Indy Curls on the Canal with Circle City Curling Club

The Indianapolis Cultural Trail is an organization that manages some cultural experiences available to the public, according to their website. Partnered with the City of Indianapolis, Indy Cultural Trail also manages Pacers Bikeshare and many public destinations connected by the cultural trail, a 8.1 mile path that runs through downtown Indianapolis. Among these destinations is the canal, where residents can enjoy the “Curling on the Canal” event, where Indy Cultural Trail has partnered with Circle City Curling Club to bring the popular winter sport to downtown Indianapolis. 

Director of Planning and Public Programs at the Indianapolis Cultural Trail Amy Marisavljevic said that the idea for building the cultural trail emerged in the early 2000s. With mostly private fundraising and a federal grant, according to Marisavljevic, the original six-mile trail was built to connect cultural districts in downtown Indianapolis.

“The idea for the cultural trail has always been how to make our downtown a safe way to walk and bike, whether that’s for recreation or transportation,” Marisavljevic said. “But then to do it at a world class level. So we have five acres of gardens, we have public art along it, we also serve as the hub of the city’s Greenway system. So we make connections, not only to the cultural districts, but also to all those bikeways and greenways. And then, in addition to that, we started doing programming.”

According to the Circle City Curling Club website, curling has been around since the beginning of the 16th century. Nowadays, teams of around four players try to get their stone closer to the center of the target circles on the ice—using besoms or brooms to clear snow and other debris from its path. The rink is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 12-4 p.m.. On Sundays, however, the Circle City Curling Club hosts a Learn to Curl Clinic from 1-3 p.m. where instructors work with participants to learn to curl, according to Indy Cultural Trail. These clinics will run every Sunday until March 3, according to Indy Cultural Trail. Weekly Instructor and sophomore data science major at Butler University Jessie Gross said curling can be played at any age—one of her favorite things about the sport.

“I just love how excited people are,” Gross said. “It’s such a different thing. People are so excited to learn and they love all the little things about it. Like they love like, we have a stone down there. Like from our club, and people love to just touch the sound and look at the stone like, there.” Students can get involved through volunteering opportunities on the Indianapolis Cultural Trail website as well as participating in Indy Cultural Trail programming that occur throughout the year.

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