This year, there’s a line-up to curl in the event that turned into a weekend of fun in Miniota, for 25 years – curling in the middle of July.
In fact, the Miniota Shirtsleeve Classic Summer Bonspiel gets underway Wednesday, July 13, a day early this year, to accommodate the many entries. Mostly local rinks will throw their rocks Wednesday.
Bob Gardham, one of the organizers, is not giving away any secrets, but he says over the years, Miniota curling rink has seen some hot curling talent at this summer bonspiel, including Mike McEwan, Reid Carruthers, father and daughter curlers, Dan and Chelsea Carey to mention a few.
This anniversary event will celebrate with opening ceremonies Friday evening, including an address by Manitoba Curling Association representative.
Curling goes throughout the weekend with winning rinks winding up the competition on Sunday.
Meanwhile, golf tee-off is Friday morning on Miniota’s picturesque nine-hole course for the three-day tournament. Located at the golf course, Miniota camp ground, has expanded recently to provide 33 serviced sites, toilets and shower.
Golf clubhouse manager and secretary-treasurer Marci Canart says the campground is full but there is an overflow area. However, campers can also camp beside the rink and hall.
The golf clubhouse is undergoing improvements to include wheelchair accessibility, which Canart hopes will be complete by the Shirtsleeve weekend.
Friday is day-one of a two-day car rally.
Saturday is another big day, beginning with a pancake breakfast served before the day’s events get going, and there’s a roast beef supper before an evening of entertainment.
Live music tops the Saturday night, with Ryan Keown performing on stage. This country singer from Russell is a Manitoba Country Music Awards winner.
Sunday, there’s slo-pitch, a tractor pull and Fireman’s Rodeo in addition to curling and golfing finals.
Miniota Community Centre winds up the weekend with a cold plate supper on Sunday.
Throughout the weekend, there are activities for children, including digging for buried treasure, a bouncy castle and Fit Kids, Healthy Kids Motion Zone.
The committee has worked hard to make this 25th year extra special. Nick Young is the president and with Loree Gardham, Bob Gardham, Joan Gurr, Delbert Cole, Murray Peel and Miniota’s EDC Traci Orr helping out, they have put together an exciting line-up for over four days at Miniota.