By AMANDA ARNOLD
CLARKSVILLE — Phil and Monica Wilburn enjoyed bringing their children Austin and Riley to Falls of the Ohio State Park for the first time Saturday.
“We really enjoy it here. We’ve been here before, but this is their first time. The people here are very friendly and helpful,” said Phil Wilburn.
The family visited the park during the Cabin Fever Festival, and learned during the trip that the crinoids, which are the fossils of the ancient sea lilly, were in fact animals that lived at the bottom of a sea that covered Southern Indiana millions of years ago.
While the participants learned about different subjects, the Cabin Fever Festival also was a chance to enjoy an experience outside of the house during these cold winter months.
“Everything is going good. We had the Corydon Dulcimer Society here and the Feckless Fear Dearg band. The Knob and Valley Audubon Society were here with information on the great backyard bird count, and the Belle of Louisville was here with a knot demonstration,” said Kelley Morgan, interpretive manager at the park.
During the knot demonstration, Capt. Keith O’Connell with Belle of Louisville explained that there are different knots for different functions on the steamboats, and different knots for different parts of a journey.
Learning was also hands-on with nature-inspired crafts. Mallory Waters helped participants create artful pet rocks.
“Everything is going very well. We are creating artistic masterpieces,” said Waters.
Ann Sinkhorn and her daughter Molly said they both enjoyed their afternoon at the festival.
“We love it here. We love to come over here, and we do every summer. Today we wanted to check out the festival,” said Ann Sinkhorn.
Participants also were able to bring items home to brighten up their yard, or help the birds. Nesting bags are made of various materials such as dryer lint, ribbon and yarn. The bags are ideal nest-builders.
“It’s fun to look up and see all of the bright colors and the birds,” Vicki Dodge, volunteer, said about the nesting bags that she will begin hanging throughout her yard.
In addition to the many indoor activities, the afternoon naturalist walk also drew a crowd wanting to beat the cabin fever blues.
Weather enthusiasts experienced a tornado simulation from the National Weather Service, along with information.
“I think so many people never actually see a tornado, so this way you see what it looks like. It’s just a good way to keep people talking about weather,” said Jeremy Beavin with Falls of the Ohio.
Beavin explained that the simulator consisted of an ionizer that turned water into vapor that was fanned in such a way that created a tornado.
However, for the true outdoor enthusiast, Mark Sawvell of Bass Pro Shops, explained important tips to winter adventures. Sawvell showed off winter sleeping bags, liners, boots and more.
“The three W’s are: wicking, warming and waterproof,” said Sawvell.
He reminded the importance of having waterproof boots with wool socks and wearing a warm hat to keep heat inside the body.
“Of course, 70 percent of heat loss is from the head. If your feet are cold, put a hat on,” said Sawvell.