LITTLE ITALY — Sometimes you have to get your feet dirty.
And at Little Italy's Festa Italiana, that means getting ankle-deep in grape mush.
"It adds to the festive nature of the festival. It's been a tradition of the festival for a long time," said Ed Fadio, a worker at the Festa Italiana. "It creates an aura of fun."
The competition that gets the crowd going? The Great Grape Stomp, of course.
"Kids get really excited because it's new and different. They're eager to get in there and stomp around," Fadio said. "The people were lining up and it's a huge crowd that gathers to watch it."
The volunteers have four minutes to stomp out as much juice as they can through the spigot into a container. The person who stomps out the most juice after four minutes wins a ticket to a booth around the fest, said Fadio who has worked at the festival the last two years.
"The barrels are designed to function like a wine-making barrel. It's somewhat authentic grape stomping," Fadio said.
The authentic grape stomping uses almost 400 pounds of grapes, Fadio said.