Changes to Crush Festival enhance attendee experience

11 months 2 weeks 11 hours ago Sunday, October 08 2017 Oct 8, 2017 Sunday, October 08, 2017 6:37:00 PM CDT October 08, 2017 in News
By: Savannah Rudicel, KOMU 8 Reporter

ROCHEPORT - Sunday was the first time visitors could spend all weekend at the Les Bourgeois Crush Festival. Organizers extended the event to two days this year because previous years have been bogged down with dense crowds and long lines. Staff said spreading out the festival created a more relaxed atmosphere.

The annual Crush Festival is a free, family-friendly event  to celebrate the end of harvest season. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the event. The Crush Festival is usually held at the end of September or beginning of October, according to Drew Lemberger, vice president for retail operations at Les Bourgeois.

“It’s just a good time to kind of take a break,” Lemberger said. “We’re towards the end of harvest so it’s a good time for our families to celebrate and celebrate with our customers.”

Lemberger noted the vineyards were still busy with visitors on both days, but the crowds were much more manageable.

Families could listen to live music, paint pumpkins, play on a bounce house and stomp grapes. Grape stomping was a new experience for 10-year-old Cameron Poelker.

“It felt really weird because they were kind of already mashed up and our feet were already at the bottom,” Cameron said.

While she enjoyed squishing grapes as well, 7-year-old Ava Poelker said the best part of the day was “being together.”

Lemberger said it’s nice to be able to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

“Kind of reminds you why you do it, why you do work so hard every year just to kind of make this happen and seeing everybody having a good time and just different generations of family gathering together, from grandmas down to youngsters, it’s really rewarding,” Lemberger said.

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