Carlton Crush Harvest Festival – Top USA Festivals
Wennerberg Park Early September www.carltoncrush.com
Oregon’s burgeoning viticulture industry totals more than 700 wineries, more than 500 of them in the Willamette Valley. In such a winecentric region, festivals and other events celebrating wines and wineries are regnant, some of them massively attended and others sometimes attended by an air of hubris. But others are welcoming, relaxed, incredibly fun community celebrations, such as the wonderfully cheery Carlton Crush Harvest Festival, which perfectly epitomizes the congenial, small-town esprit of one of the prettiest and most pleasant places in Oregon’s Willamette Valley wine country.
Carlton Crush Harvest Festival – Top USA Festivals Photo Gallery
Home to about 2,000 people, Carlton and its immediate surrounds boast about two dozen wineries, ranging from small, little-known producers with cultlike followings, such as longstanding and highly reputed Carlo & Julian, to deeply respected proverbial giants in the industry, such as Ken Wright Cellars. Carlton’s roots, so to speak, are decidedly agrarian, its history rich in farming and ranching. These days, of course, wine production basks in the limelight in these parts, and each September,
Carlton Crush celebrates the town’s ever-deepening winemaking heritage.
Especially popular at this daylong celebration are the grape-stomping events—good old-fashioned take-your-shoes-off, roll-your-pants-up, stomp-your-heart-out-in-a-big-bucket-of-wine-grapes merrymaking. The kids love it, and ages 6 through 12 get their own dedicated stomp, gooey, grapey, and purple. Later in Grape-stomping events take center stage at the competitions begin to the delight of contestants and onlookers alike, with elimination rounds finally culminating in the afternoon championships. Children also enjoy the kids’ watermelon-eating contests. Throughout the day, meanwhile, vendors at the Artists Market offer myriad wares, and adults can enjoy fine wines and beers produced by local and area wineries and breweries, all the while with live music providing excellent background accompaniment to the festivities. Throughout the event, terrific local restaurants offer many dining and snack choices. the day, team grape-stomping Carlton Crush Harvest Festival.
Carlton Crush (no admission fee) is held at Wennerberg Park at the end of Grant Street west of downtown; free parking is available onsite and throughout Carlton within walking distance. For lodging options in and near Carlton, consult Visit Carlton, www.visitcarlton.com.
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