The Ice Box Days Open bonspiel will return to the Fort Frances Curling Club tomorrow for an eighth year with its biggest field yet.
Some 36 rinks will compete, including 19 rinks from the district.
“This is the first time the number of [rinks] have been over 30. It’s grown every year,” co-organizer John Cann said. “It’s an open ’spiel, mixed, all guys, all girls, it doesn’t matter.
“It should be a great weekend of curling,” he added.
It certainly has been great for local entries. Raymond Roy won the title last year while Tom Fry led a rink to the 2000 crown.
“We play a lot of different teams that we don’t normally see. It’s just a fun event,” said Roy, who has curled with wife, Kim, and Dave and Roz Broman for all seven previous Ice Box bonspiel appearances.
Action gets underway at 5 p.m. tomorrow, with the finals in the ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ flights set for Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m.
A social also will be held Saturday night at the curling club featuring the band, “Alliance,” from International Falls. It is open to the public.
While not officially part of the actual Ice Box Days, which run later this month in the Falls, Cann said the bonspiel is an unofficial kickoff for the festivities.
“It’s a good social event for people from both sides of the border to get together,” he noted.
The popular “Freeze your Gizzard Blizzard Run,” a cornerstone of Ice Box Days, is slated Jan. 19.