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.]


About tomobert63

The Journey Begins Thanks for joining me! This is the follow-up to the original, “,” which overwhelmed the system’s ability to handle it any more. Thus, this is “Part 2.” As the original was initially described: 10-26-07-4 “It all began in a 5,000 watt radio station in Fresno, California” . . . wait a minute, that was Ted Baxter on the Mary Tyler Moore Show! Let’s see . . . oh yeah, it all began in 2003 when retirees, i.e., old people, in Alexandria, Minnesota, who had no desire to become snow birds, went looking for mid-winter entertainment here in the frozen tundra of West Central Minnesota. We discovered girls’ high school hockey, fell in love immediately, and it remains our favorite spectator sport to this day. Initially, and for several years, reports on these games were e-mailed to those who were actually snowbirds but wanted to keep abreast of things “back home.” It was ultimately decided a blog would be more efficient, and it evolved into a personal diary of many things that attracts tens of readers on occasion. It remains a source of personal mental therapy and has yet to elicit any lawsuits. ~ The Editor, May 9, 2014 p.s. The photo border around the blog is the Cardinal girls’ hockey team after just beating Breck for the state championship in 2008. It’s of the all-tournament team. The visible Breck player on the left is Milica McMillen, then an 8th-grader – she is now an All-American for the Gophers. The Roseau player in the stocking cap I believe is Mary Loken, who went on to play for UND; and the Cardinal player on the right, No. 3, is Abby Williams, the player we blame most for making us girls’ hockey fans who went on to play for Bemidji State. *********************************************************************************** Photos contained herein are available for personal use. All you have to do is double click on any of the photos and they will become full screen size. You can then save them into your personal “My Pictures” file. They make lovely parting or hostess gifts, or holiday gifts for such as Uncle Ernie who wants to see how his grand niece is doing on the hockey team. If any are sold for personal profit, however, to, for example, the Audubon Society, National Geographic, Sven’s Home Workshop Monthly, Curling By The Numbers, or the World Wrestling Federation, I only request that you make a donation to the charitable organization of your choice. You have two hours and fifteen minutes. Pencils ready? Begin! **********************************************************************************
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