It’s guaranteed to be a foot-stomping, grape-squashing good time — even if wine isn’t exactly your thing.
The South Okanagan Chamber of Commerce’s Festival of the Grape is hosting the one day celebration of the harvest season on Sunday in Oliver for the 16th year. The small festival created by members of the chamber that teamed up with wineries that were in their infancy at the time. Paul and Sally Bouchard from the Lakeside Resort in Oliver and Kenn Oldfield from Tinhorn Creek Winery came up with the concept.
For the adults there are over 200 wine samples to choose from, but the organizers also have something for all ages. Games, balloons, live entertainment, food vendors to suit every taste, merchandise vendors and specialty boutiques and an art show and sale.
Bonnie Dancey, CEO of the South Okanagan Chamber of Commerce, said there will be 12 teams rolling up their pants and getting up close and personal with the grapes in the grape stomp competition.
“It is really popular, we even have three teams coming from Ontario this year to stomp. People will be dressed up in costumes and it is pretty entertaining with people throwing grapes at one another,” said Dancey.
Organizers expect one of this year’s biggest attractions will be the live entertainment throughout the day by Delhi 2 Dublin at the newly constructed bandshell in the park. Described as the United Nations of rock ‘n’ roll, Delhi 2 Dublin will take the stage with world music from a fiddle player rocking out with a kilt-wearing Korean flanked by two bouncing Bhangra percussionists and a vocalist who looks like he would be at home in a Bollywood music video. An intersection of Bhangra, Celtic, Dub, Reggae, Rock and Electronica, the group is touring with their new album Turn Up The Stereo that was just released in August.
“We hope people will like this album. We wanted to make something fun that will help us do what we love, which is travelling around the world, playing music and connecting with people,” said vocalist Sanjay Seran in a press release.
Part of the process of creating this new album included a retreat in Bali. After performing at a festival on the Indonesian island in the spring, the band rented a house and really honed the songs.
“Sometimes we just need to drown out the noise of the world by making music louder,” said Seran.
The Festival of the Grape is from noon to 5 p.m. at the Oliver Community Centre. Tickets are $23 in advance, or $25 at the gate and can be purchased at Firehall Bistro, Oliver Visitor Centre, Penticton & Wine Country Visitor Centre, the B.C. Visitor Centre in Osoyoos and Discover Wines in Kelowna.
The grape celebration just happens to fall into the start of the Fall Okanagan Wine Festival which takes place from Sept. 28 to Oct. 7. The 10 day festival has over 165 events happening around the valley including vineyard tours, lunch amongst the vines and seminars. From Oct. 5 to 6 the Valley First Grand Finale Consumer tastings events takes place at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre. The event is considered a wine tour under one roof with over 60 wineries presenting and over 240 wines to sample. A day or weekend pass is available and includes live entertainment, souvenir wine glass, all your wine tasting, bread and cheese and a free taxi ride home.
Tickets are available at www.ValleyFirstTix.com or at the Penticton & Wine Country visitor centre.