This site was created completely by me using the Homestead Sitebuilder program. My goal, simply, to make this site the most informative gold panning competition site on the net. To the best of my knowledge - all contents of this site are 100% public domain. If any such media items exist on this site are not public domain and is copyrighted or simply a correction needs to be made please contact me and I will remove / fix the error as soon as possible.
Thank you for visiting and don't forget to sign my guestbook on the visitors' page.
"May your bottom turn yeller!" - Johnny
World Gold Panners Hall of Fame
In 1976 the Gold Panners Hall of Fame was established to honor those who have contributed most to the advancement of gold panning as a past-time, spectator sport as well as a true art. Nominees for the Hall of Fame may also be considered for their skill, records, feats and loyalty and integrity to the gold community they live in as well as other parts of their state, country or world. Nominations for induction can be made up until March 1st of each year.
Recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records
Over the years the same tools (pans, gold nuggets) have been used to ensure its consistency and fairness in the event a record might be broken under the same circumstances that it was set - the main reason for being the only contest of its kind to be recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records. Also, it is the only true “World Open Championships” when others around the world are only known as “World Championships.” For the past couple of years, due to space permitted in the Guinness Book many records have not been listed if they haven't been broken in awhile. As of right now the only divisions recognized by Guinness are the World Open and Ladies World. It is in the works now for having the Men's World submitted, thus getting the other divisions once again listed.
Guinness Book submission:
The fastest time for panning a set number of gold nuggets (8) in a 10 inch metal miners pan leveled with sand in the World Open was recorded on October 17, 2010 at Dahlonega, Georgia in the 48th Annual World Open Gold Panning Championships by Johnny E. Parker with a time of 7.52 seconds. The Ladies World Record was set at Dahlonega in the 32nd Annual World Open Championships April, 21 1994 by Desiree Kelley of Cisco, Georgia with a time of 8.30 seconds. The Mens World Record was also set at Dahlonega in the 42nd Annual World Open Championships April 2004 by Johnny E. Parker of Dahlonega, GA with a time of 7.15 seconds.
The World Open Gold Panning Championships began in 1961 to commemorate the discovery of gold in Southern California March 6, 1842 by Francisco Lopez at Placerita Canyon. The World Open was founded by Glenn and Dorene Settle at their famed Tropico Gold Mine in Rosamond, CA. When the Settles retired in 1980 they began their search for the perfect site to carry on the tradition. They began by looking at places such as Karl’s Hotel/Casino in Sparks, Nevada and Knott’s Berry Farm near Los Angeles, California. In 1988 with the sponsorship of the Dahlonega Jaycees the event made its move to the historical town of Dahlonega, Georgia where it has been held since. At the beginning, to help kick off the yearly tourism season the contest was held in April at various locations like the Mountain Music Park (1988 and 1991), the Bank of Dahlonega parking lot (1990) as well as the Park and Rec fields (1989). Since 1992 the Consolidated Gold Mine has played host and co-sponsors to the event. In 2009 Consolidated Gold Mine, sole sponsors by this time, moved the event to October during the Annual Dahlonega Gold Rush Days Celebration. In 2013 a bold move was made to host the event on the Dahlonega public square during the Gold Rush Days and was met with great response.
I have approached a few people / places with the idea of starting up new gold panning events here in the Southeastern United States. Gold Panning is a lost art... my goal for nearly three decades has been to promote gold panning as an art, skill and spectator sport and its impact on the areas that gold has been found. Starting out simply and solely promoting the area in which I live, Dahlonega, I quickly realized how many panning events are out there in the world... which is why I created this website. For the past five years or better I have noticed a decline in interest as well as participation in such events as gold panning and panning championships.
To help generate more interest as well as participation (at least for now in my area, expanding later) I have decided to create:
"The Southeatern Gold Panning Championships"
This championship will be composed of, but not limited to, the 6 southernmost "gold states" of the southeastern US including Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.
My goal is to set up individual State Competitions in the above mentioned states. These events will be held in the spring, each on a different weekend for those who wish to travel to each. The winners of each state will be awarded free entry to Southeastern Gold Panning Championships which I am proposing to schedule in late summer, each state taking turn playing host. The top three placers of this event will be awarded free entry to the World Open Championships held in Dahlonega, GA in October of each year.
In order to accomplish this goal I need your help. I am now taking nominations for each state to play permanent host of these competitions. Because the World Open has a different set of rules as most competitions (strict guidelines as set forth by the Guinness Book of World Records) I am inclined to set up each contest on the same rules, regulations and materials used as the World Open. This gives experience to those graduating from State to Southeastern to World.
Any suggestions or comments on this proposal greatly appreciated. (E-mail link below)
As always thank you for your support of the art of gold panning. - Johnny
2015 World Gold Panning Champion
Johnny E. Parker
2015 World Open - 2nd Place
2015 World Open - 3rd Place
2015 Dahlonega Gold Rush Panning Champion
8.26 sec. - NEW GOLD RUSH RECORD
2015 Gold Rush Open - 2nd Place
Johnny E. Parker
2015 Gold Rush Open - 3rd Place
2015 Dahlonega Gold Rush Kids Panning Champion
2015 Gold Rush Kids - 2nd Place
2015 Gold Rush Kids - 3rd Place
* 10 sec. nugget penalty
Site Created and designed by Johnny E. Parker December 15, 2004
Special bonus prize to first place... Garfield carved by