Brock’s messiest tradition was back and bigger than ever

Photo Credit: Zoe Archambault

Photo Credit: Zoe Archambault

Brock’s annual Grape Stomp was a rousing success yet again, according to event organizers.

On Friday September 20 in Jubilee Court, Brock hosted its annual Grape Stomp to kick off this years homecoming celebrations.

According to the event’s student staff lead, Kailene Jackson, she couldn’t have hoped for the event to have gone any better.

“Every year, this event is one of the best and most fun things happening on campus and that was the case more than ever this year,” said Jackson.

The event began with a free lunch of hot dogs and corn on the cob. Hundreds of students, faculty, staff and alumni flooded in for the food — so many in fact that dozens of people ended up sitting on the ground as all the available seating had been taken.

Directly in front of the seating area was classic rock cover band Vinyl Flux, that played while lunch was being served and intermittently throughout the afternoon.

The Stomp was officially kicked off by opening remarks from Brock President Dr. Gervan Fearon.

“When you think of your university experience, when you think of some of the traditions, this is defining the Brock experience, it’s a Brock tradition.” said Fearon. “It’s so fantastic to see everybody out to participate and celebrate what makes Niagara a rather special place in Canada.”

Shortly thereafter participants made their way to the stomping grounds, a large area in the courtyard covered in a tarp and lined with buckets filled to the brim with concord grapes, ready for the stomping.

The stomping then kicked off with a loud cheer from the crowd who quickly rushed the tarp and dumped the buckets of grapes. From there, it was pure, unadulterated chaos.

Based on the turnout at the event and all the students who were constantly filtering in from the nearby residence buildings, it was clear that first year students came out in droves.

“I thought it was really cool, really fun. It’s something that doesn’t have to do with ‘school’ at all, but it’s a way to get involved, meet new people and have a lot of fun,” said Natalie Adams, a first year Medical Sciences student at Brock who took part in the stomping.

BUSU president Bilal Khan was also in attendance, albeit as an observer.

“It is great to see so many students participating and getting involved in the school spirit,” said Khan. “I want to thank all the staff and volunteers who helped make this event a success on this beautiful Friday afternoon.”

Grape Stomp is a unique tradition that can only be found at Brock. It is also one that is nationally renowned, as the Grape Stomp was ranked as the second best Canadian university tradition by University Affairs Magazine.

One can attribute the Stomp’s uniqueness to the grape growing and winemaking industry that surrounds Brock, something that Jackson hoped the event would highlight.

“Grape stomping and winemaking are important parts of Niagara’s history and culture. Having the Grape Stomp event allows students to partake in a Niagara tradition and learn more about the Niagara region,” said Jackson.

While this years Grape Stomp has come and gone, students, staff, faculty and community members alike who are interested in the event should look forward to next year, as Brock’s messiest tradition is likely to be back in full force once again.

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