After 100 years on the books, Kennewick’s Grapefest has been retired and will be replaced with Grape Stompede on Sept. 8.
“We wanted to create more of a kids-, family-friendly type of event,” said Tim Dalton, executive director of Historic Downtown Kennewick.
The Grape Stompede will be 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 8 and will incorporate the most popular family-friendly events of GrapeFest, including the Teddy Bear Parade and the Grape Crush Rush, a 1 mile/5K fun run and walk.
“This event has been growing every year and last year we had more than 75 runners,” said Dalton.
Registration for the Grape Crush Rush will begin at 7:30 a.m.
The run will be followed by the Teddy Bear Parade, which had more than 250 kids participate last year. The parade starts at Visiting Angels and winds through downtown, finishing at the Centennial Flag Plaza, where there will be a kid’s activities center and a chalk art contest.
One of the most popular events is always the Grape Stomp, which has been revamped into an “abbreviated version,” Dalton said.
During the Grape Stomp, which starts at 10 a.m., three person teams stomp grapes in wooden wine barrels. Each team member will stomp for one minute. The winners of each round will stomp again at 2 p.m. in the final and winners will receive prizes.
In the early 1900s, Kennewick was home to the largest Concord grape harvest in the world and Grapefest was created in 1911 in celebration of that. The event eventually was transformed into the County Fair and has had several incarnations over the years, Dalton said.
For more information about Grape Stompede 2012, go to www.historicKennewick.org.