Feb 2, 2013 11:27 PM by Sam Salzwedel

Gem shows pop up all over Tucson

TUCSON - Gem shows have started all over town.

Almost 55,000 visitors are expected to go to more than 40 shows across Tucson.

The JOGS show at the Tucson Expo Center celebrated their 10th anniversary by raffling off a $10,000 prize to one of its vendors.

Tommy Jackson did not win the grand prize, but was glad to be selling his Navajo jewelry again.

"There are a lot of hours that go into this work," he said, "but it's something that I love to do. I love making the jewelry, getting on the road, meeting the people."

Business owners like Becky Rosen will spend thousands of dollars buying wholesale at the shows. She runs a travelling business called Mishuganah, which is Yiddish for crazy person.

"It's art," she said about Jackson's work. "It just gets better and better every year."

Local businesses are glad the tourists are back. Streetcar construction restricted access to Enoteca Restaurant at Congress Street and Church Avenue. They were not even making a profit much of the past 7 months, according to the owner, Rick Sabbagh.

In honor of the road opening, they even reworked their menu.

"Everybody's happy," he said. "This is a time where people get to expand their hours and make their money. Almost everybody I have working for me has a family to support, and we're all really excited about it."


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