GRAPEVINE — The 27th Annual GrapeFest — the largest wine festival in the Southwest — wrapped up another year highlighted by drinks, artisans and family-friendly fun.“We’ve been so fortunate to have beautiful weather, great wine tasting events, fantastic live music, unique arts and crafts and more before and during the festival,” said Ed Stone, festival co-chair. “Our guests had a wonderful time.”A highlight was the People’s Choice Wine Tasting Classic, billed as the largest consumer-judged wine competition in the nation. City officials said they had the largest participation of Texas wineries in the event’s history with 39 Texas wineries, including three first-time participants.The festival, which drew 262,910 people, also offered the Vintners’ Auction Classic, the Champagne Terrace and the Culinary Pavilion.“We saw lots of guests dancing and enjoying all of the live entertainment throughout the festival,” said Julie Stone, GrapeFest co-chair. “It was really exciting to see families and groups of friends enjoying all of the fun in Grapevine.”The ever-popular GrapeStomp featured dozens of teams of two stomping 18 pounds of grapes for two minutes. Crowds cheered on the competitors.Winners of the GrapeStomp daily sessions competed in the Grand Champion Stomp-Off on Sept. 15, the last day. The winning team, Elizabeth Hilscher and David Dedrick of Dallas, received the coveted Purple Foot Award, along with a glass foot sculpture of their own feet from Grapevine’s Vetro Glassblowing Studio. The team, named Sugar and Yeast, stomped 40 ounces in two minutes.The 2013 Mayoral GrapeStomp featured mayors and/or city representatives from Carrollton, Colleyville, Combine, Coppell, Grapevine, Haslet, Irving and Pantego. Special guests at the Mayoral GrapeStomp included representatives from Grapevine’s Sister City of Parras de la Fuente, Mexico. The winners of the Most Juice Stomped Award, with 18.10 ounces, was the team from Colleyville featuring Mayor David Kelly and Councilman Chuck Mogged. A crowd favorite this year was a gold cowboy statue who sprung to life as unsuspecting visitors passed by.Matt Deaton, a recent graduate from the University of North Texas in Denton with a degree in hospitality management, portrayed the cowboy. The paid extra said he enjoyed sitting still and then “surprising people.” It was his first GrapeFest.Among those entertained were Roxana Korsten of Frisco and her children, Zachariah, 8, and Sophia, 5.The children clapped their hands and hollered at the statue, but failed to get a response. They finally settled for having their pictures taken by his side as he lounged on a bench, similar to the city’s bronze statues that pockmark the downtown district.But the highlight for Zachariah was winning a huge blue and white basketball from the Midway in the basketball toss, a feat he had been attempting for four years.“We can go now and end the festival on a high note,” Korsten said.
Marty Sabota, 817-390-7367