Stompin up storm at grape festival
RAIN may have kept crowd numbers down, but close to 500 people still had a stomping great time in Marburg on Saturday.
The inaugural Ipswich Grape Stomp Festival was held at the Warrego Winery.
Organised by Soulful Stomp Production founders Kate Toohey and Natasha Campbell, the day included grape-stomping competitions, where teams competed to see who could produce the most amount of grape juice in the shortest time.
Ms Toohey said the grape-stomping competition had definitely been a highlight of the day for many attendees.
“The grape-stomping was so much fun,” Ms Toohey said.
“It was a high-energy competition and people had a really good time.”
The enterprising locals are the brains behind the Soulful Spring Sounds Festival which was held in September last year and attracted about 2000 people.
The day also included candle-making workshops, markets and a mixture of south-east Queensland folk rock, alternative and blues bands.
Bellbird Park resident Robert Auld was among those giving the initiative the thumbs up.
“I would love to see things like this grow and gather support,” Mr Auld said. “It is great to see locals getting out and doing what they do best.”
Mr Auld, who moved to the city five years ago from Perth, said the festival was a great way of encouraging visitors and locals to take a look at what was in their own backyard.
“Ipswich tends not to sell itself well,” he said.
“There are so many things going for it.”
A desire for “something interesting to do” led Canadian tourists Darlinda and Bob McEwen to the festival.
Hailing from the small farming town of Moose Jaw, the couple are on a seven-week “trip of a lifetime” around Australia.
After deciding to visit her father's grave in Melbourne, Mrs McEwen said the couple had decided to make a holiday out of the pilgrimage.
The 60-year-old said her RAAF pilot father had been based in Australia.
“He was only 48 when he died, and that was in 1970,” Mrs McEwen said.
“I never met him; he left when I was a child.”
Mrs McEwen said highlights to date of their Aussie visit had been the beaches.
“We are from the prairies, so we like the beaches,” she said.
She said they had found Ipswich while searching the Internet for places to visit on their grand tour.
Their three-day Ipswich stay included a visit to Riverlink Shopping Centre and the Ipswich RSL, as well as the Brisbane harbour.