The 22nd Annual Northeastern Open Atlatl Championship at the Chimney Point State Historic Site in Addison will be September 22-24, 2017. This ancient spear-throwing tool competition is a highlight of Vermont Archaeology Month. The event also includes workshops on Friday and Sunday.
On Saturday, the Chimney Point field on the shore of Lake Champlain becomes a competition ground. Contestants from all over New England and New York use an atlatl to test their prowess in accuracy and distance by throwing at a variety of targets. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., visitors are invited to try their hand at flint-knapping (making tools out of stone) with expert Barry Keegan or learn about Woodland pottery with Charlie Paquin. Thunderbird Atlatl will demonstrate the skills needed to accurately throw the atlatl. Archaeology experts will be on hand to look at artifacts or photos of artifacts that people bring for identification from noon to 2 p.m.
Saturday's competition starts with registration at 10:30 a.m., the International Standard Accuracy Competition at 11 a.m., followed by the accuracy and distance event. The contest ends with a "Grand Champion" shootout. Categories include youth, women, and men. Contestants range from interested novices to some of the best in the country. Competitors pay $7.00 with pre-registration or $8.00 on the day. Call (802) 759-2412 to register.
On Friday from noon to 5 p.m., the site will host an atlatl workshop with Robert Berg of Thunderbird Atlatl. Participants make an atlatl and three fletched darts, receive instructions on using them, and are welcome to compete the next day. The $70 fee includes materials, instruction, and coaching. Pre-registration is required.
On Sunday, Barry Keegan offers a splint basswood basket workshop from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Weave a basket out of basswood splints with the bark attached. The finished baskets will be about 10-feet tall. The $60 fee includes materials. Pre-registration is required.
Admission for Saturday's event is included with the regular museum ticket of $5.00 (free for children under 15).
The Chimney Point State Historic Site presents the history of the region's 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 Chimney Point Museum is in the c.1785 tavern building at 8149 VT Route 17W in Addison at the foot of the Lake Champlain Bridge. The phone number for pre-registration and information is (802) 759-2412. The site is open 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesdays through Sundays, until October 15.
For more information about the Vermont State-Owned Historic Sites visit www.historicsites.vermont.gov.
Media Contact: Elsa Gilbertson, Regional Historic Sites Administrator, Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, (802) 759-2412, Elsa.Gilbertson@vermont.gov