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Lakes curling club open house -- Come on in and toss a rock

BRIAN BASHAM/RECORD Rich Grossman lets a rock go during Wednesday night's curling league at the Lake Curling Club.1 / 2
BRIAN BASHAM/RECORD A yellow rock knocks a red out of the button. Lakes Curling Club is hosting a series of open houses to familiarize people with what that all means.2 / 2

Want to know how much effort it takes to slide a 42-pound stone across 150 inches of ice, or learn what sweeping the ice in front of that stone does? It's time to take a look at curling.

"We're just trying to ride the wave after the Olympics," curling member Brian Shepard said.

The Lakes Curling Club is hosting open curling for anyone interested on Saturdays, March 13 and 20, from 9 to 11 a.m. This is a chance for the public to come see what the Olympics made interesting the last month.

Shepard said the club saw an increase of participants after the last Winter Olympics four years ago.

"It's fresh in everyone's minds," he said. "There is some interest. A lot of people don't know it's here."

During the open house curling time, there will be members there to answer questions, give pointers and give demonstrations. The public is welcome to give it a try themselves, too.

Shepard said it's a sport for all ages. Students from Detroit Lakes Schools come out to the club as part of the physical education curriculum, and other area schools are making day trips to the club for some curling.

It's the school experience that got Shepard interested in the first place. He curled off and on throughout college and then started full-time about eight to 10 years ago when his job allowed for it.

Along with getting those students interested, Shepard said the club is trying to get a youth league started as well. There are leagues Monday-Thursday, with 40 teams of four people participating. There are about 140 members.

They also offer demonstrations as part of community education.

The open curling the next couple Saturdays is free and open to anyone.

The Lakes Curling Club is located on Highway 59 North, behind the Minnkota recycling center. Visit them online at www.lakescurling.com for more information and upcoming events.

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