Bald Eagle State Park ‘Knap-In’ on weekend

HOWARD – Want to see how the world was before cellphones, Internet, telephones and electricity? The Bald Eagle State Park Knap-In will give you a glimpse on Friday and Saturday.

In this sense, “knap-in” means the creation of tools and weapons from pieces of flint and other stones.

The two-day event introduces park goers to the world of hand tools and the weapons that helped early humans survive in primitive times.

Plenty of hands-on demonstrations are planned.

First, on Friday, learn all about the atlatl, a throwing device that enabled primitive hunters to throw a spear with more force.

Children and parents may build their own atlatl from 5 to 6 p.m.

Guy Neal, owner and operator of Primal Knowledge, of Walkersville, Maryland, will talk about primitive weapons and offer a display from 6 to 7 p.m.

Be sure to register for the Terry Keefer Memorial Atlatl Tournament by 4 p.m. Friday. The finals will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday.

See if you have what it takes to survive in “Camper vs. Wild” from 9 to 10 a.m. Saturday.

Other demonstrations that day include one about historic creation and uses for charcoal from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and another on Native American jewelry making from 2 to 3 p.m.

Throughout the Knap-In, period vendors, primitive skills and performing presentations, and an open archery and atlatl range will be featured.

Steve Nissly, who is conducting the presentation on Native American jewelry, is excited for the event. He will educate people on how Native American people used early drilling devices, such as a bow drill, to drill holes in pieces of slate.

“This is our 16th year, I believe, and since we joined up with the state park, it has always been a good fit,” Nissly said. “I hope people will walk away with a new appreciation for the level of technology that our Native American people actually had.”

The cultural immersion festival will take place at the park’s pavilions 6 and 7 near the beach area. There is no admission or parking fee, and all entertainment will be family oriented.

For more information, call the park’s education learning center at 814-625-9369.