WHITESBORO — The Mitchell Bonspiel is a tradition more than an event.
With a group of 18 volunteers, the Utica Curling Club hosted its annual bonspiel for 36 teams – with only a handful from the Mohawk Valley.
“The teams we’ve got coming back,” said Kevin Stevens, Mitchell Bonspiel Co-Chairman, “it just seems to be tradition for not just Utica, but for other teams outside the area.”
The coveted Mitchell medal is the prize for the first-place winners, said Bryan Moore, Mitchell Bonspiel Chairman. Now in it’s 137th running, the medal is stored in a lockbox. As the winners have added up and added to it, the medal is almost too long for only four people to handle it, Moore added.
As such, teams come from all over New York and Canada. Even, it turns out, Winchester, a small town about thirty miles south of Ottawa.
“You get to know everybody over 20 years,” said Winchester curler Keith Baker. “It’s a very welcome place. It’s like meeting your whole family every year.”
Another member of his team and fellow Winchester resident Norm Tinkler echoed Baker when thinking about the tournament.
“You look the forward to it,” he said. “(It’s) sort of a getaway and sort of a tradition.”
The finals of the event will be hosted on the Utica Curling Club website.