Steve Siring who was inspired from the 1996 impromptu play, decided to hold a Vegetable Curling competition on the last market day of the season. This was held without any previous advertising… somewhat as a practical joke to make the last market day feel more light-hearted and celebratory. The day before the last market Steve chalked out a court of play on the market’s wooden floor. He asked Robin Outfield of Blue Heron Farm who grew rutabagas to bring about 30 of these down to market for an “unspecified” use.
When vendors started appearing that day they noticed that things were a little different. After vendors were set up Steve had the Market manager, Anne Elrod, announce that we were about to hold our first annual Rutabaga Curling Competition on the markets intercom…. and that any interested athletes should register. Although rutabagas were provided and encouraged, contestants were allowed to throw almost anything. Again cinnamon rolls, potatoes, turnips and many representatives of the vegetable kingdom made their way down the market floor. There was a discrete target by the market office and the throw line was about 78 feet away… a distance Steve had determined the previous day in the court set-up, to feel “just right”. As during the first year of impromptu fun we all had a great time. No records were kept as the different projectiles had different properties… a cinnamon roll would just slide whereas a spherical vegetable would head in any possible direction. After this event Steve astutely concluded that the playing field must be leveled. He declared himself Commissioner of the Games. His first decree was that in subsequent years only Rutabagas could be thrown. It was about the right size and heft for a projectile…and had the added benefit of having a funny name as well as being the victim of bad press.