The various organizations sponsoring the event had tables of artifacts and information and experts willing and able to answer questions. I was particularly looking forward to the atlatl demonstration, and soon we treked up the Sanctuary trail, following Dave McDonald, President of the Indian River Anthropological Society.
An atlatl (at-lat-al) is an ancient hunting weapon - a launching device used to propel spears and darts. Dave had a quiver full of what he referred to as "child-proof" spears that he used for the demo, and within a short period of time, he had spectators successfully throwing these things with the aid of the atlatl. (I have to confess that describing this whole thing is proving to be very challenging - if you'll look at the photo, imagine the lady using the leverage of her arm to pitch that dart-like spear thingy resting atop the atlatl she is holding firmly in her hand. Click to enlarge the picture.)
This last photo is one Margie took of Dave, who was able to explain this whole concept a lot better than I have, and who could also make the spears go a very long distance!
The audience ranged in age from little kids to grandparents, and all seemed to enjoy the demonstration - Dave's explanation was clear, and he made it possible for everybody to participate. Good stuff!