Move over Willie, you’ve got some competition.
The city’s second annual Bongspiel — a day-long event that combines Canada’s twin loves of curling and cannabis — was a smashing success that drew the surrounding community to the Wiarton and District Curling Club Saturday to throw a few rocks and get a little stoned.
“I am very proud of what it has become,” Ted Rattcliffe, a co-organizer of the event, told the Owen Sound Sun Times. “It is something that really puts Wiarton on the map and we are all trying to make it inclusive and showing what we can offer here with our Bruce Peninsula brand of cannabis culture. I hope we can continue to make it better, smoother, with better prizes and it keeps growing incrementally.”
It has done much more than that, with double the number of teams turning out for the second installment of the event, including a group of women who made the trip from the GTA to combine two of their favourite hobbies. “It is all legal now, we love to curl, so why not mix it with weed?” said Gailer, 59, who did not want to reveal her last name for fear her friends at her home club would find out.
“It is still perception,” said Gailer. “I don’t want the women at the club to know that I smoke weed. It is a private club.”
Heading to Wiarton allowed her and her friends to leave the stigma behind and just enjoy themselves. “The draw was meeting different people, I thought,” she said. “I mean, look around, this is not your average bonspiel. “This is not the demographic we usually hang around with, which is just the best.”
In addition to curling, the event featured a fair that allowed Wiarton to show off its unique brand of cannabis culture that is not only growing on the community, it is bringing more people out to try their hand at curling. T-shirts for this year’s event encouraged participants to, “Make your play: it’s all about the stone.”
Rattcliffe said the event raises a substantial amount of money that all goes to fund events and equipment at the curling club. “Last year, I really do believe people thought it was demon weed still as some of the long-time club members had no exposure to it in the past,” he said. “They support us and we get to have our party.”
Rattcliffe, who is already looking ahead to next year’s installment of the event, said the event went off without a hitch and there was only one person who bit off a little more than they could chew when it came to consumption.
“We have taken care of that and that is the only hiccup so far,” said Ratcliffe. “There is always one.”
Written by David Yasvinski