by Robert Bell
18TH ANNUAL ARKANSAS CUSTOM KNIFE SHOW
10 a.m. Robinson Center Exhibition Hall. $10.
Arkansas has long been to big ol' knives what Kentucky is to bourbon, with the state's historical influence in the field going back to the most famous big ol' knife of all: the Bowie Knife, first made by blacksmith James Black at the request of Jim Bowie around 1830 at what is now Old Washington.
Heck, Rambo's big ol' knives were even made here by the late, great Russellville knifesmith Jimmy Lile, and you don't get much more badass than that.
Arkansas has many fine craftsmen carrying on the tradition. You can see the best of their work — and the work of bladesmiths from 28 other states and Taiwan — at this year's Arkansas Custom Knife Show, presented by the Arkansas Knifemakers Association. Now in its 18th year, the show will feature 152 tables and some of the best blades seen anywhere. Craftsmen will be on hand to discuss their calling and sell their creations, as well as leather crafters, sellers of knife-making supplies and more. The show will feature hourly door prizes, and awards will be given in a variety of categories. Ten bucks gets you in both days.