Grapefest 2000

Another busy week with no time to post news updates… most of the week was spent working but we took time out to attend Grapefest, an annual event in Grapevine, TX. Each year they block off main street and have a big pile of interesting stuff going on. They had two stages with live music as well as assorted small musical groups that set up where ever they could find room to play. There were a lot of small booths full of arts & crafts. And some sort of contest for collectors of old cars. The main events, of course, are related to grapes and wine-tasting. We skipped the main wine-tasting event as it is rather expensive (though we did try out a few samples from North Star Vineyards which is located right on Main Street). There was a grape-stomping contest in which the contests stomped grapes barefoot and were judged on volume of grape juice output. And, each year we go to Grapefest, I stop by a little ice cream shop on Main Street called “A Dip in Time” and order a chocolate milkshake. I always have to explain to them how to make it as their idea of a chocolate milkshake is vanilla ice cream, milk, and chocolate flavored syrup. After I explain that the correct way to make a chocolate milkshake is with chocolate ice cream and milk, they are always happy to make it for me.

Now, I know I said in my last entry that I wasn’t going to go to review any more live music events for a while so I’ll just mention in passing that we attended a performance of the Helios Ensemble this week and enjoyed a couple of hours of interesting choral music of the German Romatics including Bruckner, Mendelssohn, Rheinberger, Brahms, and Schubert. The artistic director of the group, Kevin Sutton, works at our local Tower Records store in the classic department and we frequently chat about some of the unusual stuff we buy down there (like last week’s Morton Subotnick CD).

Grapefest and the Art of Milk Shakes

It’s staying pretty busy here as we get ready for the move so my news entries will probably show up less often than usual for a another week or so.

Susan and I took a little time off this past Sunday to attend Grapefest! 1999 in Grapevine. They had blocked off main street at both ends and filled it with the sort of stuff you usually see at the State Fair. There were corn dog vendors, arts and crafts booths, and an assortment of live music. The music included a stage for rock bands at one end and a stage for country bands at the other. In the middle they had an assortment of other musical styles including a group of musicians from the Andes playing flutes (and other instruments I couldn’t even guess the names of). True to the name of the event, there was barefoot grape stomping for those who dared (we just watched) and for an extra few bucks you could enter the wine tasting area (we were broke this weekend so we just watched that too!).

Off one of the side streets we ran into what appeared to be a low-rider car contest. The winning vehicle had a red velvet interior and etched glass side windows with religious icons on them. Farther on we found a blacksmiths shop with an actual blacksmith in it. He made Susan a tiny horseshoe while he told us about his trip to South Padre Island long before there was anyone living there. Making our way back to Main Street, we got out of the heat briefly in the local ice cream shop where I explained to the counter girl the correct method of making a chocolate milk shake (chocolate ice cream + milk, not vanilla ice cream + chocolate syrup + milk!). This was the first time we had been to Grapefest and it was not a bad little event at all.