Oliver hosting grape-stomping good time

The annual Festival of the Grape is promising to be bigger and more fun than ever

This Sunday is promising to be a really great grape-stomping good time in Oliver.

Started in 1997, organizers of this year’s annual Festival of the Grape are gearing up for could be the biggest turnout in the event’s history.

Attendance last year at Oliver Community Park shot through the roof with an estimated 4,300 coming out to enjoy the festivities.

And two years ago what’s become the festival’s signature event, the grape stomp competition had only a dozen entries.

“Now we’ve grown to 30 teams with a waiting list to get in,” said Jenn Nelson, executive director, Oliver Tourism Association & Oliver Visitor Centre, festival organizers. “It’s a fun festival. We’ve seen people from China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Germany — we see people from all over the world.

“Because we celebrate not just the grape, but the entire harvest, the fact that it’s in the fall is intentional. It was a wine maker and hotelier that started this event all those years ago and getting people to be aware what farming roots exist here in Oliver and it’s just gotten more and more well known and prevalent from that.”

Related: Thousands attend the annual Festival of the Grape in Oliver

Last year also featured a special guest in the name of Rick Mercer of the long running CBC series the Mercer Report, who competed in the grape stomping competition.

“That didn’t affect last year (attendance) because we couldn’t share the information in advance,” said Nelson. “It gave us exposure on a level we hadn’t had before.”

This year there will be over 50 wineries represented on the park grounds along with 60 vendors.

Related: Ready for a stomping good time at Festival of the Grape

The Big Easy Funk Ensemble, a nine-piece band from Vancouver will provide the musical entertainment.

As always the kids’ zone makes the festival a truly family friendly event and over 200 volunteers from the community will be working to make sure everyone has a good time.

Nelson added there is always something new and for the first time this year there will be a wine store on site where people can purchase what they sample.

“So what we’re saying is meander in and sip your way through some of your old loves and find new favourites,” said Nelson.

As well, on site again this year will be he Fall Art Show and Sale at the Oliver Community Centre in conjunction with the Oliver Community Arts Council.

Tickets include a souvenir wine glass and three tasting tickets. Students and children get in free.

Gates open open at noon.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


 MarkBrett
Send Mark Brett an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Unemployment up, Kelowna loses 2,000 jobs in March: StatCan

March unemployment rate 5.9 per cent, highest in Kelowna since January 2018

Peachland residents living in lockdown in central Philippines

Kevin and Gracelyn Bennett have been in the Philippines since December

Kelowna toddler officially cancer-free

Elara Isagawa’s family is thanking the community for their support throughout her treatment

Central Okanagan School District provides nearly 7,000 meals to students

Families collect the entire week’s supply of breakfasts and lunches at once to minimize contact

Kelowna cannabis company moves to hand sanitizer production

The Valens Company plans to distribute 40,000 sanitizer bottles to frontline workers across Canada

VIDEO: B.C. singer creates frontline workers tribute song

Cambree Lovesy’s song saluting those battling COVID-19 draws interest online

UPDATE: Coronavirus concerns prompt event cancellations across the Okanagan

This is a running list of events cancelled across the Okanagan

Researchers to study whether plasma of recovered patients can treat COVID-19

Plasma is the liquid portion of the blood that contains the antibodies that protect against illness

Law enforcement will patrol shuttered campgrounds in Cascades this weekend

Patrols will enforce provincial order requiring all such facilities remain closed during COVID-19

B.C., Alberta health ministers urge public to stay home Easter weekend

Regional politicians, online petition calling for closure of provincial border to non-essential traffic

Campfires still permitted in Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen

Restrictions have been implemented elsewhere within valley

Summerland parks remain open for passive use

Users urged to maintain physical distancing to slow spread of COVID-19

Okanagan Indian Band asks visitors to ‘stay away’ during COVID-19

Chief and council asks non-residents not to visit OKIB reserve lands during the pandemic

Would-be visitors to Shuswap over the long weekend asked to stay home

Regional district follows provincial health officer’s lead in telling citizens to stay put this Easter

Most Read