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Livelighter Harvey Harvest Festival makes triumphant return from COVID blues on 25th milestone anniversary

Headshot of Sean Van Der Wielen
Sean Van Der WielenHarvey-Waroona Reporter
Billinda Jacob and Nicholas Blunt were the winners of the 2023 WA Grape Stomping Championship after producing 8.9kg of material.
Camera IconBillinda Jacob and Nicholas Blunt were the winners of the 2023 WA Grape Stomping Championship after producing 8.9kg of material. Credit: Sean Van Der Wielen/Harvey-Waroona Reporter

The Livelighter Harvey Harvest Festival has made a triumphant return to the town’s event calendar on its milestone 25th anniversary.

After a two-year COVID-induced hiatus and an even longer disruption period due to the pandemic, hundreds packed Snell’s Park on Sunday for a day of community entertainment.

Local and visiting attendees were treated to live music, activities for the kids and the kids-at-heart, and the headline Livelighter WA Grape Stomping Championships.

John-Mark Sommerville, Lisa Matthews, Nicholas Blunt, Billinda Jacob, Jamie Muir and Matilda Cumbers competing in the WA Grape Stomping Championship at the 2023 Harvey Harvest Festival.
Camera IconJohn-Mark Sommerville, Lisa Matthews, Nicholas Blunt, Billinda Jacob, Jamie Muir and Matilda Cumbers competing in the WA Grape Stomping Championship at the 2023 Harvey Harvest Festival. Credit: Sean Van Der Wielen/Harvey-Waroona Reporter

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The competition has in the past been won by people from as far away as Taiwan and the United Kingdom, but it was two locals who took this year’s crown.

Billinda Jacob and Nicholas Blunt proved too good for their competitors, taking home the trophy after producing 8.9kg during their two-minute stomp-athon.

They took a different strategy from their opponents in the dying seconds of the game, appearing to physically hurl grapes out of the wine barrel using their feet to try and get more mass into their bucket.

Danny Jones, Tanya Davis, Mason James, 10, and Austin James, 8.
Camera IconDanny Jones, Tanya Davis, Mason James, 10, and Austin James, 8. Credit: Sean Van Der Wielen/Harvey-Waroona Reporter

Lisa Matthews and John-Mark Sommerville came second with 7.1kg, while Matilda Cumbers and Jamie Muir were third with 6.9kg.

Harvey Mainstreet chair Joe Capogreco said stallholders had told the committee this year’s event was “the best one yet”.

“Today made a mark, so we’ve set a benchmark and we are going to improve on that next year,” he said.

He thanked the volunteers who helped make the event come together, including 40 students from local schools.

Harvey Harvest Festival coordinator Lisa Bevans thanks the community for their support.
Camera IconHarvey Harvest Festival coordinator Lisa Bevans thanks the community for their support. Credit: Sean Van Der Wielen/Harvey-Waroona Reporter

Festival coordinator Lisa Bevans expressed her gratitude at the community for “coming together” for the festival.

“That is what this is all about for us - we put this event together for you,” she said.

“It has been a great day and it has been great seeing everyone here.”

Next year’s event is expected to take place on March 17.

Marcel Leyran, Christine Emelo, Johannah Loyola, Gigi Mate, 6, Harvey Mate, Glenda Panagsagan, Johanna Tomas and Vicky David.
Camera IconMarcel Leyran, Christine Emelo, Johannah Loyola, Gigi Mate, 6, Harvey Mate, Glenda Panagsagan, Johanna Tomas and Vicky David. Credit: Sean Van Der Wielen/Harvey-Waroona Reporter

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