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Contestants at last year's Carlos Creek Winery Grape Stomp put their all into stomping grapes. File photo.

Carlos Creek Winery promises a stompin' good time!

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life Alexandria, 56308
Echo Press
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Alexandria Minnesota 225 7th Ave E
P.O. Box 549
56308

Carlos Creek Winery in Alexandria is gearing up for its annual Grape Stomp Festival, to be held September 16-18.

Last year, more than 220 teams stomped grapes, with Larry Zilliox of Alexandria taking home grand championship honors for the second year in a row.

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This year a new feature will be added to the grape stomp competition - several heats of "Trash the Dress" grape stomping will be held on the opening day of the festival.

Trash the Dress is the latest wedding craze. Brides seek unique ways to "trash their dress" as an alternative to storing it away, never to be seen again. The act is somewhat of a declaration that the ceremony is complete and the dress will not be needed again.

The three day festival begins Friday, September 16 at noon and includes a traditional barn dance with Lamont Cranston performing that night.

Saturday is a tribute to Lucille Ball, who would have celebrated her 100th birthday this year. Lucy look-a-like contests and re-enactments of her famous grape stomping duel with the Italian woman will be held throughout the day. Six live bands and comedian Jason Huenke will also perform.

Sunday is Celtic Day featuring Irish bands, bagpipes, gypsy belly dancers and Irish Dancers. Admission is free on Sunday to anyone wearing a kilt.

Summit Beer joins the line-up of sponsors, bringing a new beverage selection to the Grape Stomp.

Admission is $3. Last year more than 15,000 attendees enjoyed the festival's continuous live music on two stages, the 125-plus vendors selling everything from Mashed Potato Martinis to art and food to customized chainsaw carvings, grape stomping and of course, the award winning wines of Carlos Creek.

To register for stomping grapes or to see the list of vendors and entertainment, visit www.grapestompfestival.com.

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