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Crokicurl ice pad in Victoria Park.

It's a normal weekday in Victoria Park. People are hustling and bustling, in their own world rushing to get to the daily grind of work. Some walk their dogs, take a stroll during the sunset or lace up their skates for a spin on the rink. Usually, the park is a place where Regina citizens pass by, but today in the middle of their path, sits an oddly shaped ice pad.

And it's going to get stranger. In the next week expect to see a few Roughriders playing a sport that is not their own.

Currently barricaded with yellow caution tape and orange barriers some find the scene intimidating. Wondering about the new addition in the park, many are curious about its purpose. Others know its use and are excited about the upcoming event. What is it? Well, the octagonal ice pad with blue and red rings is a platform for Crokicurl, a mix between the board game crokinole and the sport of curling. It's a game that's gaining popularity in the prairies since its debut in Winnipeg in 2017.

From February 12 to 16, the yellow tape and orange barricades will be taken down and CURLSASK, with the City of Regina and Regina Downtown Business Improvement District, will host a week long Crokicurl event.

The event will be a first of its kind for the Queen City and CURLSASK. "As a first year, we didn't want to go into too much formal programming," explains Mat Ring, Marketing and Membership Services Coordinator at CURLSASK. "But we do have our list of event times on our poster."

During the week, special guests like Saskatchewan's Roughriders, Canadian Curling Champion Pat Simmons and Regina's mayor will make appearances. "Our title sponsors are coming out to have a shootout against some of our top men's and women's curlers in the province," Ring adds.

According to Ring, the event will help promote upcoming curling events in Saskatchewan and celebrate the joy of curling. "Our goal with the Crokicurl event is to promote not only our province's official sport, which is curling, but also to help promote the upcoming Tim Horton's Brier that'll be hosted in Regina."

They also want to bring attention to the new event in curling called "mixed-doubles" which will make its Olympic debut in the 2018 PeyongChang Games. Saskatchewan will hold their Mixed Doubles Provincial Championship in March in Moose Jaw.

"As an organization, we're always looking for new ways to develop the future of curling in our province and give Saskatchewan residents the access to many varieties of curling," Ring said.

The event is organized as a drop-in activity and everyone is welcome to join the festivities and try out the game. Ring suggested that those coming out should dress appropriately: "It's going to be cold. We recommend warm clothing."  But participants don't have to worry about special gear or shoe wear since the "ice won't be as slippery as curling ice because there's a little natural snow on it that'll give it a little grip."

The sport is still new to the province but two other cities in Saskatchewan have introduced the game in their communities. Saskatoon's Broadway district and Elgin Park in Moose Jaw saw a lot of interest when they launched Crokicurl in January. And it's in Saskatoon where the Saskatchewanderer, Kevin Dunn, got the opportunity to try out the sport.

"Walking up to the curling sheet, I call it a curling sheet but it's really shaped like an octagon, I was kind of like oh my god this is huge!" Dunn exclaims.

Dunn says: "It's pretty easy. The rules are crokinole rules. There are the posts that are planted into the ice, and you have the button where you want to throw the curling rock into. And you're doing that how you would throw a curling rock. So you push and slide and throw it to the button."

According to Dunn, Crokicurl is a family-friendly sport and one that assembles the community together. As he was waiting his turn to play, he was watching the interaction between players: "Random strangers who never knew each other and they were just playing and having a great time."

"I could really feel like the community vibe was pretty strong that day," describes Dunn.

"I highly recommend giving it a try because it brings crokinole and curling together. Kind of like a traditional sport for a lot of families not only in the province but for most Canadians," Dunn says. "It's just kind of a way to have fun in the wintertime."

For those who want to participate in Crokicurl, there will also be hot chocolate and a contest to win Tim Horton Brier tickets.

For times and guest appearances visit www.curlsask.ca.