Grape Stomp benefits three nonprofits

Photo by Tamie Meck The always-popular Grape Stomp blends the tradition of crushing the grapes with the North Fork spirit as teams in zany costumes go "feet to feet" to see which can extract the most juice from 20 pounds of grapes.

Sponsored by Orchard Valley Farms and Black Bridge Winery, 10th annual Mountain Harvest Festival Grape Stomp has grown to be one of the most popular events of the festival. The stomp benefits three local nonprofits: the Solar Energy International K-12 Solar in Schools program, the Western Slope Conservation Center, and the Paonia Public Library Foundation.

Teams three or four, dressed in costume, will compete for the grand prize of "Most Juice Collected" by stomping 20 pounds of grapes in wine barrels. This year's theme is "TV Cartoons." As always, awards include the "Best Lucy Look-a-like," in honor of the famous grape stomping scene on the classic "I Love Lucy" show. There's also a kids' division, with prizes for most juice collected and best costume.

The audience is encouraged to bribe judges with donations to their favorite team.

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