Grape Stomp

[I don’t know who there are?  We’ve lost the schedule.  But it was the first entertainment we saw when we entered the winery.  They seemed to attract a good crowd.]

Now one of the biggest events on the Alexandria social calendar, the Stomp attracted huge crowds again – from all reports reaching the 15,000+ attendance mark again.  With such as arts, crafts, food, wine, music, comedy, dancing, contests, juggling, chain saw carving, painting, glass blowing, lion taming, rollercoasters, “find the Norwegian,” (OK, I made up the last three), and . . . grape stomping, what’s not like?

The supervisor and I still, still recovering from the excitement of company and Dorset, did not make it to Friday’s stomp and Saturday just kinda lolled around the house in a semi-comatose state.  Sunday was the last day . . . and to my memory, we had never missed a Stomp (well, maybe those like three years in a row when it was hit with deluges that turned the parking “lot” into a muddy quagmire – then this year, fighting the drought, hiking in from the parking “lot” through mini dust storms), so we rounded up all the materials necessary for the adventure (“bring our own chairs, because it will be packed”), planned on getting there before noon when it began (Skilly & Duff on the Marquette Stage), and somehow, in spite of ourselves, hit a bit of a traffic snag as we arrived precisely at noon.  In spite of her bad foot, the supervisor immediately bolted toward the event center, not waiting for the tractor trolley, and lugging our chairs in case all the seating was gone.  Of course it wasn’t -and we had a lovely afternoon just listening to music and watching the world go by.

[I subsequently found the flyer . . . but still don’t know who they are?]

[And what local event would ever be complete without “pork chops and fresh cut fries?”]

[Mikko regaling the audience with tales from Ireland while Annie and Bruce listen on.]

[Bruce doing his own regalement.]

Many are probably unaware of the strategic role the supervisor plays in a Skilly & Duff performance.  She leads audience participation when the group performs Black Velvet Band:

[Her eyes , they shone like diamonds . . .]

[You’d think she was queen of the land . . .]

[And her hair hung over her shoulders . . .]

[Tied up with a black velvet band.]

[Still don’t know?]

[Before the SRO Skilly & Duff crowds arrived . . .]

[Some of the vendors.]

[Mikko chatting with an Osakis neighbor who has started a distillery.]

[Marilyn searching for the perfect angle.]

[There they are again?]

[The group is joined by Osakin (Osakisite?) [?] Gibbons, of the Gibbons Brothers Band.  He is a grandson of Tommy Gibbons, who once fought Jack Dempsey.  That Kevin Bacon connection thing again – Gene Tunney’s son was just in town.]

Mikko’s classic version of From Clare to Here

[Ziba Gypsy Belly Dancers]

[Some more vendors.]

[After 3 hours with Skilly & Duff, we went to the hippodrome (that’s what I still call it?) to see Tucker’d Out, a group we like from Fargo and generally only get to see once or twice a year.  The day before, we heard this place with SRO with wine tasting and music.  I guess when you get down to the last hour of the last day, most are home taking naps!]

[So, we had an almost private concert by the boys . . .]

[And bought a couple of their CD’s when they were done.]


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