1996

The last Ithaca Farmers’ Market of the season, generally the Saturday just before Christmas, was a particularly cold, blustery day.  It had been another long season and the few vendors who were present that day had little idea that they were about to witness history.  Camaraderie among the vendors was high that day and customers were scarce.  Talk turned to unusual winter sports:  Curling of course came up as a topic of conversation.  Everyone knew that contestants threw heavy stones on ice at some sort of target.  A customer, whose name is forgotten to history, had just purchased a frozen chicken from a vendor, Kim McKnight of Backbone Hill Farm.  This fellow got caught up in the spirit of the conversation, as we were all getting a little feisty.  With the legs serving as a handle he let his purchase fly down the market floor to the amusement and delight of all in attendance.  That was the opening that was needed…all of our wares were fair game.  Potatoes, Cinnamon Rolls, turnips, Cabbages were all among the projectiles thrown.  Customers joined in with vendors.  There were no particular rules or object to our play that day; just going for as much distance as we could with as much style as we could muster.  Every throw drew laughs; after all we generally could not imagine doing such things on a busy market day…what a great way to celebrate and let loose on the last market day of the season.  One of the vendors there that day was Steve Sierigk of Acorn Designs.  Steve recognized potential in the innocent play that day and based on this made a note to create a sporting event for the 1997 season by adding a little more structure.  Little did he know the international attention that the “Rutabaga Curl” would become?

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1996

12,000 B.C.