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Orange here, orange there, we’re seeing orange everywhere – and do you know what that means? It means it’s time to get stuck in to some silly fun with family and friends at this Easter Weekend’s much anticipated Sedgefield Slow Festival which has been marked over the past few weeks with residents dressing up themselves, their pets, houses and businesses in celebration of “Orange Thursdays.”

Ever evolving, this quirky festival packs in the fun every year with a growing calendar of wacky events – barefooted bowling, a fashion show featuring recycled attire and a Street Parade with a difference – that express the light-hearted spirit of Sedgefield locals who like to savour life the “slow” way while taking good care of the beautiful environment they live in.

Johan van Schalkwyk, Knysna Tourism Marketing Manager, says he’s looking forward to taking it all in. “Needless to say the pressure is on to “represent” with the most outlandishly orange outfit I can come up with, but I’d say I’ve got it easier with my feet on solid ground compared to the brave individuals taking part in the ‘Anything that Floats’ competition!”

The ‘Adcock Ingram Anything That Floats’ competition on Saturday 19 April is one of the most popular events during the Festival, providing comic relief to all the bystanders who get a good chuckle watching their not-so-victorious neighbours emerge smiling but slightly soggy from the water.

It’s all in good fun says Slow Festival organiser, Amanda Dixon. “Sedge is a small town and we locals have watched one another prepare floats for the event over the past few months. It’s great to see people put their ‘orange’ thinking caps on and come out with some truly original creations. Whether or not they turn out to be seaworthy is a different story!”

Amanda continues, “But watercraft will not be the only floats in town this weekend – the annual Easter Sunday Parade will be ‘new and improved’ featuring more floats from local businesses who are upping the ante with land-based creations meant solely for cruising down Main Street.”

The Sedgefield Slow Festival is organised by Amanda and a team of local volunteers who give of their time to make it all happen. This weekend the festival will offer 29 events over 3 days like the Spar Goukamma Traverse presented by Vivobarefoot, the Slow Festival Drive-in Movies, Dog Walk, Talk & Show brought to you by Simply Pets, a Family Fun Run, the PiliPili Beerpong Competition, a new Braai Master Challenge, as well as the Bunny Beach Fling, Sand Sculpting Challenge, and the Sotheby’s Slow Biking Competition.

Amanda adds, “There are so many new events this year it is impossible to list them all, but more information is available on our website and Facebook page.”
.
To see the full Sedgefield Slow Festival programme, visit www.slowfestival.co.za. For more information, phone Knysna Tourism at 044 382 5510, or visit www.knysnatourism.co.za.

Follow us on:          Twitter:  @KnysnaTourism       l     Facebook: www.Facebook.com/VisitKnysna

ENDS

Knysna Tourism is the City of Knysna’s official regional tourism organisation, responsible for destination marketing, visitor and industry services for Knysna, Sedgefield and surrounds. For information, contact our Visitor Information Centre on 044 382 5510.

Maintaining his composure despite 12 pairs of eyes staring at him in polite silence, Sedgefield Mosaic Tour Leader Philip stands in front of an artwork installed on a public street corner, delivering carefully prepared talking points as part of the very first Mosaic Tour in all of South Africa.

Gingerly, he delivers each sentence of his presentation, but sometimes skips over the words in an upwelling of nervous pride. Stopping himself, he regards the A4 sheet of notes gripped in his hands – and then suddenly relaxes. He looks back determinedly at the group, smiles and says, “Don’t hurry me,” pausing for effect, “I’m a local.” In an instant, all formality has melted into a fit of laughter. The tone – and pace – for our 90-minute meander through Sedgefield has been established and, in keeping with Sedge values, it’s going to be S-L-O-W.

Newly appointed, our guide Philip is actually a trained artisan – a craftsman who knows the artworks we are about to experience on an intimate level. Each curve of the tiles, each crack of the grout – these are the details that his fingers have pushed into being over the six years since the project began. Philip speaks of the Mosaic Route, the artworks, and of his role in their creation with passion. He says this work is a gift to future generations, a legacy that must be protected. “Our children, and their children, and their children’s children – this,” he points, “This is for them.”

Made from repurposed waste – damaged tiles, ceramic, crockery – and pebbles gathered from local beaches, the artworks make a dazzling display of Sedgefield’s values: that by caring for one another through jobs creation and for the environment, we can simultaneously celebrate today while creating a better tomorrow. Because the 40 permanent mosaic artworks that adorn Sedgefield (so far) are positioned next to the library, the post office and the community hall, within the residential areas and overlooking the beach, members of the mosaic tour enjoy a “local’s view” of Sedgefield – of undeveloped vlei, sparking water and shimmering mountains in all their green glory – far from the rush of the N2.

Nearly all of the artworks to date have been produced by private commission. In a sense, the Mosaic Project is transforming Sedgefield into an outdoors museum, punctuated with evocatively named artworks. “The Family” is complete with mom, dad, child and wiggly-tailed dog, while the “Tree of Life” bursts with dragonflies and butterflies, flowers and lady bugs, and words like ‘hope’ and ‘pride.’ Shimmering towers of tortoises named “Citta” and “Slow” remind us of Sedgefield’s status as a Citta Slow Town and the aptly named, “Ball of Hope,” – filled with the shape of hand-holding locals formed by smashed dinner plates in its design – depicts the community’s undeniable camaraderie.

Masithandane, which means “Let us love one another,” is the non-profit organisation behind the Mosaic Project. Originally created to help previously disadvantaged communities, the organisation is headed by Jacky Weaver and has run a number of projects aimed at income generation. Jacky says she is grateful for the help and support the Foundation has received. “Without the support of volunteers, private donors, the Knysna Municipality and Knysna Tourism, we would not be where we are today.”

Mosaic Tours last 90-minutes and are priced at R90 per person. Hands-on mosaic classes are also offered on Wednesdays, and are priced from R90 per adult, and from R65 per child. For more information, phone Sedgefield Tourism at 044 343 2658, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.visitknysna.co.za.

ENDS

Knysna Tourism is the City of Knysna’s official regional tourism organisation, responsible for destination marketing, visitor and industry services for Knysna, Sedgefield and surrounds. For information, contact our Visitor Information Centre on 044 382 5510.

LOCAL ART, CULTURE & PERFORMANCES ADD CREATIVE FLAIR TO PICK N PAY KNYSNA OYSTER FESTIVAL

Exhibitions by local artists, markets bursting with handcrafted goods, musical talent and stand up comedy – these are just some of the creative highlights in store from 4 to 13 July at the 31st annual Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival, recently featured on Business Day TV’s Business of the Arts programme.

Festival manager Nicci Rousseau-Schmidt says the festival offers creative talents a natural platform. “With so many visitors coming to Knysna from around the country, the festival presents artisans with an opportunity to showcase their work, engage with new customers and sell their products.”

Those who love to shop for unique goods will have many opportunities during the festival, with the free Night Market happening adjacent to the ticketed Knysna Wine Festival on 7 and 8 July, and a festival-long Knysna Market on Union Street which will feature local art, crafts and organic products. The Local Design & Food Market will also take place, this year on 10 July at Knysna Square. This market is a platform for talented designers and foodies from along the Garden Route in a beautifully styled, buzzing environment, with a focus on locally produced home decor, fashion, accessories, clothing and art, as well as freshly and creatively prepared food. Plus, the Knysna Living Local Pop-up Shop – where you can shop for handmade products like jewellery, handbags, scarves & skirts, and ceramics by craft enterprises throughout the Eden District – will once again be open at the main pavilion throughout the Festival.

Perhaps one of the most creative shows during the festival is the Wood Art Exhibition at the Woodmill Lane Shopping Centre, where you can see a show of unique handcrafted work and sculptures – like a life-sized rhino and cheetah – fashioned from both reclaimed and driftwood by artist Danny de Kock.

The festival is a natural fit for performance art too, and between the festival pavilion stages and the more than 20 Tabasco® Oyster Hotspots around town, 2014 will be the first year that there will be a full ten days of live musical entertainment by top South African talents like MacStanley, McCreed Band, Heather Waters, Wilderness-resident Wendy Oldfield, and many more.

Stand-up comedy is another type of performance art to take to the stage at the festival, and between the Oyster Comedy Festival on 5 July, and the ‘The Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival Shuckle’ and Tabasco® Knysna Classic on 10 July, there will be no less than six comics putting a happy spin on things.

For more information about the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival, including ticket prices and a complete programme of events, visit www.pnpoysterfestival.co.za, or phone Knysna Tourism on 044 382 5510.

Follow us on: Twitter:  @OysterFestival     l     Instagram: @KnysnaOysterFestival     l     Facebook     l     Google+

ENDS

The 2014 Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival offers a full programme of more than 100 events from
4 to 13 July. Not to be missed highlights include the Knysna Wine Festival on 7 & 8 July – where up to 50 of South Africa’s best wines will be on offer, the Pick n Pay Flavours of Knysna gourmet evening on 9 July – where Knysna Restaurants will compete for cash prizes with their best oyster recipes, and the Oyster Shuckle Comedy Evening on 10 July where the Oyster Shucking & Eating Competitions will take place. Plus, the Pick n Pay Women’s Walk will take place on Sunday 13 July, a 5km fun walk to raise funds for the PinkDrive, which provides free breast cancer screening and health education.

Sedgefield’s much anticipated annual Slow Festival took place over Easter Weekend with an expanded programme of fun events aimed at entertaining the entire family.

Johan van Schalkwyk, Knysna Tourism Marketing Manager, says it was great to see all the locals and out-of-town visitors in Sedgefield for the weekend, which was characterised by perfect weather and a bigger number of attendees than ever before.

“People were out in their numbers and the streets were filled with orange. We say the festival is all about having fun the old fashioned way, and it’s easy to see why from the growing programme of events which are meant to entertain mom, dad, the children – and even the family dog!”

“The Slow Festival – now in its fifth year – is a relatively young festival, but one that has really started to come into its own. In the lead up to Easter Weekend the Tourism office fielded a great number of enquiries from travellers planning to attend with their families for the long weekend.”

van Schalkwyk says Knysna Tourism is proud to support the festival and is looking forward to expanding the partnership in future years. “It’s exciting to see the potential that the Festival’s many volunteers have been working towards, start to come to life. On behalf of Knysna Tourism I look forward to partnering with the festival again in 2015 – the logical next step will be to attract a sponsor, and we look forward to helping facilitate  that process.”

Ward Councillor Irene Grootboom says she was proud to see that the entire community was involved. “We stand together here. Sedgefield lies close to my heart, and being committed to positive change here comes naturally. From the ‘Anything that Floats’ competition to the new and improved Main Street Parade – which was supported by many local businesses who put their creativity to work in building unique floats for the occasion. It was a fun weekend filled with family and fellowship.”

Windpomp Diner owner, Tania Human, says she launched her very first dinner and dancing event to much acclaim. “It was one of those evenings that will go down in the ‘good memories’ books – we sang, we danced, we ate and we laughed. It helps that the event was sold out – it was a full house!”

For more information on future events and activities, phone Knysna Tourism at 044 382 5510, or visit www.knysnatourism.co.za.

Follow us on:        Twitter:  @KnysnaTourism       l     Facebook: www.Facebook.com/VisitKnysna

ENDS

Knysna Tourism is the City of Knysna’s official regional tourism organisation, responsible for destination marketing, visitor and industry services for Knysna, Sedgefield and surrounds. For information, contact our Visitor Information Centre on 044 382 5510.

New Experience in the Cards for Big5 Sport Challenge Participants

Now in its fifth year, entries to the Big 5 Sport Challenge, taking place 5 to 13 July 2014, officially opened 17 February. Fast becoming one of South Africa’s top multi-sport events, the organizers at Magnetic South say this year they are preparing for the biggest and best year yet.

Christine Collins, Magnetic South Director explains, “Following the 2013 challenge, we conducted a post-event survey and received some great feedback on how the competitors would like to see the Big Five Sport Challenge evolve. As a result we have a number of improvements in the cards for 2014 and we’re all really excited to see this event start to form its own identity, and deliver what competitors really want in a multi-sport event. For example, this year competitors will receive a high quality Big5 Sports Challenge branded buff, a finisher’s shirt, and a finisher’s a medal – which speaks volumes about the enormous difficulty of the challenge and the prestige that comes with crossing that final finish line.”

Ms. Collins continues, “In the evening of each race day Big 5 participants will also be invited to attend the Big 5 Yellow Jersey Ceremony, where for the first time Yellow Jerseys will be handed over to the leading athletes. After the last of the 5 events, on Saturday July 13, the Big 5 and Big 5 LITE events will culminate in another new addition, a not-to-be-missed award Ceremony where podium finishers, and all other finishers, will be honored and receive their hard earned Race Medals. With prize money totalling R35 000, the top three men and women will have even more to smile about.”

“And even bigger news for 2014 is of course the launch of the inaugural Big 5 LITE, which to opens up the playing field to more multi-sport athletes who want to compete at a (slightly) less grueling level. Competitors to the Big 5 LITE will also have access to the daily Big 5 Scoring System rankings which has been a mainstay of the competition. All of these additions meant an increase in the cost of registration, but we hope to continue to grow the event while delivering it at world-class standards.”

The cost to register for the Big 5 Sport Challenge is R2200 and the cost for the Big 5 LITE is R2000, including registration for 5 events. As in previous years, Big 5 participants have a separate registration process, eliminating the need to register for individual events. Entries for the Big 5 Sport Challenge are handled by Entrytickets. 

To register for the Big5 Sport Challenge, visit: http://www.entrytickets.co.za/eventview/big5challenge
To register for the Big5 Sport LITE, visit: http://www.entrytickets.co.za/eventview/big5lite

For more information, visit www.oysterfestival.co.za, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 044 382 2932.

ENDS

The 2014 Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival offers a full programme of more than 100 events from 4 to 13 July. Not to be missed highlights include the Knysna Wine Festival on 7 & 8 July – where up to 50 of South Africa’s best wines will be on offer, the Pick n Pay Flavours of Knysna gourmet evening on 9 July – where Knysna Restaurants will compete for cash prizes with their best oyster recipes, and the Comedy Shuckle on 10 July where the Oyster Shucking & Eating Competitions will take place. Plus, the Pick n Pay Women’s Walk will take place on Sunday 13 July, a 5km fun walk to raise funds for the PinkDrive, an organisation that provides free breast cancer screening and health education.

Twitter  @OysterFestival l  Instagram @KnysnaOysterFestival l  www.facebook.com/KnysnaOysterFestival l +KnysnaOysterFestival

Formal Appointment Process for Knysna Tourism CEO Announced – Position to Be Advertised Within Days

In a special session held on Tuesday 08 April 2014, the Knysna Tourism Board appointed Nan Raturat as interim Acting Chair, and announced that it will now initiate the formal process of appointing a new CEO.

The announcement means the interim period, lasting since the departure of the previous Knysna Tourism CEO in mid-2013, will soon come to a close. Over this time consultant Greg Vogt was appointed by the Board to temporarily oversee operations. Vogt also assisted with the brand revitalization by compiling a core strategy document and contributed towards the creative development process in partnership with Knysna Tourism Marketing Manager, Johan van Schalkwyk, and TBWA, the appointed brand agency.

The new payoff line for the Knysna Tourism brand, “Naturally Knysna,” which was approved by both the Board and Council and officially launched in December 2013, is intended to communicate the stunning beauty of the region that has become so iconic for visitors over the years.

Ms. Raturat says the appointment of Mr. Vogt resulted in positive growth. “After a comprehensive process of market research, public participation, road shows, and a competitive pitching process by specialist brand agencies, we have put into motion a brand strategy for Knysna that can compete with other destinations on a global scale.”

Deputy Mayor of Knysna, Esme Edge, is also pleased with the progress that has been achieved over the past year. “We all have a place in our hearts for this beautiful place we call home – and especially for the superb lifestyle that Knysna offers us, surrounded by the beauty of nature – but now more than ever Knysna must compete for its position on the world’s map of ‘must see’ destinations. The fact that Knysna was just recognised by the 2014 Trip Advisor Traveller’s Choice Awards as the #2 ‘Most Desirable Destination in South Africa’ only emphasizes the point.”

Municipal Manager Lauren Waring agrees. “Now with the new CEO appointment process underway, we will be about to focus on  communicating what differentiates Knysna for the long tem.”

Knysna Tourism Marketing Manager, Johan van Schalkwyk says the transitional period has been a rewarding one. “As a recent addition to the Knysna Tourism team myself, being part of the brand revitalization has been invigorating. The entire tourism team has formed a solid working relationship with Greg.”

Office manager Glendyrr Fick says it’s been refreshing to see the growth of the Knysna Brand start to take shape. “With the new brand now in place, the Tourism team is committed to continuing this journey with even more energy. This is a great time for Knysna.”

Ms. Raturat says that while Mr. Vogt will continue to oversee operations in his position as a consultant during the appointment process, the Board is happy a CEO will soon be appointed. “Thanks to great work done by management and office staff we have upheld our brand while refreshing public opinion about its future potential. Appointing a CEO is the natural next step in our long term growth plan.”

All interested parties are invited to take note – the official application will be advertised within days.

ENDS
Knysna Tourism is the official regional tourism organisation, responsible for destination marketing, visitor and industry services for Knysna, Sedgefield and surrounds. For information, contact our Visitor Information Centre on 044 382 5510.
Follow us on:                  Twitter:  @KnysnaTourism       l     Facebook: www.Facebook.com/VisitKnysna

Improved Routes offer Stunning Views for Cyclists at the Momentum Weekend Argus Rotary Knysna Cycle Tour Race, part of the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival, 4 to 13 July 2014
The Momentum Weekend Argus Rotary Knysna Cycle Tour is a well-known attraction for those attending the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival, and this year the MTB and Road events – to be held on 5 & 6 July respectively – will offer riders a scenic view of Knysna with newly improved routes.

Andrew Finn, a founding member of the Momentum Weekend Argus Rotary Knysna Cycle Tour, explains “Mountain bikers will be glad to know that the 50km & 80km Mountain Bike Events are still official Premier Seeding Events for the 2015 Cape Argus Pick n Pay Momentum Cycle Tour. All three MTB races will be held on 5 July – 80, 50 and 30km – with similar routes to last year but with few improvements. We’ve increased the difficulty of a few of the technical sections while improving the flow of competitors.”

“For the 100km Road Race on 6 July we have planned a new and exciting ride with a modified route that is tougher, more attractive and slightly longer than the previous route. We wanted to deliver a route that stays off the N2 for as long as possible, and that offers a more natural, Knysna-feel with stunning scenery in the mountains through the forest and past rolling farmlands.”

Finn continues, “Only 46km’s of this year’s 100km Road Route overlap with the old route. While it will be a more beautiful ride, it won’t be easy. We’ve added two new climbs which will challenge legends like Kevin Evans, who usually competes, as well as many of the top cycling teams. With 1577 metres climbing overall during the ~105km race distance, this is a route that will keep you working until the very end.”

Finn concludes, “Whether you’re looking forward to the road or the MTB routes, the best advice I can offer is to keep training on your bike until July so you’re well prepared for a challenging ride in the middle of winter.”

Online entries to the Momentum Weekend Argus Rotary Knysna Cycle Tour are open; prices range depending on the age group and distance selected. To enter, or to see a complete summary of the routes including maps and training trips, visit www.knysnacycle.co.za.

Cyclists travelling to Knysna can also take advantage of the transportation service being provided by Night Trans, who have over 14 years experience transporting mountain bikes, road bikes and tandem bikes for cycle events around the world. For more information on this service, visit www.nighttrans.co.za or phone 082 684 5053.

Travel packages to the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival – including affordable accommodation options – are available via the online booking system at www.pnptravel.co.za. Registration costs and ticket prices vary for each event, and many events are free. For more information, including the Festival Programme, visit www.pnpoysterfestival.co.za or contact Knysna Tourism at 044 382 5510.
Follow us on:  Twitter:  @OysterFestival     l     Instagram: @KnysnaOysterFestival     l     Facebook     l     Google+

ENDS
The 2014 Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival offers a full programme of more than 100 events from 4 - 13 July. Not to be missed highlights include the Knysna Wine Festival on 7 & 8  July – where up to 50 of South Africa’s best wines will be on offer, the Pick n Pay Flavours of Knysna gourmet evening on 9 July – where Knysna Restaurants will compete for cash prizes with their best oyster recipes, and the Comedy Shuckle on 10 July where the Oyster Shucking & Eating Competitions will take place. Plus, the Pick n Pay Women’s Walk will take place on Sunday 13 July, a 5km fun walk to raise funds for the PinkDrive, an organisation that provides free breast cancer screening and health education.

Diary Snippet:  Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival, 04-13 July 2014
South Africa’s premium sport and lifestyle festival, the 31st annual Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival takes place during the school holidays from 4 to 13 July 2014. The festival is expected to raise more than R1.5-million for charity. With more than 100 lifestyle and sporting events spread over 10 days, the festival offers a diverse programme of sport, gourmet offerings and family activities. The BIG5 Sport Challenge, South Africa’s most scenic multi-disciplinary competition, offers an all new entry-level ‘Lite’ option as well as prestigious Yellow Jersey ceremonies for the first time. The Momentum Weekend Argus Rotary Knysna Cycle Tour is set to feature new routes that showcase even more spectacular beauty through the forest and countryside, while entries to the Momentum Cape Times Knysna Forest Marathon and Half Marathon have reached record highs. Registration costs and ticket prices vary for each event. For more information visit www.pnpoysterfestival.co.za or contact Knysna Tourism at 044 382 5510.
Follow us on:
Twitter:  @OysterFestival     l     Instagram: @KnysnaOysterFestival     l     Facebook     l     Google+

ENDS

When visitors to the 2014 Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival aren’t cycling or running through the forests, paddling the lagoon, slurping oysters or sipping wine at one of the more than 100 events, they’ll be tapping their toes and shaking their hips at the Festival Pavilion, thanks to the fantastic line-up of live entertainment set to take to the Heineken Stage on the festival grounds over the 10-day period.

Some of South Africa’s most talented performers will travel to Knysna. Tigger Reunert will be the first act to get things grooving to some amazing original songs during registration for the momentum Weekend Argus Rotary Knysna Cycle Tour on 4 July; while Cape Town bands, Skelmbosch and Sujo & Storm (a vocal and saxophone duo) will keep the spirits high at the finish line.

Daytime entertainment will be ample too, with performances by Kaz and Chris, Stuart Reece, Ian Hall and folk-rocker Heather Waters. And when the bands aren’t on stage, highlights from the FIFA Soccer World Cup Brazil, Super Rugby as well as the Tour de France will be streamed onto the big screens.

The popular Knysna Wine Festival and Night Market will feature live performances by Tigger Reunert on 7 July and by Francois on 8 July; while Brent and Lorette, CH2 and DJ Gary White will all perform at The Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival Flavours of Knysna – served with Tabasco® gourmet evening. Plus, top comedians Kurt Schoonraad and Stuart Taylor will emcee the oyster eating and shucking competitions at The Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival Shuckle – so make sure you get your tickets for these must-attend evenings.

Participants of the Momentum Cape Times Knysna Forest Marathon can look forward to performances by Absolutely Fabulous, Zebra & Giraffe and internationally recognised pop-rock band macstanley during registrationon 11 July; and as always, the much-anticipated Official Marathon After Party on 12 July will go out with a bang with the help of McCree Band – widely regarded as SA’s next best thing – and another rocking performance by macstanley.

For more information about the entertainment at the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival, contact Trevor Niksch on 083 653 5185. For general festival information, including ticket prices and a complete programme of events, visit www.pnpoysterfestival.co.za, or phone Knysna Tourism on 044 382 5510.

Follow us on: Twitter:  @OysterFestival     l     Instagram: @KnysnaOysterFestival     l     Facebook     l     Google+

ENDS

The 2014 Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival offers a full programme of more than 100 events from 4 to 13 July. Not to be missed highlights include the Knysna Wine Festival on 7 & 8  July – where up to 50 of South Africa’s best wines will be on offer, The Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival Flavours of Knysna served with Tabasco® gourmet evening on 9 July – where Knysna Restaurants will compete for cash prizes with their best dressed oyster recipes, and The Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival Shuckle comedy evening on 10 July where the Oyster Shucking & Eating Competitions will take place. Plus, the Pick n Pay Women’s Walk will take place on Sunday 13 July, a 5km fun walk to raise funds for the PinkDrive, which provides free breast cancer screening and health education.

One of South Africa’s most-loved festivals, the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival, is set to take place for the 31st time during the upcoming school holidays, from 4 to 13 July 2014. Festival Manager,
Nicci Rousseau-Schmidt, says one of the main reasons the festival is the destination of choice for winter breaks for families in particular, is not only the fact that the Festival’s diverse programme has more than 100 events on offer, but that it also caters for every age group.

“The Festival offers great-value entertainment, activities and heaps of fun for all ages,” said Rousseau-Schmidt. “For example, while mom and dad participate in our key sporting events, such as the BIG5 or BIG5 Lite Challenge, littlies aged two to nine can try the Spur Rotary Knysna Children’s Tour, while those aged six to 14 can flex their competitive muscles in the Totalsports XTERRA Kids Race.”

Even the tiniest tots have something to look forward to this year: The Young Oyster Festival will be in full swing entertaining children aged two to 12 with cooking lessons, arts and crafts, face-painting, movie-screenings, puppet shows, children's theatre, sport clinics and exciting competitions. Plus, the annual Kids’ Pavement Art event is always a hit, complete with entertainment and prizes.

According Rousseau-Schmidt, teens have also a lot more to get excited about this year, with an expanded programme in this age category, including: a Junior Golf Tournament, a Teens Triathlon and the Junior Sit-On Canoe Relay. And nothing is cooler than The Yard, a skate, BMX and scooter park, which offers parents a supervised, drop-off-and-go option, where teens get to hire scooters and skateboards and have fun with their friends. Parents won’t have to worry about their teens going hungry either as The Yard is fully equipped with a tuck-shop that will sell hot food and cold drinks – what could be better!

Also in the line-up are the FNB Knysna Forest Family Hikes which are a great way to get out there in nature, breathe in the fresh air and experience the magnificence of the Knysna Forest.

This year heralds the return of the Oyster Festival Fun Fair, located on George Rex Drive, as well as the Marketplace Stalls, which will be incorporated into the Knysna Grainmill Organic Market.
Knysna High School will host an Oyster Comedy Show on 5 July, featuring Mel Jones, as seen on SABC3′s Comedy Showcase.

The incredibly popular Oyster Shuckle will be back on 10 July where oyster the eating and shucking competitions will be emceed by everyone’s favourite comedians, Kurt Schoonraad and Stuart Taylor.

Note: On 13 July make sure you don’t miss out when we’ll be making a record for the largest ZumbAtomic® class for children under 16 at the festival grounds! Zumbatomic® is a specially designed class for children that allows them to learn dance moves while listening to the latest workout music – it’s sure to be a lot of fun!

“You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more family friendly or fun festival than the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival. With more than 100 sporting, lifestyle, foodie and kiddie’s events on offer – each of which benefits local communities and charities – this festival really is one of a kind.”

Festival travel packages, which include affordable family accommodation options, are available via the online booking system at www.pnptravel.co.za. Registration costs and ticket prices vary for each event, and many events are free of charge. For more information, including the Festival Programme, please visit www.pnpoysterfestival.co.za or contact Knysna Tourism at 044 382 5510.

Follow us on:        Twitter:  @OysterFestival     l     Instagram: @KnysnaOysterFestival     l     Facebook     l     Google+

ENDS

The 2014 Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival offers a full programme of more than 100 events from
4 to 13 July. Not to be missed highlights include the Knysna Wine Festival on 7 & 8 July – where up to 50 of South Africa’s best wines will be on offer, the Pick n Pay Flavours of Knysna gourmet evening on 9 July – where Knysna Restaurants will compete for cash prizes with their best oyster recipes, and the Oyster Shuckle Comedy Evening on 10 July where the Oyster Shucking & Eating Competitions will take place. Plus, the Pick n Pay Women’s Walk will take place on Sunday 13 July, a 5km fun walk to raise funds for the PinkDrive, which provides free breast cancer screening and health education.

The Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival, which runs from 4 - 13 July 2014 this year, is one of South Africa’s most anticipated winter festivals. For 31 years the festival has proven its appeal to fitness fanatics and families; but judging from the size of the food and wine programme this year, it’s clear the Festival has become just as popular among those of us who prefer a different kind of sport…!

SPICY SOPHISTICATION AT SIMOLA HOTEL AND SPA
Awarded the American Express Platinum award for fine dining, visitors can look forward to the following events at the Simola Hotel and Spa:

  • 4 July: Seafood Extravaganza, priced at R220 per person. Guests will be treated to a sumptuous selection of over 24 different dishes, including curries, prawns, sushi, assorted breads, salads and desserts, all prepared by award-winning Executive Chef, Delia Clarke.
  • 5 July:  Those with a taste for global favours will love the Curries of the World dinner.
  • 11 July: Whisky & Food Pairing Evening.

For more information contact Simola on 044 302 9600 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

TURBINE HOTEL AND SPA DOES IT IN PAIRS
The Turbine Hotel and Spa will be pulling out all the stops this year when it plays host to four events:

  • 5 July: Aperol Spritz Cocktail Evening.
  • 6 July: Port & Sherry Dessert Pairing, presented by Jane Simon, Wine Ambassador.
  • 8 July: Glenfiddich Whisky & Food Pairing.
  • 10 July: Bubbly & Oyster Pairing.

 For more information contact the Turbine Hotel on 044 302 5746 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

CRUISE TO LIVE JAZZ ON KNYSNA LAGOON

  • 6 July:  For one special night only, climb aboard the Paddle Cruiser for a Glenfiddich Whisky & Live Jazz Cruise. With limited space, advance booking for this sell-out event is essential. Contact Dianne Peplar on 044 382 1693 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

COMMUNITY CHEFS IN ACTION

  • 7 – 11 July: For a showcase of the Knysna Green Chefs using home-grown ingredients, pop in to Knysna Tourism on Main Street from 10am-3:30pm, or for more treats prepared by local gourmands visit the Local Design & Food Market on 10 July.

KNYSNA WINE FESTIVAL

  • 7 & 8 July: See all the latest Mercedes models; sample delicious cheeses from Fairview and Ganzvlei and taste some of South Africa's most premium wines.

You’ll also find the Night Market adjacent to the Wine Festival, along with a selection of gourmet foods, clothing, craft stalls and live entertainment. Tickets to the Knysna Wine Festival are priced at R100 per person and include wine tastings, a keepsake tasting glass, and wine guide. For more information contact: Gavin Hobson on 074 657 6176 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

THE PICK N PAY KNYSNA OYSTER FESTIVAL FLAVOURS OF KNYSNA SERVED WITH TABASCSO®

  • 9 July: Perhaps the most anticipated gourmet event of all, the event comprises wine tastings and a showcase of the region’s most creative oyster dishes.

THE PICK N PAY KNYSNA OYSTER FESTIVAL SHUCKLE

  • 10 July: This hugely entertaining comedy evening will feature the oyster eating and shucking competitions, emceed by everyone’s favourite funnymen, Kurt Schoonraad and Stuart Taylor.

 

A reasonably priced shuttle service is on offer throughout the festival, so there is no reason – or excuse – to drink and drive. To pre-book your shuttle service, contact Orbit Tours on 072 377 3563 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Registration costs and ticket prices vary for each event. For more information, including the complete Festival Programme, please visit www.pnpoysterfestival.co.za or contact Knysna Tourism at 044 382 5510.

Follow us on:        Twitter:  @OysterFestival     l     Instagram: @KnysnaOysterFestival     l     Facebook     l     Google+

ENDS

The 2014 Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival offers a full programme of more than 100 events from 4 to 13 July. Not to be missed highlights include the Knysna Wine Festival on 7 & 8  July – where up to 50 of South Africa’s best wines will be on offer, The Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival Flavours of Knysna served with Tabasco® gourmet evening on 9 July – where Knysna Restaurants will compete for cash prizes with their best dressed oyster recipes, and The Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival Shuckle comedy evening on 10 July where the Oyster Shucking & Eating Competitions will take place. Plus, the Pick n Pay Women’s Walk will take place on Sunday 13 July, a 5km fun walk to raise funds for the PinkDrive, which provides free breast cancer screening and health education.

From cultivated and wild, to au naturel and the Flavours of Knysna, more than 100 000 oysters will be shucked and slurped at the 31st annual Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival, between 4 and 13 July 2014. A delicacy often reserved for special occasions, oysters can be enjoyed to the fullest during the festival thanks to a programme of events that puts them front and centre.

Festival Manager Nicci Rousseau-Schmidt says it's important that festival goers have the opportunity to sample oysters prepared in many different styles at an affordable price. "The Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival is all about relaxing with friends and family, and to help make sure oysters are part of the fun we have designated Tabasco® Oyster Hotspots that will offer some incredible deals during the festival - for example the Pick n Pay Fresh Experience at the main Festival Pavilion will be offering 6 wild cocktail coastal oysters for just R34."

The more than 20 restaurants designated as Tabasco® Oyster Hotspots are located throughout Knysna and Sedgefield, from the Waterfront and Knysna Quays, to Thesen Island, Main Street and Myoli Beach. Patrons can look forward to many creative preparations, from elegant creations like those at Conrad Pezula's Café Z, served with pineapple ice & lime, to the "WILD" oysters served at Tapas & Oysters – otherwise known as the "Party Starter" – which are finished with Olmeca Black tequila. A complete list of Tabasco® Oyster Hotspots, including menus and pricing, is available on the festival website www.pnpoysterfestival.co.za.

Festival goers can also look forward to the Pick n Pay Flavours of Knysna gourmet evening on Wednesday the 9th of July from 6PM. A sell out event, the evening features the popular 'Oyster Cooking Competition' when local restaurateurs compete against one another to serve up the ultimate signature oyster dish.

Event manager Sasha Campbell says, “Guests receive a booklet of coupons that can be traded for tastings at each restaurant stand, and a wine tasting glass with which to sample a selection of Cape and Regional wines. Meanwhile, a panel of judges – including both celebrities and members of the public – will decide the winners of the Best Dressed Stand Award, and will select the winning oyster recipe after a blind tasting. There will also be a full menu with a variety of entrées to suit almost all palates, including starters, main courses and desserts, plus live entertainment throughout the evening." Tickets to the Pick n Pay Flavours of Knysna are priced at R165 per person.

The Oyster Shuckle Comedy Evening, on Thursday the 10th of July from 6PM, is another one of the festival's most popular oyster events. Professional comedians Kurt Schoonraad and Stuart Taylor will MC the funny way, while presiding over the competitions. In 2013 Patrick Sibeko won 1st place for the 3rd year in a row, shucking 26 oysters in just 2 min 24secs, and locals Eben Strydom & Wayne Rhode won 1st place for shucking & eating 14 oysters in just one minute! Event manager Picca de Bruin says, " Anyone wanting to enter the oyster shucking and eating competitions should email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Entry to the competition is free and includes all-you-can eat oysters" she laughs, "…but you'll have to work for it!" Tickets to the Oyster Shuckle Comedy Evening are priced at R100 per person and include six oysters and drink.

Tickets for these popular events are available at Knysna Tourism or online at www.pnptickets.co.za. Be sure to book early to avoid disappointment. For a complete listing of Tabasco Oyster Hotspots, visit www.pnpoysterfestival.co.za or for more information contact Knysna Tourism on 044 382 5510.

ENDS

The 2014 Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival offers a full programme of more than 100 events from 4 to 13 July. Not to be missed highlights include the Knysna Wine Festival on 7 & 8  July – where up to 50 of South Africa’s best wines will be on offer, the Pick n Pay Flavours of Knysna gourmet evening on 9 July – where Knysna Restaurants will compete for cash prizes with their best oyster recipes, and the Oyster Shuckle Comedy Evening on 10 July where the Oyster Shucking & Eating Competitions will take place. Plus, the Pick n Pay Women’s Walk will take place on Sunday 13 July, a 5km fun walk to raise funds for the PinkDrive, which provides free breast cancer screening and health education.

Whether you’re a fitness fanatic, adventure seeker, discerning gourmand, or are just looking for the perfect family breakaway, the 31st annual Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival will deliver with a diverse programme of over 100 events during the school holidays from 4 to 13 July 2014.
Entries for the Big5 Sport Challenge open on 17 February, including the first-ever Big5 Sport Challenge LITE, which offers an entry-level version of what has become South Africa’s best known multi-disciplinary competition, while entries to the Momentum Weekend Argus Rotary Knysna Cycle Tour and Momentum Cape Times Knysna Forest Marathon and Half Marathon open on 17 February to all 2013 entrants, and to the general public on 4 March.
Festival Manager Nicci Rousseau-Schmidt says, “2014 will see the return of the ever popular events such as  the Oyster Shucking and Oyster Eating competitions, the Knysna Wine Festival and Night Food Market, and the Pick n Pay Flavours of Knysna gourmet evening – but with a soon-to-be announced new twist.
“We are also looking forward to many fresh events – such as the Junior Golf Tournament, a new Triathlon and a Canoe Relay event – all aimed especially at teens. Adrenalin junkies can also look forward to a new mountain bike endurance event – the Trailmania Cycle Enduro – which times competitors’ pace only on the downhill sections. Naturally, it’s all about providing a programme that’s as varied as Knysna, Sedgefield, and surrounds.”
Besides the food, the fun, and the competitive games, each year the festival seeks to raise money for charity, with all events donating a portion of proceeds to designated Knysna non-profit charity organisations.  This year it is expected that more than R1.5-million will be raised for charity.
Registration costs and ticket prices vary for each event. For more information, including updates to the Festival Programme, visit www.pnpoysterfestival.co.za or contact Knysna Tourism at 044 382 5510.
Follow us on:
Twitter:  @OysterFestival     l     Instagram: @KnysnaOysterFestival     l     Facebook     l     Google+

ENDS
The 2014 Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival offers a full programme of more than 100 events from 4 June to 13 July. Not to be missed highlights include the Knysna Wine Festival on 7 & 8  July – where up to 50 of South Africa’s best wines will be on offer, the Pick n Pay Flavours of Knysna gourmet evening on 9 July – where Knysna Restaurants will compete for cash prizes with their best oyster recipes, and the Comedy Shuckle on 10 July where the Oyster Shucking & Eating Competitions will take place. Plus, the Pick n Pay Women’s Walk will take place on Sunday 13 July, a 5km fun walk to raise funds for the PinkDrive, an organisation that provides free breast cancer screening and health education.

The Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival attracts more than 60 000 visitors each year, and many new events are planned for this year’s festival from 4 to 13 July 2014.
Festival Manager Nicci Rousseau-Schmidt said, “With over 100 events each year, we strive to present a diverse programme that offers something for everyone, whether you’re attending the festival as a family, as a foodie, or to participate in one of our many sports competitions.
“This year we will see the re-introduction of past favourites like the Fun Fair – taking place on George Rex Drive – as well as the Marketplace Stalls, which will be incorporated into the Knysna Grainmill Organic Market on the corner of Long Street and Waterfront Drive.
“We’ve also planned a number of improvements to our most popular events – such as the Pick n Pay Flavours of Knysna gourmet evening, and the Big5 Sport Challenge, which for the first time will include a Big 5 Yellow Jersey Ceremony for each event, as well as a final awards ceremony where all finishers will be honoured. This year we’ve added the Big 5 LITE, which opens up the playing field for athletes who want to compete in a multi-disciplinary competition across shorter distances.”
Rousseau-Schmidt said, “Cyclists can look forward to the new Night Cycle event on 8 July at the pristine single track route at the Dormehl Farm on Barrington/Karatara Road, and active teens can take part in three new events – the Junior Golf Tournament on 9 July, the first Teens Triathlon on and around Leisure Island on 11 July, and the Junior Sit-On Canoe Relay from 12-13 July.

“On the more relaxing side of things, art enthusiasts will enjoy Woodmill Lane’s Wood Art Exhibition which will include sculptures, furniture, and more by local artists and crafters.

“This year there’ll be even more reason to laugh with more comedy acts lined up with the new Comedy Festival on 5 July and the Comedy Shuckle on 10 July.”

Festival travel packages – including affordable accommodation options – are available via the online booking system at www.pnptravel.co.za. Registration costs and ticket prices vary for each event, and many events are free. For more information, including the Festival Programme, visit www.pnpoysterfestival.co.za or contact Knysna Tourism at 044 382 5510.
Follow us on:                  Twitter:  @OysterFestival     l     Instagram: @KnysnaOysterFestival     l     Facebook     l     Google+

ENDS
The 2014 Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival offers a full programme of more than 100 events from 4 to 13 July. Not to be missed highlights include the Knysna Wine Festival on 7 & 8  July – where up to 50 of South Africa’s best wines will be on offer, the Pick n Pay Flavours of Knysna gourmet evening on 9 July – where Knysna Restaurants will compete for cash prizes with their best oyster recipes, and the Comedy Shuckle on 10 July where the Oyster Shucking & Eating Competitions will take place. Plus, the Pick n Pay Women’s Walk will take place on Sunday 13 July, a 5km fun walk to raise funds for the PinkDrive, an organisation that provides free breast cancer screening and health education.

Reawakening the Knysna Wood industry

“When I was a young man and wanted to become a cabinet-maker, there was no question about it, I had to go to Knysna. In those days all wood related businesses and careers started in Knysna.Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we can get that reputation back?” said Richard Henley, owner of Full Circle Furniture, Bibby’sHoek.

Several wood merchants in Knysna share Henley’s sentiments and so the Working with Wood festival came to light. This three-day festival will run from 9 – 11 October 2014 and the organisers are mindful to include a variety of products, as long as they manufactured from indigenous and/or recycled wood.

The Working with Wood Festival, sponsored by Vermont Sales (PTY) Ltd and supported by Knysna Tourism, Knysna Municipality and the Knysna Timber Initiative will follow on from a busy September, recognised as Arbor month. “During National Arbor Month, Arbor Week and National Arbor Day, the Knysna Municipality and other stakeholders will focus on schools activities and other wood related events, all of which will add to the build-up of this exciting festival,” said Gene Kruger Working with Wood Festival promoter.

Timber Village, Welbedacht Lane will serve as the festival hub with displays, lectures, tool and project demonstrations, food stalls and entertainment for both adults and children. Festival participants receive a Timber Town Tour and Knysna Timber Route map. These maps will direct participants to relevant establishments outside of the festival grounds.

The Timber Town Tour will take them to all festival related, participating shops and restaurants. These retail outlets are bound to have several specials running throughout the festival.

The Knysna Timber Route will allow festival participants to witness wood manufacturers work their wood into beautifully crafted products within the Knysna Industrial area. These open days will not only allow the participants to experience real timber productions, but participating manufacturers will have certain items on sale at bargain prices throughout the festival as well.

“This festival meets our Naturally Knysna brand promise and speaks to the brand core values,” said Greg Vogt, Knysna Tourism CEO. “A celebration of our timber industry is well overdue and it is exciting to have an initiative that will translate into opportunity throughout the year.”

Vogt added: “Our vision for leveraged opportunities will be realised through the Green Chefs being incorporated into the timber celebrations as food service providers. This highlights our crossover initiatives kicking in earlier than we had realised and we are grateful to the festival organisers for this opportunity. I only hope our vision to bring timber initiative ‘activities’ and product into next year’s Oyster Festival is not overly ambitious”

The festival organisers have secured a demonstration by Marc Maingard. This talented man will not only demonstrate how to craft a beautiful guitar out of wood, but will astound festival participants with the beautiful sounds that these guitars produce.

Johan van Schalkwyk, Knysna Tourism Marketing Manager expressed his excited about the festival and said: "It is exciting to see this new festival take shape. Working so closely with the coordinator and committee has shown me the importance of showcasing the timber history and heritage of our town through this wonderful Working with Wood Festival."

Should wood crafters and merchants wish to show their skills and goods during this festival they may contact Festival Coordinator, Fran Kirsten at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

“Knysna residents will be well advised to diarise the date (9-11 October) as not to miss out on the opportunity to witness the Knysna timber industry coming alive,” concluded Kruger.

ENDS

To learn more about the festival please visit www.workingwithwood.co.za

Entries for the prestigious Garden Route 300 (GR300) 2015 mountain bike race opened on 23 July, and according to event organisers, Garden Route Events, a record number of opening day entries were received by them.
This race, which takes place over a three-day period, 27 February 2015 - 1 March 2015 will follow a shorter route through the Garden Route’s pristine forests. “The 2015 route is still being kept a secret, but what we can say it will be shorter, making the ride even more attractive as both the recommended ABSA Cape Epic prep ride, but still accommodating riders keener on participating in fun events,” said Pax Mosterd, GR 300 Route Director. Day one, dubbed as “the best route in mountain bike history”, is 87km long, day two, 80kms and day three, 76kms.
Garden Route Events say that riders are advised to enjoy the awe-inspiring natural beauty of the Cape Fynbos, Indigenous Forests and breath-taking views while traversing the route whilst simultaneously conquer the unique technical challenges of the 2015 GR 300.
“Although 2014’s event was rated the best GR 300 to date and saw professional riders, such as Nico Pitzenmiaer and Renay Goustra in the start line, there was also a massive contingent of non-professionals such as Farmer Glen of Sani to Sea Fame – already re-entered for 2015, again teamed up with Waleed Baker and team Pitstop - who thoroughly enjoyed themselves and rated it as one of the best mountain bike stage races within South Africa,” explained Mosterd.
He added that he was encouraged to see the increase in international competitors. “Many of the foreigners were blown away by the natural beauty we are surrounded by and had it not been for the race, they may never have had the opportunity to experience the magic of the Garden Route during their visit to South Africa. There are also many more South African professional riders on the start line in 2015 because the new event date, moved on by one week, will no longer clash with other SA events on the MTB calendar.”
According to Greg Vogt, Knysna Tourism CEO the fact that this race has grown from strength to strength highlights three critical success factors: Garden Route Events is presenting an event that is meeting the needs of competitive athletes brave enough to take on what our natural surroundings have to offer. Our terrain is providing the raw material for Garden Route Events to leverage off and our natural beauty and towns’ hospitality is providing the rest. This all provides the perfect partnership to keep on growing elements of the event to improve the visitors’ experience."
Johan van Schalkwayk, Knysna Tourism Marketing Manager, expressed his excitement for the event: "We at the Knysna Tourism office, together with Eden District Tourism Office are excited to welcome both national and international cyclist to enjoy, not only this first class event but also the natural beauty which Knysna has become synonymous with." He further added that he is pleased with the way that Garden Route Events continue to positively promote and market Knysna through their top-notch annual cycle races.
In closing Mosterd said: “We can’t wait to welcome all riders and supporters of the GR 300 in 2015.”

FORMAL APPOINTMENT PROCESS FOR KNYSNA TOURISM CEO ANNOUNCED – POSITION TO BE ADVERTISED WITHIN DAYS

In a special session held on Tuesday 08 April 2014, the Knysna Tourism Board announced that it will now initiate the formal process of appointing a new CEO.

The announcement means the interim period, lasting since the departure of the previous Knysna Tourism CEO in mid-2013, will soon come to a close. Over this time Greg Vogt was appointed by the Board to manage the transitional process to transform the entity and have a focused mandate for the future of Knysna Tourism and to temporarily oversee operations.

The new brand positioning of Knysna Tourism, "Naturally Knysna," and strategy document detailing the future of the entity was approved by both the Board and Council and the brand icon was officially launched in December 2013. It is intended to communicate the stunning beauty of the region that has become so iconic for visitors over the years.

Board member, Nan Raturat noted that the process followed to date resulted in positive growth of public perception of the entity. "After a comprehensive process of market research, public participation, road shows, and a competitive pitching process by specialist brand agencies, we have put into motion a brand strategy for Knysna that can compete with any destination on a global scale."

Board member, as well as the Deputy Mayor of Knysna, Esme Edge, is also pleased with the progress that has been achieved. "We all have a special place in our hearts for this beautiful place we all call home – and especially for the superb lifestyle that Knysna offers us, surrounded by the beauty of nature – but now more than ever Knysna must compete for its position on the world's map of 'must see' destinations." Johan van Schalkwyk, Knysna Tourism Marketing Manager confirms "the fact that Knysna was just recognised by the 2014 Trip Advisor Traveller's Choice Awards as the #2 'Most Desirable Destination in South Africa' only emphasizes Esme's point."

Municipal Manager Lauren Waring, also serving on the Knysna Tourism Board agrees. "With due diligence followed, we can now confidently apply our efforts to the new CEO appointment process. We will now focus on communicating and implementing the strategy that will differentiate Knysna for the long term." Office manager Glendyrr Fick mentioned: "With new systems now in place, my entire team is committed to continuing this journey with even more energy. This is a great time for Knysna."

Ms. Raturat says that while Mr. Vogt will continue to oversee operations in his consultative position during the CEO appointment process, the Board is happy that a CEO will soon be appointed. "Thanks to the great work done by management and office staff we have upheld our brand while refreshing public opinion about its future potential. Appointing a CEO is the natural next step in our long term growth plan."

All interested parties are invited to take note that the official application will be advertised within days.

You are invited to join the Mini Wood Indaba at the Knysna Log-Inn on 18 August 2014 from 17h00.

Please join the Working With Wood Festival committee for some local beer and finger snacks as they introduce the 2014 inaugural festival planned for 9 to 11 October in celebration of the industry and its rich heritage.

Knysna Tourism CEO, Greg Vogt, will do a short presentation on the exciting future of this industry within the tourism marketing strategy.

Please RSVP This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Friday, August 15, to ensure sufficient catering.