The Niagara Grape and Wine Festival began in 1952 as a celebration of the grape harvest and winemaking. It was intended to engage the public and bring greater awareness to the Niagara grape and wine industry. What began as a modest celebration evolved into a festival spanning ten days, including a grand parade, children's parade, grape stomp, vineyard and winery tours, dancing, arts and crafts show and more, all overseen by the presiding Grape King.
The Festival continues to thrive and has become a major attraction for locals and tourists. Montebello Park in St. Catharines has a long history of hosting many of the Festival's events, and the city's downtown core is the site of the grand parade. For many, the Festival has become an important annual tradition that fosters a sense of community pride.