Contributed by Walt Pickut
A great weekend of comedy, foot stomping fun shooting for Jamestown’s own world record and championship running brought enjoyment and thousands of visitors to Jamestown again for the annual Lucy Town Weekend.
A New Record
Saturday, October 11 saw a new world record stomped into the Guinness Book of World Records by 1,232 residents and friends of Jamestown, New York, stomping ankle-deep grapes for a full 3 minutes, overshadowing the previous record set in 2010 by 977 people in a small wine country town in the Basque region of northern Spain.
The old record was set treading seedless grapes – a popular Spanish regional variety where the record was set – so Lucy Town organizers successfully petitioned the Guinness Book record keepers for the same privilege. Jamestown’s record was set with more than 60 tons of Chautauqua County’s own locally grown Concord grapes from Fredonia’s Woodbury Vineyards.
“It was just Grape-licious!” said a group of friends who traveled from their home of Naples, New York, especially to take part in the event. “We usually call ourselves the Grape Festival Capital of the World,” one of them explained, “but this was wonderful. Lucy deserves that grape stomping record.” Other out-of-town Lucy fans traveled from as far away as Alaska to be part of the world record breaking festivities.
The huge vat, designed to accommodate a cast of 1,500 grape stompers at once, was especially constructed for the record attempt by Artone Manufacturing of Jamestown. The event celebrates the I Love Lucy episode titled “Lucy’s Italian Movie,” season 5, episode 23, which first aired April 16, 1956 on CBS.
A Winning Partnership
Three of the community’s leading organizations teamed up to make all of the weekend events a success.
“Chautauqua Striders was excited to partner again this year with the Lucy-Desi Center and the Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena to bring both great comedy and great running to Jamestown,” said Ellen Ditonto, Striders Board President. “World-class runners came to town for the half-marathon race that wound through the streets of Jamestown over the weekend. In addition, Striders sponsored a 5K race, an annual favorite for both local runners and many out-of-towners who came to Chautauqua County to enjoy our beautiful fall foliage.”
“The LucyTown weekend festivities were important for all three organizations,” Ditonto said. “This partnership allowed all three of us to highlight our organizations’ strengths and to provide important exposure for our region. Chautauqua Striders provide advocacy for our youth through mentoring, tutoring and health and wellness programs. We are known for our work with student athletes and our track development program. There is nowhere better to show off our efforts than right here in Jamestown,” she added.