The much-anticipated inaugural Cessnock Stomp Festival will be held in Vincent Street on Sunday, April 17.
The festival will offer a feast of Hunter food and wine, market stalls, local businesses, a meet-the-winemakers breakfast, a Mad Hatter’s High Tea party and of course, a grape stomping competition.
Cessnock Chamber of Commerce President Geoff Walker said there had been a great response to the new festival and excitement was building.
“It’s been a few years since Cessnock had a civic festival of this scale,” Mr Walker said.
“The chamber has tried to plan a festival that has something for everybody, with a mix of free and paid activities, and it has really resonated with our community.
“We also want to make sure the festival celebrates not only the heritage of our region as a premier food and wine destination, but also showcases the diversity of businesses and products which is why it’s wonderful we will have such a vibrant market atmosphere on the day.”
The festival program will embrace the diverse skills of the Cessnock community – from wineries, restaurants and artisans to artists, historians and musicians.
The centerpiece will be the McGuigan Wine Great Cessnock Stomp, where participants will celebrate the end of vintage in the age-old traditional grape stomp.
With shoes off and pants rolled up, competitors will step inside the barrel and work their feet into a stomping frenzy and get the grape juice flowing to fill their jug as full as they can in two minutes.
Five Great Cessnock Stomp heats will be held hourly from 10.30am.
Heat winners will go feet-to-feet in the final stomp battle at 3pm.
The winner will be crowned the 2016 Great Cessnock Stomp Champion and be awarded great prizes.
Festival goers will have the opportunity to chat to some of the Hunter’s best winemakers while sharing breakfast at the Meet the Wine Makers Breakfast.
Wine makers include StoneHurst Wines, Catherine Vale, Ascella Organic Wines, Ballabourneen Wine, Capercaillie Wines, Ernest Hill Wines, McGuigan Wines, McLeish Estate, Tempus Two Wines, Tamburlaine Organic Wines and Draytons Family Wines.
Tickets to the Meet the Wine Makers Breakfast are just $15 and can be bought online here.
Or, join the crowds at the Tempus Two Bubble Lane to celebrate and explore all things bubbly.
For those who prefer hops to grapes, join the Hunter Valley’s homegrown microbreweries for ale, a lager, or a stout at Beer Haven.
At the Stomp festival you will find whatever your taste buds desire, from world-class fine dining through to relaxed, casual fare.
Whatever your choice, you are guaranteed an unforgettable gastronomical journey.
Taste fine and award-winning food from across the Hunter Valley with renowned restaurants such as Twine, Two Fat Blokes Kitchen, The Cellar restaurant, Little Pantry Co, Goldfish Hunter Valley and The Mine Shaft Restaurant.
Tumble down the rabbit hole and join Alice and the Hare for a Mad Hatter’s High Tea.
Stomp Festival organisers have created two delicious high tea menus inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, The Scrumptious Hatter Tea and The Fabulous Cheshire Tea.
With two sessions throughout the afternoon – 1.30pm-2.15pm and 2.45pm-3.30pm – all you need to do is choose your favorite menu and your time and sit back and relax and watch the festival unfold around you.
Tickets to the Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea can be bought online here.
Cessnock boasts a wide variety of fashion options for both men and women, and all ages are catered for.
Join six local fashion houses for the Stomp Fashion parade on Vincent Street.
The parade will be a fabulous part of the festival as it is being run to support and promote the retail, fashion and design businesses in Cessnock.
Children will have also have a stomping great time at the Festival Kids Zone.
Megamania will be there with all their fabulous castles and rides, the Hunter Valley Zoo will bring some of their favourite animals along and the PCYC will put on some displays of the activities available at the club.
For tickets and more information, visit cessnockstompfestival.com.au.
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