WHEN: Memorial Day Weekend: Friday August 31, Saturday September 1, and Sunday September 2.
WHAT: Flint Ridge 2012 is an extravaganza of Flint Knapping, primitive arts and crafts, and atlatl competitions. There are usually about 200 vendors selling flint, flint knapping kits, copper, gems, primitive bows, atlatls and darts, and all sorts of leather goods completed or in kits along with all sorts of arts and crafts supplies. Vendors start showing up as early as Tuesday to get a good spot and to do some early flint purchases and swaps. Some people bring trailers full of flint from as far away as Texas and New Hampshire. The cost to visitors is $5.00 per car per day.
WHERE: Flint Ridge State Park Hopewell Township, Ohio
WHAT ELSE: There is a mineral shop 1/4 east of the park where people can rent a bucket and shovel and go dig up Flint Ridge flint in the area adjacent to the park. The park itself has a museum featuring flint and artifacts associated with the park and walking trails through the wooded areas where all the ancient flint mine pits and where Native Americans from 15000 BC to historical times excavated flint for spear and arrow points for personal use and trade. Flint Ridge flint points spanning Clovis to Archaic times have been found as far west as Oregon, south to Florida, and east to New York.
WHO: If you want to learn to knapp flint, there will be hundreds of people there to learn from. You just have to ask nicely. Remember, nobody is paid to be there or paid to teach anyone anything. However, these folks really love what they do and love to share what they know to anyone who seems really interested in learning.
THE AUCTION: Saturday evening, there is a huge auction where vendors provide items to be auctioned in order for the organizing host, The Flint Ridge Runners, to raise money to pay expenses associated with putting on the event.
ATLATLS: The Ohio Atlatl Association sets up an atlatl range on the east side of the activities. We have a place for beginners to learn and a range for competitions. We supply atlatls and darts for the beginner. Competitions consist of the Ohio Accuracy Competition which folks can do three times in a day, and the World Atlatl Association ISAC competition which in limited to once a day. There are no set times for the competition as it is much like golf … get at least 3 people, pick up a score sheet, and go for it whenever you are good and ready. The atlatl event is free of charge.
Doug Bassett, current WAA ISAC leader, will be there as will a couple of other former WAA champions. The highest possible score for the ISAC is 100 with the ability to score 10 Xs. The X is a small ring inside the bullseye. Doug Bassett has scored above 90 in the ISAC an astounding 222 times. Doug Bassett has consistently taken home the OAA championship award every year for several years in the Masters event, as has is son Marlin in the Youth Championship.
So, if you never have operated the atlatl and dart and would like to learn, or have your own gear and want to get in on the competitions, or want to learn how to make arrow heads come to Flint Ridge State Park on Memorial Day.
DIRECTIONS TO FLINT RIDGE STATE PARK IN OHIO:
Flint Ridge Park is about 25 miles east of Columbus Ohio, north of I-70. If you are coming from the direction of Columbus, get off at the Brownsville exit, drive into Brownsville and follow the Flint Ridge signs. You will basically turn left at the main drag (SR 40) in Brownsville, then hang and immediate right, drive 3 miles north on Brownsville Rd , and there you are.
If you are coming from the east, get off I-70 at the Gratiot exit before Brownsville, turn left on to SR 40, drive into Brownsville and hang a right on Brownsville Rd, drive north for 3 miles and there you are.
SR-40 is also known as the National Road which used to run between Washington and Columbus but there are only parts of it remaining.
Hope to see you there!