Some of the best curling teams representing curling clubs from throughout the United States will be in Brainerd Feb. 10-17 competing for a national title in USA Curling’s Club National Championships.
The Brainerd Lakes Curling Club is hosting the weeklong event, which is USA Curling’s largest and most prestigious amateur curling competitions.
Ten men’s teams and 10 women’s teams earned a trip to Brainerd by first winning a local playdown at their home curling club. Then they moved on to regional competition where they competed against other club winners from throughout their region (there are 10 regions throughout the country). The regional winners then advanced to the national tournament in Brainerd. Teams will be coming from as far away as California, Florida, Texas, New York and Washington. Minnesota will be represented by two women’s teams and one men’s team.
“We’re really excited to host these teams and watch some very competitive curling by some of the best curlers in the country,” said Mary Jo Hamilton, Brainerd’s tournament coordinator. “We’re also excited to showcase our curling club and the Brainerd Lakes Area, while giving them a little taste of Minnesota culture. Nothing’s more Minnesotan than hotdish, right?”
The event begins at noon Feb. 10 with the Opening Ceremonies, which features the St. Cloud Bag Pipes Band and a hotdish potluck lunch. The first two rounds of the tournament begin at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. that same day.
Play continues the next six days. The club has four sheets of ice and can accommodate four games at a time. The first four games start at 8 a.m. and then noon, 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. That’s the daily schedule until Friday, which has one draw beginning at 8 a.m., followed by the semifinal rounds for the four top men’s and women’s teams. The championship game starts at 1:30 p.m. Feb. 17.
There are special events taking place inside the curling club on certain days. On Sunday, an Indoor Farmer’s Market will be in the social room, featuring locally grown and produced foods. Monday night is Craft Beer Night, with local brewers providing sampling. Tuesday is Senior’s Day, where seniors are admitted free. The Flannel & Fun Closing Banquet follows the championship game and includes a walleye and chicken buffet and live music by Norm’s Bait & Tackle Choir. The cost is $25, and it’s open to the public. CLICK HERE for the curling schedule. For a schedule of the week’s events, CLICK HERE.
The games are open to the public as well. Daily admission is $10 for individuals or $15 for a weekly pass. Families are admitted for $10 per day or $20 for the week.