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Sep 20, 2018







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Courtesy photo.




 Hollis Grape Festival

When: Sunday, Sept. 9, 4 to 6:30 p.m.
Where: Hollis Town Common, Monument Square
Cost: Free
Visit: fulchinovineyard.com




Grape expectations
Hollis Grape Festival returns

09/06/18



 By Matt Ingersoll

mingersoll@hippopress.com
 
After a successful inaugural event last year that celebrated the peak harvesting season with grape-stomping, grape-flavored goodies and wine, the Hollis Grape Festival is returning for the second year on Sunday, Sept. 9, on the Hollis Town Common.
“I’d say we will be right at the first third or so of harvesting season for grapes by the time of the festival,” said Al Fulchino of Fulchino Vineyard in Hollis, who compared the atmosphere of the event to that of the town’s long-running strawberry festival in June. “We’re encouraging people to come down to the Common and just have an intimate fun time meeting with community members and enjoying some Italian desserts. … It’s all about being part of that old town Hollis feel — that if you don’t live in Hollis, then you wish you did.”
Fulchino organized the first Grape Festival as a 10th anniversary event for the Vineyard and as a fundraiser for the Hollis Police Benevolent Association. As with last year’s event, people of all ages will have a chance to get their photos taken while stomping grapes in a Fulchino Vineyard-brand grape barrel, and then obtain them through the Vineyard’s Facebook page.
“That was definitely the biggest hit last year,” he said. “People can give an at-will donation, and everybody can have a nice picture either squashing some grapes or just standing inside the barrel.”
Several Italian desserts and treats will be available for sale, such as fresh grapes, grape-flavored gelato, grape-flavored Italian ice and grape slush, plus Italian sodas and bottled water.
“We’re expanding our food offering this year, so we’re looking to see how many other cold items we can offer that would appeal to people, like tiramisu, cannolis and other citrus desserts that are lemon and orange based,” Fulchino said.
New to this year’s festival will be a silent auction for various sports memorabilia, plus special event branded wine glasses that will be available for $10.
“Last year we did T-shirts, so this year we are doing wine glasses that say ‘Hollis Grape Festival,’” Fulchino said. “It’s going to be a limited number that are produced, but 100 percent of the profits are going to the charities.”
In addition to the Hollis Police Benevolent Association, two other charities will benefit from this year’s festival, including the Hollis Fire Explorers, and a new agricultural scholarship launched by Fulchino himself.
“It’s going to be the town’s first scholarship dedicated to Hollis-Brookline High School students who would like to pursue a career in traditional farming, forestry, horticulture or animal husbandry,” he said, “so it’s a nice thing to be able to help those kids with things like tuition and purchasing books.” 





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