Atlatl championship to be held in Addison
ADDISON — The Chimney Point State Historic Site in Addison will offer a weekend of activities at the 21st Annual Northeast Open Atlatl Championship on Sept. 23-25, with workshops on Friday and Sunday and the competition on Saturday. The event is one of the highlights of September’s Vermont Archaeology Month.
The field next to the museum near the Lake Champlain Bridge turns into a competition ground on Saturday, as participants go back thousands of years for this championship. Participants use an atlatl, an ancient spear-throwing tool, to test prowess in accuracy and distance shooting, as spectators observe. Also on deck are demonstrations and discussions from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on flint-knapping (making tools out of stone), Woodland period pottery, hafting points and atlatl making, and a special children’s introduction to the atlatl (call for time). Admission is $5 for adults, free for children under 15.
Saturday’s competition starts with registration at 10:30 a.m., with the International Standard Accuracy Competition at 11 a.m., followed by the accuracy and distance event. The competition ends with a “Grand Champion” shootout. Categories include youth girl and boy, women, and men. Usually the field ranges from interested novices to some of the best in the country. Competitors pay $6 with pre-registration or $7 on the day. Call 759-2412 to register.
On Friday from noon-5 p.m., there is an atlatl workshop with Robert Berg of Thunderbird Atlatl. The $70 fee includes materials, instruction and coaching. You make an atlatl and three fletched darts and learn how to use them. Many come the next day to compete. Pre-registration is required.
On Sunday, Barry Keegan offers a splint basswood basket workshop from 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. You will learn to weave with basswood splints that still have the bark attached. The finished basket is approximately 10” tall. Keegan will also show how baskets were made with stone tools. $60 fee includes materials. Pre-registration required. Space is limited. Bring a lunch.
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, was the location of the 1731 French fort and the museum is in the c.1785 tavern building. It is located at 8149 Route 17W in Addison at the foot of the new Lake Champlain Bridge. The site is open 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday, through Columbus Day, Oct. 10.
For more information about the Vermont State-Owned Historic Sites visit www.historicsites.vermont.gov.