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Stomp those grapes at Richwood Winery

Teams of two took turns trying to stomp out all the juice they could get from a barrel full of grapes at Richwood Winery’s grape stomp competition last September. The winery will host its third annual Grape Stomp Festival on Saturday from 1-7 p.m. DL NEWSPAPERS/Vicki Gerdes

It’s time to stomp those grapes again!

The Richwood Winery will host its third annual Grape Stomp Festival this coming Saturday, Sept. 6, from 1 to 7 p.m.

Festival organizers are hoping for the same kind of sunny skies that drew roughly 500 spectators to the winery for last year’s stomping competition.

Once again, prizes will be offered for both the best stompers and the best team costumes.

“We really encourage costumes,” said Penny Aguirre, co-owner of Richwood Winery.

Detroit Lakes’ own Kelsey and Melissa Opsahl took first place in last year’s costume contest for their impersonation of “Lucy and Ethel,” complete with the requisite red and blonde wigs.

As for the stomp itself, two-person teams can sign up at the winery prior to the competition, which runs from approximately 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

The award winners will be announced at 4:45 p.m.

Last year’s stomp winners were to Joni Benson and Judi Kerr of Round Lake; a total of 20 teams competed.

One difference this year, however, is that the grapes used will not be hand-picked from the winery’s own vineyard; like many Minnesota vintners, Richwood Winery lost much of its existing vines to a long, cold winter.

“The vines are alive, but we had to train new ones from the ground up,” Aguirre said. “They look good, but there’s no fruit.”

Fargo-Moorhead favorites Tucker’d Out will be back for a third straight year to perform on the winery’s outdoor stage — weather permitting, of course.

“We’re pretty excited about that,” Aguirre said, noting that the band has enjoyed increasing popularity in the past couple of years.

The trio will take the stage at both 2 and 5 p.m., with each performance set to last approximately 90 minutes.

Aguirre will also be offering tours of the vineyard at both 2:30 and 5:30 p.m.

And that’s not all. Local artists and handmade craft vendors will have their work on display outside the winery, as well as a variety of food vendors.

Lunch will once again be catered by Pam’s Salsa.

Of course, there will be plenty of wine on hand, to be purchased by the glass, in bottles, or just for tasting.

“And we have beer as well,” Aguirre said, adding that the vineyard is now licensed to serve both beer and wine.

A selection of craft beers will be available, though Aguirre said there will not be a keg on tap this time.

While serving stations will be set up outside, drink tickets will only be available inside the winery, she added, though they will be sold at both the upstairs and downstairs bars.

For just $5, each festival guest will receive either four tasting tickets to enjoy samples of the winery’s finest red and white vintages, or one drink ticket for a full glass of beer or wine.

Cheese and crackers, pop and water will be on hand for purchase separately.

The bar will also have a full stock of both red and white wine selections available by the bottle, and they have a small gift shop as well.

Adult admission to the festival is $10 per person, and includes a commemorative festival wine glass. 

Those under age 21 are admitted free of charge.

For more information about the Grape Stomp and other events coming up at the winery this fall, visit the website at, or call 218-844-5990.

Also next weekend

There’s more than grape stomping going on in the lakes area during the weekend of Sept. 5-7.

Saturday is also the date set for the 19th annual Dick Beardsley Half Marathon, Relay, 5K Run/Walk and 1K Kids’ Run.

The event festivities actually begin the Friday before the race, Sept. 5. Detroit Lakes Community and Cultural Center fitness instructors will be in City Park giving fitness class demonstrations at 6 p.m. Beardsley and guest runner, Amby Burfoot, will then speak at the bandshell at 7 p.m.

The run itself gets underway at 8:30 a.m. on West Lake Drive, near the Detroit Lakes Pavilion.

The 13-mile half marathon and relay route takes runners up Washington Avenue through downtown Detroit Lakes then around Little and Big Detroit Lakes. The 5k route follows the half marathon route but just runs through town to end at City Park.

Runners will be entertained along the entire route by various live and recorded music acts. Performers will include Tim Eggebraaten and Marty Soloman’s band, The Buffalo River Band. There will also be water stations set up at one-mile intervals along the route.

The kids’ 1k run, which is open to children age 12 and under, starts at 11 a.m.

Friday night at the Holiday Inn, there will be a silent auction and spaghetti feed to benefit MMA fighter Dan Kiser, who suffered a traumatic brain injury in a match at Kent Freeman Arena this past May, and is still facing a long road to recovery. The event will run from 6 to 9 p.m.

On Saturday, Kent Freeman Arena will host a full evening of mixed martial arts competition, courtesy of Driller Promotions, the state’s premier MMA promotional company.

“No Mercy III” will feature four professional bouts and 15 total fights.

The event begins at 7 p.m., with doors set to open at 6 p.m. Tickets, starting at $30, are available from participating fighters and online at For every ticket sold, $5 will be donated to Kiser.

Saturday is also the day to enjoy a Wilderness Kayak Cruise at Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge. Experience the beauty of an early autumn day on the lake. Join a refuge ranger to explore the wilderness islands of Tamarac Lake.

Meet at the East Tamarac access with your canoe or kayak for this adventure.

Life jackets are required, but there is no participation fee. Call 218-847-2641 for more information.

Follow Detroit Lakes Newspapers reporter Vicki Gerdes on Twitter at @VickiLGerdes.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454