Whether it was the closely fought games that marked Sunday or the sounds of mandolin and banjo that filled the rink Saturday or the number of KettleHouse kegs consumed on Friday, the third Big Sky Bonspiel was our largest and most successful ever.
With 30 teams from British Columbia, Washington, Idaho, South Dakota and all over Montana, the event kicked off with bagpipers and Missoula Mayor John Engen welcoming competitors and complementing our curlers sense of style — taking special notice of the Hello Kitty pants and kilts that were in attendance.
With a new beer garden perched above one end of the sheets, competitors and some curious members of the public got a great bird’s eye view of the games and on Saturday evening, local band the Flaming Wheelbarrows joined the curlers to provide some music and add to the night.
But as much fun as we were having off the ice (or above it) the Big Sky Bonspiel also had some impressively close games with several games coming down to a draw-to-the-button.
In the end two teams emerged triumphant. In the Open Division, the Ex-Presidents, stacked with former club presidents from across the west, took home their second title in three years.
In the 5-and-Under, the upstart Curly Fries from Missoula kept the hardware here, marking the first time a Missoula club has one that division.
Here are your winners: