Grape stompers break record in Jamestown

JAMESTOWN, NY - More than a thousand people and more than 60 tons of grapes … that's what it took to break a world record for grape-stomping in Jamestown.

The event celebrated the region's rich Concord grape-growing history, along with TV icon and Jamestown native Lucille Ball.

Two On Your Side's Erica Brecher learned how the big event ties both together.

Stompers dressed up in the iconic costume Lucy wore in the famous "Lucy's Italian Movie" episode, where Lucy stomps grapes.

"I grew up watching Lucy . My parents watched it, and that's just what we grew up on," said Renekah Bertel in her Lucy grab, "so I love all sorts of the different episodes. When they asked me to do this I was like absolutely!"

People came from all over, like Sonya Brennan from California. "We're here to stomp some grapes and be in the world record book," she said.

It's something local business owners are happy about, too. "We'll talk to restaurant owners in a week and they'll say what a great weekend -- all these people -- it was the best weekend of the year," said Steve Neilans of Jamestown's Lucy Desi Museum .

The previous world record was set in Spain, with 977 grape stompers.

To make it official though, organizers had to keep careful track of how many people entered the purple vat of 60 tons of grapes. And it was all filmed.

Stompers also had to stomp for a full three minutes.

The world record-breaking event celebrated not only Lucille Ball, it also helped raised some money for the national comedy center that's coming to Jamestown in 2016 -- the first of its kind.

"There is no national comedy anything," said Tom Benson, chairman of the National Comedy Center. "Like Cooperstown has baseball, Cleveland has the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but there is no central repository for anything comedy, for anything in the U.S. or in the world."

After it was all said and done, 1,232 people will have had a lot to clean up, but they'll carry with them a lot of smiles.


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