Human Curling Fever has swept over Bragg Creek.
The novelty event has been held there in the past, but this wave is even larger, thanks to the inaugural Winter in the Woods festival held on Jan. 29.
In all, 21 teams took to the ice with hundreds of spectators surrounding the rink; some cheering on their favourite team, others out of sheer curiousity.
Three of the four team members launched the "rock" down the ice on a small sled to try and come closest to the pin.
It was "On The Rocks" who earned bragging rights and shiny medals. Creekers Nikita Weisgerber, Jessie Fiddler-Kiss, Megan Starke did the pushing, and Nadia Burns was the rock.
Nadia is a nanny for all of her teammates, and it was that close bond that lead to the team's creation.
"So bringing it all together and taking home the cup is a great feeling," she says.
Without hesitation, Nadia says they'll be back next year to take on all comers.
"Absolutely. We'll get our Canadian tuxedos out of the closest, and we'll be ready."
They thank all the other participating teams.
Defending champion Peggy Rupert was grinning ear-to-ear throughout the event. She and her teammates did advance to the final but fell just shy of retaining their crown.
"Last time, there were three teams and I won, but there was way more competition this time around," says Peggy, between giggles. "I'm so impressed. I'm so glad everyone came out."
Banff-Kananaski MLA Miranda Rosin couldn't resist being fired down the ice.
"As soon as I heard there was going to be human curling, I knew wanted to be a part of it. I think it's just a great day to get the community out, the weather's been great, and I think people see hope is on the horizon."
Jess Snelgrove, one of the festival's organizers, says human curling was a natural fit and a great throwback to the past.
"As a Canadian, you have to love curling, and as a person, you have to love curling someone down the ice."
They encouraged teams to dress up for the event, and many did.
Festival chair Brian Robertson says human curling proved to be the highlight of a highly successful inaugural event.
"The crowds were gathering around pretty good, and that will be a staple for years to come," he says.