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The World Invitational Gold Panning Championship in Taylor this weekend is seeing visitors from far distances.

“We get people from Holland and all over,” said Peace Island Park operator, Barb Bell. “You name it, they come.”

Joel Flamenbaum, a member of the United States World Gold Panning team, travelled up to the region from Nevada.

“It’s a fun event,” he said. “We heard about it before we even came here. Our neighbours told us and we just fell in love with Taylor.”

Flamenbaum has been participating in gold panning events since 2007 and has travelled as far as Sweden to compete but he says Taylor is special because of how tight knit the participants are.

“It’s a more social and friendly atmosphere,” he said. ‘At the big international events there can be as many as 400 participants.’

Flamenbaum added that he’s in Taylor to help promote the 2016 World Gold Panning Championship, which is taking place in California in September of next year.

The World Invitational Gold Panning Championships will take place this weekend at the Peace Island Park. Look for festivities to kick off on Friday with a parade leaving the Taylor area at 6:30 p.m. on Friday night.

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