THIS SATURDAY, DECEMBER 18, the 13th annual Rutabaga Curl will be held at its usual location at the Ithaca Farmers Market. At this beloved annual event for individuals of all ages, adults and children can each take turns hefting sturdy root vegetables (locally grown, of course) across the wooden floors of the well-worn market pavilion.
The order of events remains consistent from year to year. A torch-lighting ceremony occurs at high noon, which is followed by a Parade of the Athletes, and then the Master of Ceremonies will proceed with the games. Events organizers expect a performance from the Vociferous Cruciferous chorus with its yearly rousing rendition of Handel’s “Rutabaga Chorus.”
Because many young people are attracted to the event but are unable to handle the demands of the heftier Rutabaga, a turnip toss is offered for children eight and younger. This means a smaller more delicate projectile with a throwing distance significantly shorter than the 79-foot Rutabaga Curling distance.
2009 Curl winner Steve Paisley has pronounced himself in fine shape to become the first ever “repeat Curl champion” (even though he has admitted to recently straying from his daily ritualistic bowl of mashed rutabagas). Other past Curl Champions have also claimed a shot at this years’ crown: 2008 Winner Tom “Mantooth” Mansell has proclaimed himself at the top of his game.
The Rutabaga Curl will be at Ithaca Farmers Market on Saturday, December 18. The registration table will open at 10:30 a.m. and will close at 11:45 a.m. Games will open with the 3rd annual Turnip Toss for younger contestants, and the Curl will follow with over 100 athletes competing.