The popular Grape Stomp Competition is a must-see event at Paonia's Mountain Harvest Festival. The "stompin'" begins at noon Saturday, Sept. 26, in Paonia's Town Park. The event is generously sponsored by Orchard Valley Farms and the Black Bridge Winery. This fundraising event benefits two local nonprofits: Solar Energy International's K-12 program and the Paonia Public Library Foundation. Both organizations are also sponsors of Mountain Harvest Creative. SEI's K-12 outreach program is devoted to teaching the growing importance of energy -- both how it is used and where it is sourced. The library foundation is committed to raising, investing, and disbursing funds for the expansion of the Paonia Library.
This annual competition highlights the North Fork Valley's amazing wine culture through a hands-on (or shall we say feet-on) event! How does it work? Local businesses, families, nonprofit groups, kids of all ages, church groups and crazy friends form teams of 3-4 people to compete for the grand prize of "Most Juice Collected" by stomping 20 pounds of grapes in wine barrels. Teams are encouraged to dress in costumes and compete for other prestigious awards. The theme for this year is "History." Your group is encouraged to represent your favorite historical moment to win the "Best Costume Award." Whether 1787 or 1987, the sky is the limit! Or perhaps your team would like to go old-school and compete for the "Best Lucy Look-A-Like." (You know, the famous grape stomping scene.)
NEW for 2015: Audience choice! The audience is encouraged to bribe the judges by donating money in the name of their favorite team. The team with the most bribe votes wins! Plus there are special prizes for kids' teams, including most juice collected and best costume! Registration forms for teams and sponsors, as well as rules for the Grape Stomp, are available at the Paonia Library, SEI or online. Call 970-234-9428 for more information.