Festa squeezed by lack of volunteers

The grape stomp was dropped, but next year's event is expected to return to two full days.

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WALLA WALLA — The two-day Italian festival known for its grape stomping competition, dancing and dining took place all in one day Saturday, without many of the Festa favorites.

“We just didn’t get it all together this year,” Italian Heritage Association President John Hopkins said.

This time, the event was reduced to the traditional Saturday evening dinner, which also included youths performing Italian dances and the setup of an Italian pastry booth.

It wasn’t the economy that trampled on the grape stomp but a lack of volunteers, Hopkins said.

He added that news of a smaller Festa has resulted in more people coming forward to volunteer for next year’s event, which he plans on being a full two days and including the grape-stomp competition.

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