Some years ago, I couldn’t sleep one night and rather than fume about it, I got out of bed to watch TV. I was channel surfing and landed on (oh, I don’t know something like) ESPN12 and found an unusual competition of sorts. I was immediately mesmerized by the rhythm and movement.
There were two teams standing around on what looked like a shuffle board covered in ice. One player took a few steps and suddenly struck a yoga pose, sliding as his momentum carried him along. Oddly satisfying to watch. With one hand he is pushing a huge, round and polished stone. He stops sliding and the stone continues toward the intended target of concentric circles.
Suddenly two other team members jump into the scene holding small push brooms. They begin furiously sweeping the ice in the stone’s direct path. The onlookers burst into shouting and cheering, egging the sweepers on as the stone draws closer to its target. I lean forward a bit in my seat. I’m a dog watching television; I know something is happening here but can’t quite suss it out. The climactic moment soon comes when the stone gently slides into another stone with a satisfying “clack” knocking it off the circles. The crowd goes wild.
“Curling” refers to the spin put on the sliding stone causing an arc in its trajectory. The sport first appeared in Scotland in the early 1500’s. It seems while the Scots were waiting for soccer to make its way over from Asia, one winter one enterprising Piper drained his pond for Lord-only-knows-why and then got to absent-mindedly sliding rocks around on the remaining rime to pass the time. Somebody happened along and saw what he was doing, egos soon clashed and Voila! the next thing you know it’s in a Beatles movie and an Olympic sport is born.
Curling has now made its way to the Dexter area. Finally. The Chelsea Chamber of Commerce is hosting Curling Fest 2018, a 2-day event featuring a tournament on Saturday, February 10 for both experienced and novice competitors, and a learn-to-curl lessons on February 9, 2018. Spectators are welcome to come and watch the bonspiel (term for curling tournament) free of charge and enjoy music, beer, food, hot cocoa, and more in a heated tent.
All competitors are guaranteed two matches and have a chance to win the Chelsea Curling Cup. Tournament Cost: $104 per team of 4. Don’t have a team? That’s okay! We can place you on a team. Simply register as an individual, $26 per person. Age Requirements: Competitors must be at least 12 years old. The event will be held at Chelsea Lanes, 1180 S. Main Street.
Want to learn how to curl? On Friday, February 9, the ice sheets will be open for “learn to curl” sessions from 4-8 p.m. Register for a 2 hour drop-in sessions. Cost: $5 per person
How to Register: Team spots are available while they last. Register here to secure your spot. Register here https://www.eventbrite.com/e/curling-fest-2018-tickets-41373772066