Blackstone Valley XPress
September 2016

Looking for something a little different, want to laugh and just have a good time, looking for something to do with a date and prove you know how to play sports? Here’s your chance!  Come join other teams of two and compete in the Alternatives Third Annual Valley Bag Toss. Start practicing now, build your skill at tossing a little itty bitty corn bag into the hole on a slanted board, and then compete on Saturday, September 24 at 1 p.m. at the Alternatives Whitin Mill, on the plaza weather permitting, inside if it rains.

It’s a little like horseshoes except you use wooden boxes called platforms and corn bags instead of horseshoes and metal stakes. Contestants take turns pitching their corn bags at the corn hole platform until a contestant reaches the score of 21 points. It’s been called many things – Corn Toss, Bean Bag, Bean Toss, Soft Horseshoes – but to those born and raised in Kentucky they call it Cornhole Toss. Thought to originate in Germany in the 14th century it was rediscovered in the hills of Kentucky over 100 years ago. The game is usually played tournament style with a team being named the champion at the end of the tournament.

What’s unique about the game is that anyone can play it, young or old, inside or outside. It’s very portable, take it on trips or play in the backyard. No muss, no fuss. Once you play you can get addicted, join a local or national group and just have lots of fun.

The Valley Bag Toss is fortunate to have some beautiful handmade boards made by local wood enthusiast, Nick Hollinbaugh, owner of Box Elder Studio, Sutton, and the winning team gets a beautiful new board of their own. There will also be prizes for Best Team Spirit, Best Team Name and Best Team Costume. Teams of two must preregister and pay the entry fee to compete in the event. Spectators (free) are welcome and encouraged to cheer on their champions during the afternoon.

The afternoon will be filled with live music from the Blackstone Valley Bluegrass band, food and drinks available from local food trucks and lots of friendly competition. Proceeds from the event will benefit the people with disabilities whom Alternatives serves in Central Massachusetts.

The Valley Bag Toss is sponsored by Zentangle and Box Elder Studios. Music is provided by a grant from the Mass Cultural Council. Other sponsors making this event possible include RAPT performance Training, Foxy Travel, Koopman Lumber & Hardware, Mill House Wine & Spirits, Harbro Auto, Gaudette Insurance Agency, Quality Beverage, Nafie & John Shapazian, Solid Benefits Group, Wormtown Brewery and Philadelphia Insurance Companies.

Contestants must be at least 14 and are asked to arrive before 12:30 for on-site prep before the fun starts at 1 p.m. Preregistration can be done online at AlnernativesNet.org/BagToss. Spaces are limited so sign up soon if you want to take part. Commemorative T-shirts are provided for all participants. The Alternatives community plaza is at 50 Douglas Road in Whitinsville.

By Magda Dakin