We have been attending Oliver's Festival of the Grape for the last eight years in a row and it is one of the South Okanagan Festivals we just won't miss!
The Festival of the Grape is put on every year in the Fall to celebrate "The Wine Capital of Canada's" wine industry. Over 50 wineries come out to this event with their fantastic wines for the wine enthusiast to sample. Indeed, every ticket purchased to the event comes with a few free wine sample vouchers!
We like to get to the event right when the event begins and we rarely leave before the event ends. We use the free wine sample vouchers that come with our tickets (and purchase a few more!) and enjoy meeting new and old friends while sipping local wines. Food vendors line the perimeter of the grounds selling all sorts of yummy goodness such as ice cream, donuts, wraps, Thai food, Greek food, and the mandatory cotton candy. Vendors sell their wares in long rows on the grass and it is always fun to stroll through the stalls to find that special something.
Centre stage is home to live entertainment all day long. This year the Festival welcomes Rumba Calzada who will get the crowds moving with their classic Latin jazz and salsa music. If you would like to get your grape stomping on, sign up your team for a good old fashion grape stomping contest which is always a major hit, with many of the teams stomping in hilarious costumes!
Of course for me, having two young children, the biggest draw for the Festival of the Grape is the Kid's Zone. It is seriously the best Kid's Zone of any event we have ever attended! Because kids are free to enter the Festival with a paying adult it also makes this a very economical way for a family to enjoy the many things on offer. In recent years the kid's zone has included a rock climbing wall, numerous bouncy castles, bungy trampolines, face painting, obstacle courses, mini contests with prizes, and more! The best part? ALL of these children activities are free! Every year my children bee-line it for the rock climbing wall and throughout the day they go up and down it at least twenty times. At other festivals the opportunity to do this costs at least five dollars a pop so for us we get more than our price of admission in the children's activities alone!
I highly recommend Oliver's Festival of the Grape to all of my friends, we have even had family come down from the coast just for this event! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
This years's Festival of the Grape is on October 5th, 2014.
Purchase your tickets at the following locations:
- Firehall Bistro: Main St. Oliver 250-498-4867
- Oliver Visitor Centre: 6431 Station St. or Call 250 498-6321
- Wine Information Centre in Penticton: 553 Railway St. 250-490-2006
- BC Visitor Centre in Osoyoos: 9912 Hwy #3 250-495-5410
- Discover Wines: 2080 Springfield Rd. Kelowna 250-868-3990
The Festival of the Grape is also always looking for volunteers to help out with the event. In exchange for a few hours of work you get free entrance to the festival! For more information visit The Festival of the Grape's website.