] Crowds of over 5,000 people from near and far flood the little town of Murphys, to celebrate the beginning of the wine harvest season. Murphys puts on a lively stomp competition. This exciting all-day event happens on the first Saturday in October every year, and includes the Gold Rush Street Fair lining Main Street with over 100 outside vendors. Now in its 25th year, the annual community Grape Stomp has grown to include over 120 teams vying to be known as “Champion of the Juice” or winner of the “Best Costume” award. Come witness the Largest and Oldest Grape Stomp Competition in California!
During the stomp, teams of two, many with creative names and costumes, compete to collect the most juice out of 25 pounds of grapes in three-minute heats. Teams consist of a “stomper,” who stands in half a wine barrel with the grapes, and a “swabber, or mucker” who stands outside the barrel and reaches in to help flow the juice out of a drain spout.
Teams are encouraged to appear in costume and prizes are awarded based on originality, design and effort. Previous winners include the “Mucker Truckers“, “Grapeful Dead” and the “Cork Fungus Fairies”. The most anticipated heat of the day is the Winemakers Heat where local winemakers come out to compete in a friendly rivalry for most juice stomped and the Presidents Cup. Competitions are highly encouraged between businesses, sponsors, organizations and friends and pre-registration is strongly recommended as stomp competitions sell out well before the event.
Quality arts and crafts, antiques, handcrafted goods, jewelry, clothing, collectibles and food booths offer wares for sale in addition to Murphys’ multitude of one-of-a-kind specialty shops, restaurants and tasting rooms that line Main Street.
In addition, the Calaveras Winegrape Alliance holds a silent and live auction that includes donations from local and regional supporters such as Bear Valley Ski Resort, Saddlecreek Golf Resort, Murphys Historic Hotel and wine and winemaker event tickets from local wineries. All proceeds from the silent and live auction are distributed back to local community organizations and help fund the CWA scholarship funds.
Attending the 25th Annual Grape Stomp Competition and Gold Rush Street Fair is free to the public and the event runs from 9:30am – 5pm on Saturday October 6th. For more info and to register visit https://goo.gl/1LYf7y (shortened link)