FlintFest taking place this weekend

The Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument is preparing for its second annual “Alibates Rocks!” FlintFest this weekend.The event, set to take place Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 1-2, 2011, will kick off a month-long celebration of Texas Archeology Month at Alibates Flint Quarries, the only national monument in the State of Texas.The highlight of the event will be a “knap-in,” featuring expert flintknappers from around the southwest who will demonstrate the skill of turning raw stone into tools and weapons. Alibates will welcome back retired park ranger Ed Day, a Fritch native who is a master knapper and skilled storyteller.Also featured during the event will be a special quarry tour to the only excavated flint quarry in the national monument, an opportunity available only during FlintFest. Visitors will also be able to take the Ruins Tour to the village ruins and petroglyphs associated with the Antelope Creek Phase of the Plains Village period. These sites are open to the public only during Texas Archeology Month. Tours are free, but reservations are required for each of these tours.The Alibates Visitor Contact Station will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days, with flintknapping demonstrations scheduled throughout the day. Quarry tours will be offered at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. both days, while Ruins Tours will be offered at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. both days. Call park headquarters for reservations.Other activities available include ranger-led walks on the Mesquite Trail (no reservations necessary); tours of the native garden; and viewing the award-winning film, “The Sharp Edge of Survival.”To reach Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument, take State Highway 136 to Cas Johnson Road (about eight miles south of Fritch.) Turn west and drive five miles to Alibates Visitor Contact Station.For more information, please contact park headquarters at 806-857-3151.