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An annual highlight on  the Western Cape events agenda is the Knysna Oyster Festival.

Established in 1983, it  has been decided that it is fitting to celebrate the 36th  Anniversary by introducing a new look and feel for the event.

“As Visit Knysna is tasked with event  promotion on behalf of Knysna Municipality, we felt that the time was right to re-energise the Knysna Oyster Festival look and feel and share it with the local tourism industry. A new identity allows for everyone to feel a part of  something new,” commented Colleen Durant, General Manager of Visit Knysna who boasts 18 years of tourism industry experience.

“A key drive for us will  be to promote the many tourism experiences on offer in the greater Knysna area,  creating awareness for festival goers on what is available to do in the five day gap between the cycling and running races,” said Durant.

To encapsulate the multi-faceted  nature of the festival, the logo has been re-imagined to capture the plethora  of experiences on offer at the event. Sticking to the theme and celebrating the  key protagonist – the oyster – a multi-coloured, oyster shaped logo has been  created, with a colour designated to each experience on offer. This provides  for further marketing collateral to be developed around a particular event  experience, which will be identifiable by the colour.

Continuing the look and  feel will be a dedicated Knysna Oyster Festival website, which will contain all  relevant event information and partner details and experiences on offer in the  greater Knysna area. To drive support and create pre-event hype, a traditional  media, social media and digital campaign will be launched – driving audiences  to the new website. A marketing campaign will also be created to support the  overall awareness of the festival.

“The new creative  direction will assist in re-positioning the festival in the hearts and minds of  locals and potential visitors. We are pleased to see the work that Visit Knysna  is already doing to move ownership of the festival back to the community,  highlighting the variety of experiences on offer in the greater Knysna area. We  look forward to seeing the roll-out of the marketing initiatives and hope to  see re-newed interest from a diverse range of visitors at the 2019 event,” said Wesgro CEO Tim Harris.

Minister of Economic  Opportunities, Beverley Schäfer, commented: "The annual Knysna Oyster Festival is an important  fixture on the Western Cape and the Garden Route's events calendar, providing a  major boost the economy and job creation in the area. A new look and feel  for the event will not only make it easier for visitors to access information about the many activities on offer, but will also assist in marketing the  festival to new visitors, boosting the tourism sector."

Visit Knysna, a division of the  Wesgro's Destination Marketing Unit, has been mandated by Knysna Municipality  to assist with local tourism promotion and visitor services for the Greater  Knysna area. Visit Knysna is based on 40 Main Road, Knysna.

ENDS

Media enquiries:

Sarah Brownlee

Media Relations Officer, Wesgro

Tel: 021 487 8700

Cell: 083 577 0327

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Published in Festivals & events
Monday, 28 January 2019 08:51

Knysna Oyster Festival

The Knysna Oyster Festival is one of the most popular annual events in the Western Cape. It is a celebration of the good life, with sport and oysters as its focus points. The festival has taken place every year since 1983, where it began as the Knysna Winter Festival - a combination of sport that drew people to Knysna during the quiet winter season. 

As the 'Best 10 Days of Your Winter', the Knysna Oyster festival is spread across two weekends that promise constant fun and activities for the whole family. The sport aspect of the Oyster Festival has evolved into two major sporting events - the Knysna Cycle Tour, and the Knysna Forest Marathon. 

Get in on the action and don’t miss out this year!

For the full programme and details about all events, as well as registration and ticket costs visit http://www.oysterfestival.co.za or follow the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival on Twitter @OysterFestival or on Facebook/KnysnaOysterFestival for daily updates

PLEASE NOTE: The dates below are provisional and not confirmed yet

Friday, 13 July 2018 11:27

Knysna Oyster Festival a great success

A successful 35th edition of the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival wrapped up on Sunday, with a diverse range of sporting and lifestyle events which catered for locals and visitors alike.
 
Elmay Bouwer, Chairperson of Knysna Tourism, reflects on the 2018 edition of the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival:  “I think the festival was great this year and we are very appreciative of our sponsors, particularly Pick n Pay and Momentum, for making it happen. I’m very happy with the way the events were run and mostly they were well supported. There were some new events which I believe will continue to grow every year particularly the young entrepreneurs’ events and some traditional events which had new venues which were very successful such as the Knysna Wine Festival. There was a fantastic, festive vibe in Knysna particularly over the two weekends and it appears to have been a good 10 days for local businesses, although we are still getting feedback from our members.
 
“The programme at Loerie Park including the Community Fair was a great idea and the infrastructure sponsored by the Knysna Municipality was superb. I really believe this is an event which could grow to be hugely successful. It’s what locals want, and they can get involved in the food and craft stalls and the entertainment. However, the event does need better marketing and this was unfortunately rather last-minute this year.
“Knysna Tourism is hoping to host a feedback meeting for all interested parties in the near future, once we have had our meetings with the sponsors and WorldSport.”
The Momentum Knysna Cycle Tour and Momentum Knysna Forest Marathon drew the crowds to Knysna on both weekends of the Festival, while an every-growing range of other sporting events had lots of support.  The Momentum BIG5 Challenge provided week-long excitement, with 21-year old Port Elizabeth triathlete Keegan Cooke taking the men’s title and Stellenbosch’s Vicky van der Merwe the women’s. The Knysna Wine Festival presented by Pick Pay was hugely popular.
 
Three local entrepreneurs supported by the Knysna Municipality held successful first-time events with Bulelani Memani hosting 900 people at his iSkeem sePotsoyi Colour Splash Party. Oliver Mabukane had runners lined up for the inaugural iKasi Colour Fun Run with a 4,7km fun run through the township streets. Vuvu Ralushe’s Green Carpet Fashion Extravaganza at Club Vinyl showcased local designers and entertainers.
Local Green Chef Melvin Mene had a fantastic ten days, featured as one of the 20 Heinz Oyster Hotspots at his White Location restaurant. The popular Pick n Pay Fish Braai competition and Oyster Shucking and Eating Competition had Woodmill Lane Shopping centre abuzz, while the Comedy Chuckle at Mitchell’s Brewery saw funnymen Kagiso Mokgadi, Carl Weber, Yasseen Barnes and Kurt Langeveld providing the laughs.
 
“The Oyster Festival is so important for Knysna.The economic impact is huge and cannot be underestimated. It is vital for local businesses during an otherwise extremely quiet time of year. Knysna cannot afford not to have a Festival and we need to start working on the next one to ensure sponsorships and a proper plan are in place in good time,” concluded Bouwer.

Published in Festivals & events

The sights, sounds and surroundings of the Knysna forest were brought right into the Oyster Festival grounds last weekend, where it stood as a replica – albeit on a much smaller scale –inside the Momentum Knysna Forest Marathon registration tent.

It was a piece of beauty and a work of art, complete with audiovisual enhancements for the natural experience, all thanks to a team effort that involved the entire Knysna community, said one of organisers and honorary SANParks ranger Delle Henry.

She explained that it took a week to set up and months to plan, and this was all done for the viewing pleasure of the public and to enhance the experience of each and every entrant of the marathon weekend of the Oyster Festival.

The replica forest included several water features, and among the bush and trees hid away stuffed animals, and species that are indigenous to the Diepwalle forest, such as spotted owls and other birds, elephants, honey badgers, a duiker and leopards.

“It took a group of about 15 volunteers to coordinate the setup, we sourced products from various parts of Knysna, and incorporated the entire community, from Thesen Islands to Karatara,” said Henry, who also thanked the municipality for the use of their nursery.

They were also driving donations for SANParks to purchase a new tank for their seahorses which are on display at the SANParks offices on Thesen Island. The tank costs at least R70 000.

The Forest Tent as it became known, was a clear favourite among entrants from out of town and was also popular with families who visited the tent for a walkabout for the rest of the weekend.

Source: Knysna Plett Herald

Published in Festivals & events
Tuesday, 19 June 2018 06:21

A Feast of Fresh Flavours

Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival and Pick n Pay Knysna invite all Smart Shoppers and their partners to the first-ever Fresh Taste of Pick n Pay.

At the event, you'll be served scrumptious delights; and as you'd expect from Knysna hospitality, you'll be offered the chance to indulge in fresh oysters, accompanied by Heinz Hot Sauce. This will be rounded off with the perfect wine or bubbly from Van Loveren wines. What better way to spend your day?

For this wonderful treat of authentic flavours and live music, join us on Wednesday 4 July between 4 and 7pm at the Woodmill Lane Shopping Centre. For your convenience, there will be two sessions, the first from 4 - 5.30pm and the second from 5.30pm - 7pm. Space is limited so book early to avoid disappointment! Click here to confirm.

Published in Festivals & events

Three young entrepreneurs from the Knysna Township will present a Colour Splash Party, a Colour Fun Run and a Fashion Extravaganza at this year's Knysna Oyster Festival

The Knysna Municipality’s Economic Development team – under the leadership of Ilse van Schalkwyk, has made a difference in the lives of three event managers from the local Community. After a selection process – Oliver Mabukane, Bulelane Memane and Vuvu Ralushe were chosen to receive a small sponsorship from the Knysna Municipality in order to enable them to host their events in the township and at Club Vinyl on Main Road during this year’s Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival. The Knysna Municipality has also provided funding for a mentor, who has experience in presenting larger events, to provide some guidance to these young entrepreneurs. The Municipality has subsidized a large aspect of their marketing budget – allowing the events to create professional posters, video clips and other promotional material.

Bulelani - who will be hosting the Colour Splash Party – featuring well known Johannesburg DJ Bongs on Saturday 30 June at Club Nitelife in Dam Se Bos - feels strongly that there is a real need for well organised events that cater for all cultures to take place in the Knysna Township. “The reality at present is that people are traveling to George and Oudtshoorn in order to enjoy a gathering that appeals to them. The Municipal assistance will enable us to have the confidence and knowledge to put on top quality events in our areas for our local people. This will boost the local economy in the future - by providing job opportunities for people in these communities where the lack of employment is a daily reality for many.”

Oliver owns the Knysna Ikasi Experience that is a registered events company that is affiliated to the NPO – the Yona-Yethu Initiative. This initiative’s main focus is on the development of the youth and the local economy. The Ikasi Colour Fun Run – that will be followed by a street bash After Party will take place on Sunday 1 July 2018. The Knysna Marathon Club will kindly be assisting with the registration for this event and the start will be at the Khayalethu Community Hall – with the 4.7km run finishing at the Concordia CDC. This will be the first organized fun run to take place in the township and Oliver hopes that this event will become a highlight on the annual calendar.

Sidwell Vuvu Ralushe – will host the Green Carpet Fashion Extravaganza at Club Vinyl on the Main Street of Knysna on Sunday 8 July – with help from Club co- owner - Charmaine Krijger. Vuvu was born and raised in Knysna and matriculated at Percy Mdala High school in 2003. “My event will showcase local designers and models while township DJs, a break dancer and a fun photo booth option will add to the flavor of the event. We hope to sell tickets to people from all cultures and walks of life with our regular entry, VIP and VVIP options.” Vuvu has hosted a few events in Knysna in the past.

Festival supporters are encouraged to support these three events and they can find out more details at www.oysterfestival.co.za and can purchase tickets at the Knysna Tourism offices.

Published in Festivals & events
Tuesday, 29 May 2018 10:02

FNB Forest Family Hike 2018

The legendary Harkerville Trails are considered mountain biking and trail running Utopia. We provide the opportunity for people of all ages and fitness levels to absorb the magic of these famous forests with friends and family. You can loosen up your off-day legs with a brisk hike over a longer 10km distance or amble the shorter 6km and 2.5km walks at fairy listening pace.

Who knows, you may just spot a Knysna Loerie, or better, an elephant. Our aim is to educate the ecological importance of the forests whilst embracing quality family time, health and wellness for all ages in an eco-friendly way.

The first 300 online entries receive a fitted Merrell Long Sleeve Top to the value of R800 (13 years and upwards). All kids will receive a very useful FNB winter buff among other treats. All participants are treated to an entertaining talk on the fascinating history of the region, intimate information about the rare forest plant and animal species and more.
Pre and post hike they also enjoy FNB’s famous hospitality in a cosy & stylish marquee including hot soup, snacks, massage, music, colouring in competitions, amazing lucky draw prizes and more.

For more information or to make your booking please visit our website: http://www.electricink.co.za/forest-family-hike/

Published in Festivals & events
Friday, 04 May 2018 08:10

2018 Knysna Cycle Tour on track

May newsletter.Entries are pouring in for this year's Momentum Knysna Cycle Tour which will be held on 30 June and 1 July and plans are on track for a stunning event. The routes are looking great and the 30 km e-bike event which was successfully launched last year, is back!

Enter any of the events before 12:00 midnight on Friday 4 May to go into the draw for a stunning lucky draw prize of 2 nights for 2 people sharing, including breakfast, at Simola Hotel, Country Club & Spa. Read more details about this and all the other news from the Momentum Knysna Cycle Tour in their May Newsletter.

Published in Festivals & events
Shadow Minister of Tourism Hon James Vos MP will officially open the 2017 Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival at a function on Thursday 6 July. This follows the announcement by Knysna Tourism that the popular festival will go ahead, despite the recent devastating fires which destroyed hundreds of homes, and a number of accommodation establishments.
The annual festival (7 – 16 July) is a highlight on the Knysna events calendar and provides a much-needed boost to the local economy in the quieter winter months, generating an estimated R100m for the regional economy and creating over 2,000 jobs for residents.
 
Shadow Minister of Tourism James Vos said that he is delighted to be opening the Oyster Festival. “I'm happy to report that Knysna has declared itself ready to welcome visitors, with almost all tourist activities fully operational,” he said.
 
“Following the devastating wildfires that led to tragic loss of life and extensive damage to property and infrastructure, the tourism industry together with the authorities are working hard to ensure that their town remains ‘open for business’’. Truly their courage must be commended and their ability for reinvention is inspiring.
 
“I'm convinced that this event will provide the industry and town with great opportunities to advance trading and create massive travel and marketing exposure. “
 
Knysna Tourism Chairperson Elmay Bouwer said that Knysna would not survive without tourism. “It is the lifeblood of the economy and we are very grateful to the main festival sponsors Pick n Pay and Momentum not only for supporting our biggest annual festival but also for providing assistance to the fire-fighting teams during the eight days of the fires.”
 
This year’s festival highlights include the Momentum Knysna Cycle Tour which will celebrate its 30th anniversary with new routes and rides, the Momentum Knysna Forest Marathon which has become a bucket list event for runners all over the world, the Maserati BIG5 Challenge which attracts top multisport athletes to Knysna, Pick n Pay Seafood Wednesday, for lovers of all things seafood related, from fish and chips to calamari strips, and the traditional festival favourites including the Pick n Pay Fish Braai Competition, Oyster Eating and Shucking Competition and the Pick n Pay Flavours of Knysna oyster showcase. There will also be plenty of entertainment for kiddies, with the
Momentum Health Kiddies Area offering a free, fun and secure area for them while moms and dads enjoy some festive time together.
 
Bouwer said that she is confident that Knysna has enough accommodation for thousands of visitors and is looking forward to welcoming visitors back to the town. “We are open for business and ready to host the annual influx of festival-goers. The town has been through a lot and the support of visitors will help many of our residents get back on their feet again.”
 
Vos added that besides being fun, “well-managed festivals and events offer a host of economic and social benefits to communities. Festivals bring communities together and instil a sense of community pride. They also stimulate the growth of tourism and other businesses,” he said.
 
“South Africa is one of the world’s leading tourism destinations, on the back of a new, focussed approach to growing tourism, and a surge in private sector investment in hospitality infrastructure. Our recently launched domestic tourism marketing campaign, I Do Tourism, asks all South Africans to embrace tourism in their everyday lives – because everyone has a role to play in making South Africa a tourist-friendly country.
 
“Let's support Knysna especially during this time by doing tourism – going there to experience and support - and having a great time in South Africa’s very own Eden,” Vos concluded.
Published in News snippets
Thursday, 22 June 2017 14:32

The #Best10DaysOfWinter are here

The annual Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival is one of South Africa’s most popular festivals, with huge appeal for sports lovers, families, foodies and those in search of the best 10 days of their winter and it will go ahead this year despite the fires say organisers.

In fact it will bring employment and hope to the fire-ravaged town.

Sporting events
The Momentum Knysna Cycle Tour (Saturday, July 8 for the MTB and Sunday, July 9 for road race events and the Forest Family Dam Ride) and the Momentum Knysna Forest Marathon and Half Marathon (Saturday, July 15) are always big drawcards for sporting enthusiasts, and this year will be no different.

The Big5 Challenge (July 8 to 15) will be switching things up this year with a new MTB X race added to the list, which is sure to have spectators on the edge of their seats as the elite and amateur athletes fight it out over the five courses.

Pezula hosts the Europcar Knysna Classic (Friday, July 14) golf tournament, which is always a popular event, book your four-ball now to secure your spot.

For the less athletically inclined there is the Oyster Rapid Chess Tournament (July 8) and the Knysna Oyster Festival Motorsport Gymkhana (also July 8).

Food offerings
The popular Pick n Pay Seafood Wednesday is back (Wednesday, July 12) Top-notch restaurants will showcase their best seafood dishes, and once the sun starts to sink towards the horizon, the Pick n Pay Sassi Fish Braai, Oyster Shucking and Eating Competitions, and the Pick n Pay Flavours of Knysna all get under way. Make sure you don’t miss the heated battle for the Best Fish Braaier in Knysna – the competition is hot.

Local establishments have a variety of specials on for the duration of the festival, so come hungry and enjoy the large variety of sumptuous food on offer.

For the kids
If your kid is the active type then why not enter them in the Big5 Junior Challenge (July 8 to 15), the Simola Little Phantom Kids Adventure Run (July 8), or the Spur Rotary Knysna Children’s Cycle Tour (July 9).

The Fun Fair is open for the duration of the festival and offers thrills for young and hold. The festival grounds also have several inflatable fun activities and games taking place throughout the period.

The Momentum Health Kiddies Area is a fun, secure play area tailored especially for the littlies. The area is supervised by qualified child minders and offers loads of awesome age-appropriate activities to keep the kids entertained and busy. The fun includes face painting, arts and crafts, jumping castles and loads more. Open to kids from two to 12, there is no charge, but children must be checked in by their parents/guardians.

To let moms and dads enjoy the festival in the evenings, the Kiddies Area will be open until late on some nights: until 21:00 on July 10 and 11, and until 22:00 on July 12 and 13.

Tourist attractions
Take a tour through the Knysna Heads: guided by expert sailors this is an adventure you don’t want to miss, with the swirling waters below you and majestic Knysna Heads around you, it’s a sight to behold.

Knysna also provides great opportunities to explore the area via the beautiful cycling and hiking trails.
For a different experience get down to Thesens Wharf and explore an SA Navy ship, which is open for tours between 10:00 and 17:00 each day.

Featherbed Nature Reserve is situated on the Western Head and offers guided tours and a buffet lunch. The best way to access the reserve is by taking the ferry, making this a wonderful family outing.

Published in Festivals & events
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