Open Atlatl Weekend in Addison
ADDISON — The 18th annual Open Atlatl Weekend will be held at the Chimney Point State Historic Site in Addison on the weekend of Sept. 20-22. The event includes an atlatl-making workshop on Friday, Sept. 20; the main championship event on Saturday, Sept. 21, when everyone from novices to some of the best in America compete; and demonstrations and workshops about ancient crafts and skills on Saturday and Sunday.
The atlatl is an ancient tool used the world over before the bow and arrow to effectively project darts and spears for hunting. During the recent Lake Champlain bridge project archaeology work, many early projectile points were found, indicating the atlatl was used on the very location of this championship.
The event is a highlight of September’s Vermont Archaeology Month. The public is invited to come watch or participate in this unusual and interesting event on the shores of Lake Champlain. Admission includes the museum with the special exhibit on bridge archaeological findings, new exhibits on the 1929 bridge, and shop with books and other items on the area’s Native American, French, and early American history. Saturday the admission fee is $4 for adults and free for children under 15. Sunday it is $3 for adults and free for children under 15.
The weekend at Chimney Point starts on Friday, Sept. 20. From noon-5 p.m., there will be an atlatl workshop with Robert Berg of Thunderbird Atlatl. The $65 fee includes materials and instruction. Pre-registration is required. Berg teaches all over the United States and Europe. Call 802-759-2412 to pre-register.
The museum opens at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21. Demonstrations run from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., including Woodland pottery making with Charlie Paquin; flint knapping with Barry Keagan; and atlatl, cordage making and more with Thunderbird Atlatl.
The finished atlatl competition starts at 10:30 a.m. There is a $6 on-site fee for competitors (pre-registration at $5 each is urged), with girls’, boys’, women’s, and men’s categories. All skills and abilities are welcome. The International Standards Accuracy Competition takes place first, followed by shooting at painted animal targets to test accuracy, and, lastly, distance.
A small International Standards Accuracy Competition is on Sunday, Sept. 22, at 10 a.m. followed from approximately 11 a.m. to noon by master coaching for those who want to learn or improve. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. there will be an intermediate workshop on primitive skills, including pottery and flint knapping, with Charlie Paquin, Barry Keagan and Robert Berg. Workshop pre-registration is appreciated. Observers are welcome.
There will be a walkabout tour of the Chimney Point site at 1 p.m. where people can learn about the archaeological findings of the Lake Champlain Bridge project. Sturdy shoes should be worn.
The Chimney Point State Historic Site presents the history of the region’s three earliest cultures — Native American, French Colonial, and early American. The site was used by Native Americans for thousands of years and was the location of the 1731 French fort. The museum is in the c.1785 tavern building. It is located at 8149 VT Route 17W in Addison at the foot of the new Lake Champlain Bridge. The site is open 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesdays through Sundays, through Columbus Day, Oct. 14. Call 802-759-2412 for information.
For more information about the Vermont state-owned historic sites visit www.historicsites.vermont.gov. Join the Vermont State Historic Sites conversation on Facebook.
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