On Sunday 29 January, Miss Universe 2017, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters will return to her home town, Sedgefield, for the first time since she was crowned, to a rapturous welcome from the Garden Route. In keeping with the Miss Universe tradition, a local committee, which includes her mother Anne-Mari Steenkamp, Knysna Municipality representatives and Sedgefield Tourism Manager Belinda Hobson, have been working hard behind the scenes to organise a homecoming parade through the streets of Sedgefield.
“Demi’s homecoming parade is an opportunity for all those in Sedgefield and the Garden Route area to join in the celebrations and show her how proud we all are of her,” says Belinda Hobson, who explained that, as Miss Universe, Demi hopes to inspire local youth with the message that anyone can accomplish their dreams through hard work.
Sunday’s parade will start at 15h00 and follow a route along Sedgefield’s Main Road progressing to Vink Street then Flamingo Avenue, past the Sedgmeer Park Retirement Home where the residents will be watching the parade, then left at the circle into Kingsfisher Drive and back along Main Road to end at Sedgefield Primary School sport field.
“Spectators are asked to line the Main Road before the start and then to make their way to the sport field if they want to meet Demi,” says Belinda. “They will be able to park anywhere along the road but need to be aware that the road will be closed to traffic at 14h30 and only reopened once the parade is over.
“We encourage spectators to bring banners and signs welcoming our beloved Demi home.”
The parade will be led by the Head Girl and Boy of Sedgefield Primary, where Demi was once head girl, followed by Miss Universe, the Knysna Mayor, dignitaries from the Miss Universe Organisation, and Demi’s parents in sponsored Audi A5 and Audi A3 Cabriolets. Her grandparents will join the parade in local Sedgefield’s Tukalong Tuk Tuks. There will be numerous floats, bands and dancers as well the Knysna Fire Department and Working with Fire, local NGOs, Sedgefield Animal Matters, bikers, and tourism activities. Knysna Tourism will also participate in the parade as will Smutsville Primary, Demi’s former schools Sedgefield Primary and Outeniqua High and Ace Models, the local agency where she started her modelling career.
After the parade, the Executive Mayor of Knysna, Eleanore Bouw-Spies will welcome Demi home and Demi will make a short speech before handing out signed pictures of herself and posing for photographs with spectators until 18h00. Spectators will be able to buy food and refreshments from various stalls on the field, and entertainment will be provided by singer Shaza Greeff, DJs, the Smutsville Brass band, the Smutsville Church Choir and Serifina dancers.
Safety and Security Logistics Officer for the parade, Michael Simon, has asked the public to please be aware that this is an International event and that security is of utmost importance. “Spectators are requested to adhere to all requests by all security personnel to ensure an incident free event,” he said.
For more information about the parade call the Sedgefield Tourism Office on 044 343 2007.