Warm weather and bad ice conditions move anticipated curling event indoors

Published: Jan. 8, 2021 at 6:19 PM CST
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ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The unseasonably warm weather strikes again as the Aberdeen Curling Club will be forced to move their planned bonspiel at Richmond Lake indoors this weekend.

Club President Mark Tolvstad said they were hoping to attract a large group of people out this weekend, and put on a show.

“People are looking for activities this time of year, you know. And the whole gist behind putting this bonspiel on was to try to get people that have watched it, but have never participated, to get them to come out here and give it a try,” Tolvstad said.

Steve Gascoigne, the Club’s Head Ice Maker, said it’s been a battle to keep the surface at the lake ready, and said ultimately the conditions weren’t right or safe to host a large outdoor event.

“Over the last few days, we’ve been watching the weather of course. Hoping for cold weather for once. And, hoping that the snow and the moisture would stay away, but it would be cold enough to make ice,” Gascoigne said.

But they’re both hopeful that the interest shown by those looking to participate and watch will hang around, and said they’ve never seen so many people reach out to them before. And Gascoigne thinks it’s because of the location out at Richmond Lake.

“It is the traditional way. That’s the way curling was born, was outside in Scotland. So, it’s kind of going back to the old days, where you can’t throw as straight or as far, and curl as much. But it’s all about the challenge of figuring out the ice,” Gascoigne said.

Tolvstad said the club will be moving the bonspiel indoors to the Holum Expo Center at the Brown County Fairgrounds starting Saturday morning at eight. And he said the club will keep this experience in mind when planning ahead for next year.

“Lesson learned for next year, you know. If we decide to go at this again next year, maybe move it back just a little later, in February, and hope we don’t hit this weather.” Tolvstad said.

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