An offer you can't refuse

Olympic Cellars Winery hosts the Sons of Italy Fall Fest and Grape Stomp from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 12.

The family-friendly event includes music, local arts and crafts, a bocce ball court and playing instruction, and Italian puppetry. Great food will be available throughout the day.

The annual grape-stomping event at the winery, 255410 Highway 101 near its intersection with Old Olympic Highway, was in danger of cancelation, said Frank Romeo.

Romeo, a member of the Olympic Peninsula Sons of Italy, said, "We offered to help," and called the Fall Fest, "a great way to share our Italian heritage with the community."

The grape-stomping contest begins at 2 p.m. with sign-ups starting at 1:30 p.m. Winning teams from each heat compete in a "stomp-off" about 3:30 p.m. Participants must be 16 or older.

"We will announce the arrival of the stomping grapes with our huge new harvest bell," said winery owner Kathy Charlton.

"Grape Stomp participants are invited and encouraged, in Olympic Cellars tradition, to create and model their own interpretation of classic harvest couture. If enough people dress-up, we'll have a Classic Harvest Costume Contest."

Music will be provided by Charlie Ferris, and, according to Romeo, "He'll put a little Italian spin on it." The Happy Gang, a Sequim combo, also will perform, with music from the 1940s, '50s and '60s.

Lee Harwell of Sequim will present such Italian classics as "Come Back to Sorrento" and "Arrivederci Roma" accompanied by Win Perman on the mandolin.

Italian puppet shows will be held at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Terri Church of Wishing Star Puppetry presents Giuseppe, the opera-singing pirate in an original show called "The Treasure of Pirate's Cove."

About 20 vendors will sell pottery, jewelry and art. A wide variety of food will be available, including Italian specialties from Cedar Creek Cuisine; bread, pastries and desserts from Bell Street Bakery; and lighter fare, along with coffee and Maria's Italian Ices. Olympic Cellars' tasting room will be open throughout the event.

Quil Bay Seafood will sell seafood at the event and will hold an oyster-shucking contest following the puppet show.

A bocce ball area will be open for any who want to try it, and members of the Sons

of Italy will be on hand to explain the game and share

their techniques with neophytes.

The Olympic Peninsula Lodge No. 2733 of the Order of the Sons of Italy in America includes members from Port Townsend to Clallam County's West End.

"This is not a fundraiser," Romeo said.

"In fact, if we don't lose our shirts, we'll be doing good."

More information is available at

Reach Sandra Frykholm at sfrykholm@sequim

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