The downtown Tampa Winter Village has added a new “street curling” attraction that is free to play any time the holiday district is open in Curtis Hixon Park. They will even have a new curling league that is signing up teams now.
But unlike the Olympic curling matches where players furiously sweep to clear the path for a granite stone as it glides across the ice, this is more like shuffleboard. A large sheet of plastic has been set out to replicate the ice, and players grip the handle on the heavy stone and shoot it down the lane to try to score points.
Curling is a sport that began in the 16th century in Scotland, originally played with curling stones on frozen canals and ponds.
Street curling is a popular game in Canada, similar to the cornhole games that pop up during tailgate parties in the U.S., said Ashly Anderson, director of marketing and design for Tampa Downtown Partnership, which puts on the Winter Village with its shops and ice skating rink.
The street curling is set up parallel to the ice rink at Curtis Hixon Park, with visitors checking out the red and blue stones needed to play. That feature is free and first-come, first-served. They are also signing up teams for a new curling league that will begin on Wednesday nights starting Nov. 30. It’s $200 to sign up a team of four to six at wintervillagetampa.com.
Shuffle Tampa, the indoor shuffleboard business in Seminole Heights, is lining up the leagues, and Cigar City Brewing has signed on the sponsor of the new league.
“It’s similar to shuffleboard in that you are trying to get your stone as close as possible to score points but it can also be defensive. You can have some fun trying to block them or bumping them out of way,” Anderson said.
Look for the Mistletoe to Go vendor location in Winter Village near the ice rink and you can check out the playing materials needed for free, Anderson said.
If you go
Winter Village: Curtis Hixon Park has been transformed into a wintry wonderland with a cafe offering holiday treats, a shopping village housed in shipping containers, ice skating, curling, train rides and more. Free, $17 skating, $200 (team) curling, though curling is free and first-come, first-served every day Winter Village is open through Jan. 4. 600 N Ashley Drive, Tampa.