – Raffles *Pavilion

7:00PM – Tug of War *Pavilion

9:00PM - Night Metal Detecting Hunt– Presented by Pat O’Masters and SueWise *Pavilion


Common Dig

Join us for our traditional Common Dig! You will have the opportunity to prospect for gold like many generations before us have. Learn how to use prospecting equipment, identify great gold holding materials, and of course share in the traditional nugget draw! Every paid and working participant will receive a split of the concentrates at the end and be eligible for prizes and the nugget draw. Fees: Adult Common Dig - $6.00 Kids Common Dig – Free

Duck Races

Want to win a gold nugget? Here is your chance! Purchase your ducks for $1 each or 6 for $5. Once all ducks are sold for a race, they will all be launched in the river. The first duck to reach the finish line will be the winner of the gold nugget. Look for sales at the pavilion and along the midway.

Metal Detecting Hunt

Have a metal detector? Looking to find some valuable prizes? Join us in our metal detecting hunt! Our Chapter’s own Jen Johnson will head up this years metal detecting hunt. This is one you do not want to miss! She will seed the hunt area with many items. Some items found in the past are old US silver coins, gold nuggets, gold jewelry, current currency, foreign coins, civil war relics, etc. And of course she always has a twist to the game! Fees: $10 entry fee per participant. Registration at raffle booth starting at 10:00AM.

Kids Crafts

Bring the kids to the Pavilion to enjoy a fun time making crafts! Our volunteers will help them create a neat project that they can take home. All ages of kids are welcome!

Silent and Live Auction

Putting on Gold Rush is very challenging, and it does come with a price tag. Join us for our silent and live auction where we will have donated items (from visitors like you) up for auction. These donated items are what help us to raise the funds necessary to offset the expenses of Gold Rush. Feel free to bring items to donate for these auctions. Donations will be accepted all day on Saturday at the main pavilion at the raffle tables. We truly appreciate your support in this cause!

Speed Panning Competitions

Think you have what it takes to be the quickest hand at panning on the Swank Claim? Show your stutt here! Registration is free…just show up and try your luck at speed panning your pan down and retrieving the seeded gold nuggets. Winner of the competition will receive a trophy!

Gold Pan Racing

Have you converted your gold pan into a raceboat? How about a jet propelled (ok Alka Seltzer propelled) floating green plastic disc? Or perhaps just a plain gold pan that you have faith in. This event always has some creativity involved. Bring your pan to the location prior to the event time to be entered. Registration is Free! The pans will be launched in the river. The first pan to reach the finish line will win a trophy!

Kids Games

Bring your kids down to the Pavilion prior to the start time of the event. There will be games played where they will all win a prize bag for participating. Some games included may be: Waterballoon Toss, Egg Carry, 3 Legged Race, Short Distance Corn Hole, Scavenger Hunt, Etc. Should be a good time for kids and parents alike! Hope to see you there!

Campfire Chili Cookoff

We want you to show off your cooking skills and enter the Chili Cookoff! Prepare your best chili and bring it to the judging area at the scheduled event time to be entered. Here are the rules:

-Only store purchased meat can be used. No wild game will be permitted.
-All ingredients of the chili must be cooked at the claim on Sunday. No prior cooked ingredients will be allowed.
-The chili must be assembled and cooked at the claim on Sunday. No prior cooked chili will be allowed.
-Judging will take place in 2 categories: Officer’s Choice and People’s Choice. Each winner will receive a trophy.

Want to judge the chili? There is no charge to taste the chili this year! You only need to collect a free ticket at the raffle booth. Go through and sample all of the chili. Drop your ticket in the cup for your favorite chili. The chili with the most tickets will win the People’s Choice trophy!

Rock Balancing

Have what it takes to balance rocks in a tower or stack? This was a popular event last year, and we are bringing it back! Take your luck at balancing a tower of rocks that will be judged. Trophies will be awarded to two categories: Youth Balancing and Adult Balancing (Age 16+ adult category).