An Incredibly Fun Game Is Missing From Western New York Parties

Summer 2022 is here and the weather has been pretty decent so far for garden parties and fun. But if you’ve been to a party recently, you’ve probably seen your friends and family playing a bunch of games, but one game seems to have disappeared from the yard.

What happened to the horseshoes? Summer doesn’t seem to be the same without that “tinkling” of a bell or the metal horseshoes clattering against each other. Has it become too dangerous? Is it too “old school”? Or has the horseshoe set just been replaced by a more child-friendly plastic garden playgroup?

Corn Hole and Washers are probably the closest we’ve seen recently to the metal horseshoes of yesteryear. We also cannot forget Kan Jam. It’s all great fun and a bit addicting to be honest. But there was something special about horseshoes in the garden every summer. Something fuzzier and grainier that has disappeared from our summers.

As fun as the game of horseshoes is, it does come with a few downsides. Metal shoes and used poles can be quite dangerous if you have little ones running around the yard and horseshoe pits need dirt or sand and are not easy to clean like today’s garden games. Horseshoes can be heavy and bulky for travel and are not ideal for camping or tailgating. But that doesn’t mean we have to leave them in the garage or shed forever.

If you like throwing horseshoes, there are a few tournaments that pop up from time to time. A few years ago there were indoor pits inside the Wallenwein Hotel in East Aurora which replaced the bowling alley and have now become a banquet hall in the popular restaurant. But the majority of horseshoe players have now become experts at throwing a beanbag for Corn Hole or landing a triple or “hooker” in Washers and the backyards are always filled with competition and fun.

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