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One of the Western Cape’s most hotly anticipated events, the iconic Knysna Oyster Festival, will take place from 21-30 June and includes a diverse range of things to do for those looking to explore the Greater Knysna area this winter.

This year’s festival goers can expect an even bigger range of unique experiences than ever before - including everything from cycling to running, a wine festival to a pianist, fun runs and kiddies activities, and burgers to oysters in one of the most beautiful natural settings in the country. A full programme is attached to the release.
Visit Knysna's General Manager, Colleen Durant, adds, “This year’s Knysna Oyster Festival offers something for everyone. The community have taken ownership of the event again, which means 10 full days of exploring everything that the Greater Knysna area has to offer; whether it’s an activity that is always on offer or something set up specifically for the festival days, visitors and locals will be spoilt for choice.”

Download the Knysna Oyster Festival programme and promotions here:
Knysna Oyster Festival Programme
Knysna Oyster Festival Restaurant Promotions

This famous festival, now in its 36th year, adds to the region’s abundance of tourism activities for all ages and continues to draw local and international guests looking for adventure. Visit Knysna recently underwent a brand refresh, including a compelling and vibrant new logo, which encapsulates what this beautiful destination stands for.

“The Oyster Festival is the Knysna highlight of the year and a very valuable asset to all locals in Knysna. I am proud to see the commitment of the local community and other stakeholders to ensure that the Knysna Oyster Festival will see the 36th event take place. With a new local look and feel the this year’s event, I want to encourage all our locals and visitors alike to embrace this event. It is a vital boost to the local economy of our town during the winter months and will certainly give the town a warm glow of excitement with all the varied sports and vibrant food and entertainment events to suit the many diverse tastes of all who attend.” said Mark Willemse, Knysna Executive Mayor.

The Western Cape Minister for Economic Opportunities, Beverley Schafer added: "Traditionally, the Oyster Festival has been a major tourism draw card for Knysna, creating an important economic boost in the region during the winter season. This year's event, with its new look and feel will showcase a number of the adventure, gourmand and family tourism offerings available in the area, helping to stimulate growth in the town's tourism and hospitality markets."

Knysna Oyster Festival 2019 event highlights include: iKASI Colour Fun Run on the 22nd, the FNB Family Forest Hike on the 24th, The Woodcutters Trail – a guided 3km forest walk on the 25th, the Lofts Atrium’s “out of this world” craft gin and food experience on the 27th and Turbine Hotel’s “Liquid Sunsets”, with live music on the 28th.

Wesgro’s CEO, Tim Harris, praised the Knysna Oyster Festival and the Knysna tourism sector for helping create a world-class destination that adds significantly to the tourism economy of the Western Cape. "Tourism is a key economic driver in our province, supporting over 300,000 jobs. Events like these are a critical part of this tourism offer, and we thank all stakeholders who are involved in making this a success. We are incredibly excited about this year's Knysna Oyster Festival, and we encourage everyone who loves

Knysna as much as we do to go and visit during this exciting time. It promises to be the coolest winter break yet!"
Travellers are encouraged to visit the official website, www.knysnaoysterfestival.co.za, to explore the calendar, discover more and book to experience the festival of all festivals.

Media Enquiries:

Russel Brueton
Chief Communications Officer
082 815 6020
021 487 8600
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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

This year’s Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival is well and truly underway, with sport, food and wine events and loads of family activities keeping holiday makers busy in the much-loved Garden Route town and surrounding areas.

The first major sporting event, the Momentum Knysna Cycle Tour, kicked off with four MTB events on Saturday, followed on Sunday by road races and family events. Warm temperatures, plenty of sunshine and absolutely no wind on Sunday meant that both the elite riders and families out to have fun, had the perfect day. Inflatable fun and many other children’s activities created a brilliant setting for parents to enjoy real Knysna hospitality while children were kept entertained.

Two local entrepreneurs supported by the Knysna Municipality held their Festival events over the weekend. Bulelani Memane was over the moon at the 900 people who attended his iSkeem sePotsoyi Colour Splash Party at the Nitelife Tavern at Dam se Bos on Saturday night. Joburg DJ Oskido helped to draw the crowds who partied till the early hours of Sunday morning.

80 runners lined up for the inaugural iKasi Colour Fun Run that saw them wind their way through 4,7km of Knysna’s township streets. Oliver said it went very well and he learnt a lot, and he looks forward to growing it into one of the big events at the Festival each year.

The 13th Knysna Wine Festival presented by Pick n Pay began on Monday evening at its stunning new location on Thesen Island. Organiser Belinda Hobson said: “It’s been a wonderful start to the event. Despite the turn in the weather today, people have come out in numbers to experience the 200 wines from 50 different suppliers, and local craft beers and craft gin are also represented this year. Our beneficiary is Little Angels Day Care Centre for challenged and otherwise-abled children in the Knysna District, so we are thrilled with the turnout this evening, and look forward to another busy night tomorrow.”

Also turning out despite the weather on Monday, were families of hikers, young and old, for the first of three FNB Forest Family Hikes taking place in the Harkerville Forest. The Momentum Knysna Lagoon Mile Swim took place in tough swimming conditions, while many festival goers chose to explore the restaurants of Knysna in search of Heinz Hot Sauce Oyster Hotspots. 20 participating restaurants have included a special Hot Spot dish on their menu, accompanied by Heinz “shucking good” hot sauces. Heinz can also be found at the Oyster Shucking Competition at Woodmill Lane Shopping centre on Friday where they will be handing out fresh oysters perfectly paired with Heinz Shuckin’ good hot sauces.

Knysna Tourism chair Elmay Bouwer says the first few days of the Festival have been fantastic. “We have had loads of positive feedback from cyclists of all skills and ages, and we are very pleased at how well the events went for our local entrepreneurs too. Community involvement in the Festival is essential to its continued growth and success. The importance of the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival to the economy of this area cannot be overestimated and we are very grateful to all the role players who have put on such an incredible and varied event for our visitors.”

There is much to look forward to as the Festival continues until Sunday.

With registration for the Momentum Knysna Forest Marathon happening today, there'll be lots of action at the Festival Grounds including inflatable fun and games for the kids,and the Momentum Health Kiddies Area. Down at the Hornlee Sports Grounds you can watch the Oyster Festival Netball Tournament today from 6pm to 11pm and tomorrow from 9am to 6pm. Emo Adams will be entertaining the crowds at Knysna Secondary School from 6.30pm. 

Tomorrow, Saturday, is the Forest Marathon - catch the vibe at the start and finish on the Festival Grounds. The Official Knysna Oyster Festival After Party at WHE+ Restaurant on Thesen Harbour Town is not to be missed with an epic music line up including Absolutely Fabulous, Fire and Stix, DJ Mickey & DJ Nick. There will be big screen TVs for rugby fanatics and dance floors that are guaranteed to leave you breathless! Limited menus and a cash bar will be the order of the day and it's strictly NO UNDER 18s. IDs must be produced at the entrance. Tickets available at www.webtickets.co.za.

Saturday's House of Entertainment Show at Hornlee Civic Centre will be an evening of live music and fun, featuring House of Entertainment Band Paul Amas, Aniel Ewerts and Lesinda Stalmeester.

On Sunday, make an early start with the Houtkapper Trail Run consisting of 9km, 15km and 27km in a scenic forest setting. The Road & safety briefing will be at 08:15  (compulsory) and the races starts at 08:30. For more information contact Gavin Bezuidenhoudt on 083 502 7935.

Also, don't miss the Knysna Oyster Festival Soccer Tournament finals at Hornlee Sports Ground, from 3pm - 9pm.

The Green Carpet Fashion Extravaganza at Vinyl on Main, from 3pm - 11pm is a cultural fashion show linked to nature. Local designer’s will showcase their latest ranges and there will be over six hours of local music and entertainment by DJ’s from Knysna and George and our very own jazz band. Local beadwork, jewellery and accessories will be available from the stalls inside the venue. Knysna Selfie will be at the venue for your instant photo prints! Come looking your best - the theme of the event is “Afrocentric outfit” or “denim and white”.  Contact event manager Vuvu on 060 743 4082 for more info.

On Sunday, the festival will end on a high note with Andrew Young and a full back-up band performing at the Knysna Waterfront from 11:30am to 3.30pm. They will be in the square next to Drydock Food Company, so bring you own chair, or book your seat now on (044) 382 7310 and enjoy a fabulous show!

For the full programme please visit: www.oysterfestival.co.za


Published in Festivals & events
Thursday, 26 April 2018 14:03

Exciting new format for Oyster Festival

This year’s Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival (29 June to 8 July) will have an exciting new format aimed at spreading the festival events throughout the town to iconic Knysna venues including Thesen Harbour Town, Woodmill Lane, the Knysna Waterfront, Loerie Park, the Knysna Yacht Club, Mitchell’s Brewery and a number of top local restaurants.

The festival will be decentralised and various venues will host an array of activities, including a Momentum Kiddies Zone at the Knysna Waterfront. At Loerie Park there will be entertainment for children as well as sporting activities such as Athletics SWD, and Oyster Festival rugby, soccer and netball tournaments.

A slightly different approach to the offering for foodies this year will see local restaurants hosting Flavours of Knysna on Wednesday, 4 July, turning the event into a culinary journey to some of the best restaurants in Knysna and Sedgefield. Guests will be able to explore and taste their way through Knysna, starting at the Knysna Yacht Club, where they will plan their own route on the hop on–hop off shuttles.

Each guest will receive a voucher book for tasters – either a ‘once off’ bespoke flavour taster, or a taste of the restaurant’s bestselling or flagship menu item. Participants will then have the opportunity to vote for their favourite taster using ballot cards in their voucher books, which will also give them an automatic entry into a fantastic lucky draw prize.

The Knysna Wine Festival on Monday, 2 and Tuesday, 3 July, will also have a new venue on Thesen Harbour Town, while the Comedy Shuckle on Thursday, 5 July will deliver its usual hilarity at Mitchell’s Brewery.

Cruise Café will be the home of the Momentum Big5 Challenge with sporting events either starting or finishing there, including the Momentum Knysna Lagoon Mile Swim, the Momentum Featherbed Trail Run, and the Momentum Health MTB-X.

The Momentum Knysna Cycle Tour on Saturday, 30 June and Sunday, 1 July and the Momentum Knysna Forest Marathon Saturday, 7 July will remain at the Knysna High School sports fields, which will be a hive of activity for participants and spectators, with a Momentum Kiddies Zone on both weekends.

Chairperson of Knysna Tourism Elmay Bouwer said that she is delighted with the new format, which will change the festival from being field-based to being part of the town. “This new plan will bring the festival back to the community and make it more accessible for everyone,” she said.

Bouwer said that Knysna Tourism has also listened to members who wanted an after-party on the day of the Momentum Knysna Forest Marathon. “Historically the ‘marathon after-party’ was hugely popular and we are excited to confirm that there will be a party on Saturday hosted by Whe+ restaurant on Thesen Harbour Town.”

Bouwer said that the festival is 35 years old this year and has become an institution for Knysna. “It is estimated to attract over 60 000 visitors and its importance to the economy of the area cannot be overestimated. An Event Impact Assessment done by the Knysna Municipality in 2016 shows that visitors to the region spent almost R110 m over the ten day period of the festival on accommodation, food and beverages, transport, leisure and retail activities. This resulted in the creation of 2,392 employment opportunities.

“It’s one of the biggest sport and lifestyle festivals in the country and it’s not just because of the fantastic line-up of events. It’s because Knysna offers a wonderful winter holiday destination for families and sport and nature lovers and there is so much to do when you are here. We are looking forward to another great festival.”

For more information and the full festival programme visit www.oysterfestival.co.za. To book your accommodation visit www.visitknysna.co.za.

Published in Festivals & events

We are thrilled with the attendance numbers at the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival this year, particularly in light of the devastating Knysna fire which started on 7 June, just one month before the festival opened. The fire did not discourage our visitors who flocked in their thousands to support Knysna, the festival events and local businesses.

We are still getting feedback from all the event managers, but the two major events, the Momentum Knysna Cycle Tour and the Momentum Knysna Forest Marathon were very well supported. 7,000 runners registered for the marathon, which is 5% more than last year!

We are very grateful to all our visitors for their support, the festival sponsors who made it happen in difficult circumstances and the event managers who never thought of letting us down for a moment. Not to mention all our wonderful members who bent over backwards to assist with accommodating guests who had booked in one of the many establishments that were destroyed or damaged in the fire.

I believe we made the right decision to go ahead with the festival. It was a great celebration and uplifted local people generally, even some of those who had lost everything.

It was also a much-needed economic boost to Knysna and the Garden Route, and the perfect opportunity to show the world that Knysna is still scenically beautiful and very much open for business. The thousands of visitors who were here will go home and spread the word that Knysna is okay. The many broadcast, print and digital media who were here to cover the festival will also help to get the word out internationally that Knysna is still a top tourism destination and the Knysna experience is still as appealing as ever.

Published in Festivals & events
Thursday, 18 May 2017 13:54

Oyster Festival Fever grips Featherbed

The Featherbed Company is bracing itself for an outbreak of Trail Running Fever as trail fanatics from across the country scramble for entries into one of South Africa’s most popular medium distance trail running events - the Featherbed Trail Run which is celebrating its 10th Anniversary. The family friendly event is the trail running event of the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival and is as famous for its festive atmosphere combined with the famous Ferry Ride across the Knysna Estuary as it is for its spectacular course. 

"Feathers fly as Trail Fanatics Flock to the Featherbed Trail Run"

Additionally to the established distances of 11km, well-known as the SEAHORSE run and the 15km distance, known as the Coelacanth Run, organisers have added another longer distance event of 21km which will go into the Featherbed books as the GREAT WHITE.
This race promises to be a tough but exhilarating run. Not only will athletes be able to enjoy those exclusive trails on the privately owned Featherbed Nature Reserve with breath-taking views across the sheer cliffs of the Knysna Heads but they will also descent to the rugged beaches of the Indian Ocean east of Brenton on Sea and along the beautiful Fisherman’s Trail. This route is certainly one of the most spectacular trail running courses that South Africa has to offer – so if you are a proficient medium distance trail runner – this is the one to do.
The Featherbed Trail Run is also part of the BIG5 Sport Challenge with a strong field of MultiSport athletes who will be competing against Featherbed athletes on the15km Coelacanth course.
The all inclusive experience gained by an entry to the event includes a ferry trip to the Featherbed Nature Reserve, an experience in its own right, a Unimog trip up the mountain (For Seahorse Runners), a choice of one of the three running courses which differ slightly in technical challenge, distance and one beast of a climb, the well-deserved finisher medal and a post-race meal at Knysna’s exclusive Cruise Café. The event is organised into 3 departures; a morning, midday and afternoon run with breakfast, lunch or supper afterwards.
According to Christine Collins from event organisers Magnetic South, the demand for tickets is once again enormous and she is expecting another sell out run. She urged local runners to get their entries in early to avoid disappointment as entries are being snapped up by upcountry athletes. “Entry is stringently limited by the number of places on the ferries,” she said.
A very special mention must also go to the Featherbed Company, who once a year allows the organisers to present this exhilarating event within their pristine protected area. “It is a privilege for us to run here every year”, said Event Director Mark Collins, “and we pride ourselves on instilling an ethos of respect for nature in each of the runners at our event”.

The Featherbed Trail Run is part of the Trail Town Concept which offers a multitude of trail running events over the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival and caters for all age groups, fitness levels and one can even choose the perfect time of the day to go out and enjoy the trails!
All info and booking on www.trailtown.net

Published in Festivals & events

The Knysna Wine Festival is the premiere showcase for local wines at the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival held annually in Knysna.

Dates 10th&11th July 2017

It has a proven track record of 11 years, and is associated with quality South African wines.
“We originally wanted to launch an exclusive Wine Festival in the Garden Route. One which would allow guests to interact with high profile vintners while tasting their wines,” explained Belinda. And so the Knysna Wine Festival was born and it joined the successful Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival in 2005.

Not only does this festival allow participants to enjoy the best South African wines, but a portion of the door takings are donated by the Hobsons to a local Sedgefield charity, this year being Sedgefield Animal Matters.
Hundreds of wine lovers flock to this beautiful Wine festival to enjoy the over 200 wines from more than 50 different wine estates. Wine connoisseurs and quaffers will have the pleasure of tasting the many wines and champagne, as well as single malt whiskies presented by Hector McBeth, chocolates and cheeses. These wines and whiskies will be available for purchase at special cellar door prices and cheeses at low celebratory prices.

The now long standing Knysna Wine Festival is the premiere social event of the Knysna Oyster Festival which enjoys more than 100 other events ranging from cycling, running and adventure races to gala evenings, and is expected to draw more then 65 000 people to the beautiful Garden Route town over the 10 days of the festival.

The festival lives its dream of being ‘the best 10 days of winter’ and the entire period fills the greater Knysna to capacity & surrounding towns and local’s benefit immensely.

This year we welcome on board Audi, George a dream machine for a dream festival.
Come view their beautiful cars while sipping on quality wines from Estates such as Bramon; Packwood; Steenberg; Graham Beck; Ernie Els; Saxenburg; De Grendel; Journey’s End; De Krans; Kranskop; Benguela Cove; Avondale; Mellasat; Profumi D’ Italia –Bottega; Bosman; Rooiberg; Perdeberg; Peter Bayly; Cape Point Vineyards; Lanzerac;Kaapse Liqueurs or why not have an olive oil tasting with De Rustica Olive Oil.

Tickets will be available online from 21st May on www.webtickets.co.za, with limited early bird tickets at R120.00 each

For further information contact www.knysnawinefestival.co.za or Phone Belinda 0744562253

Published in Festivals & events

The Best 10 Days of your Winter is fast approaching, with many sporting and family events taking place during the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival there is something for everyone.

The Momentum Knysna Forest Marathon, Momentum Knysna Cycle Tour and BIG5 Challenge being just some of the many highlights of the festival booking early is quite important. We have put together some exclusive packages to suite your needs so sit back, be relaxed and let us take care of all the work by booking one of our exclusive accommodation packages.

Click here to find out more and book your package now!

Published in Places to stay

For the past 33 years, visitors have joined local Knysna residents in celebrating all the town has to offer during the popular Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival, fondly known as The Best 10 Days of Winter, and this year was no different.

The festival is not only about oysters, the luxurious delicacy known for its aphrodisiac powers, but also for the more than 130 wonderful events aimed to entertain over 70 000 visitors and locals of all ages. Besides being a major sporting festival, it also caters for family entertainment.

Festival a resounding success
Festival manager Nicci Rosseau-Schmidt said that once again the festival was considered a resounding success.
"Despite the wet and windy start to this year's festival it was fantastic. New events, such as the Casper Kids Adventure Run and the Simola Phantom Forest Night Run, saw an astounding 700 entries between the two.
Midweek lifestyle events were all well attended with the Pick n Pay Flavours of Knysna served with Tabasco and Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival Shuckle being sold out. The Seafood Wednesday had a great start. Its specials were popular and restaurants reported good sales and interest.

"Unlike the start, the last weekend of the festival basked in beautiful weather that the close to 8 000 runners that participated in the Momentum Cape Times Knysna Forest Marathon runners really enjoyed."
Main sporting events attract many

The main sporting events include cycling, running, kayaking, swimming and several adventure races. Two of the main sporting events, the Momentum Cape Times Knysna Forest Marathon and the Momentum Cape Times Knysna Cycle Tour showcased the magnificent natural beauty of Knysna with participants getting to see some of the most beautiful parts of the Garden Route.

The new family events, the Kids Adventure Run and the Phantom Forest Night Run, exceeded all expectations and saw hundreds of entrants enjoying the beauty of the Simola Hotel Country Club & Spa estate while opera singers sang along the route.

Focus on youth this year
Tourism entity Knysna & Partners' chief executive Greg Vogt explained that this year the focus of the festival was on the youth. "The diversity of events on offer certainly provided a little something for everyone. A very special moment for me personally was to experience the initiative for the disabled to compete."

Another new event, the Dare 2 Dash obstacle course, gave families and friends an opportunity to get down and dirty while raising much needed funds for the Knysna Education Trust. This year's Imperial Auto Festival of Golf and the Blackwaters Lodge Golf Tournament saw both adults and children showing off their golfing prowess; sadly nobody managed to win the new Sprite Caravan with a hole-in-one during the festival's Europcar Knysna Classic.

Once again the Western Cape department of cultural affairs and sport became involved and sponsored the boccia game for the physically disabled, as well as festival rugby and soccer tournaments.
Food, wine and party time

For the nonsporty types, the festival offered plenty to keep them entertained. The Pick n Pay Flavours of Knysna served with Tabasco, the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival Shuckle, and the all-new Featherbed Opera Cruise were all sellout events.

Another first, the festival saw an entire day dedicated to seafood. Seafood Wednesday offered festivalgoers the opportunity to visit restaurants throughout greater Knysna to enjoy the many seafood specials offered on the day.

For dinner, seafood-lovers moved to the festival pavilion where they enjoyed the Sassi Fish Braai, Flavours of Knysna as well as oyster shucking and eating competitions.
Another firm favourite, the Knysna Wine Festival, was packed to capacity on both evenings.

Young Oyster programme a success
As with previous years, the Knysna-Plett Herald Young Oyster programme was a great success. Children were hosted at all greater Knysna libraries and the Khayalethu and Smutsville community centres, where caregivers entertained them with several cooking, baking, and arts and crafts activities.
Parents could also safely drop off their children at the festival pavilion's Momentum Health Kids Zone. Here the children spent hours being entertained with face painting, jumping castles, videos and several other activities that helped work off some of their energy.

The SA Navy once again played an important role in the festivities. Their appearance is an enormous attraction as festivalgoers flock to the Knysna Heads to witness the dramatic entrance. The Navy parade and band performance at the Knysna Waterfront was, as usual, a world-class display.

The organisers and sponsors of the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival know that this festival is not only about frivolous fun. Rather, they ensure that their event benefits the community and its charities.
Great help to local charities
Visitors who enjoyed the flavours and festivities of the festival can rest assured that they helped nonprofit organisations and the underprivileged to benefit.

Last year the festival raised R2-million, and in the past seven years, a grand total of R13-million has been donated to local charities. This year, Momentum Health once again donated 2 000 high-quality, fleece blankets to greater Knysna's underprivileged.

Vogt, who participated in a number of festival activities, said, "Having been in the mix and participating in the Big5Lite, I had the privilege of being with participants and festivalgoers, and hearing first hand of their experiences." He added that the festival is unique and that visitors found the event/s worthwhile and unique.

The Knysna municipal local economic development department, he said, ran a research study once again. "We took the time to work with the data capturers and it was interesting to get input from those people surveyed on how they perceived the festival. There is a growing number of people coming to Knysna not only to enter events, but for other festival offerings and entertainment," said Vogt

"Greater Knysna locals certainly offered incredible hospitality to our visitors, and it is always important to recognise how important this great service is to ensuring that visitors return to our beautiful area. There were many acts of kindness by locals towards visitors that will be remembered by those visitors.

"One such incident was when a local cycle race marshal recognised a participant's mountain bike was faulty and took the participant to their house nearby.
"The local offered her husband's large-sized bike and insisted that the local complete the race with this bike. Random acts of kindness like this go a long way," concluded Vogt.

* For further information pertaining to the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival, visitwww.pnpoysterfestival.co.za.

Published in Festivals & events

There have been a great line up of new events at this year's Oyster Festival, but none perhaps quite as inspiring (and environmentally significant) as the Artful Waste Challenge which took place on Wednesday, July 6. On certainly one of the coldest days of the winter, a morning coupled with sporadic rain and icy winds, a total of six teams along with a unit of SANparks rangers, braved the elements to take part in an event that the Knysna Basin Project – the organisers of the event - hope will inspire change. A wave of change!

“The aim of this event, says organiser Louw Claassens, a scientist working for the Knysna Basin Project, “was to raise awareness surrounding the issues of waste in Knysna.” The seriousness of which became exceedingly apparent to all those taking place in a clean-up event earlier in the year., After scouring the southern banks of Thesen Island (a relatively small area of the estuary) at low tide for less than an hour, a total of 16 bags of trash were collected,80% of which, was plastic.

The six teams (which included two visiting teams from Cape Town) then headed to the SANparks tent at the festival grounds where teams had to make something artistic out of the trash collected. All the artworks made sent a clear message about what our trash is doing to our oceans. It is a global problem, but the solution needs to start at a grass- roots, local level, which is the message the Knysna Basin Project is attempting to relay. The Knysna Estuary, our town's most precious aquatic asset, unites with the mighty Indian Ocean in daily tidal dance... often dumping plastic that has made its way into this estuarine system. An estimated 8 million tonnes of plastic end up in our oceans each year – a cause for great concern.

Looking after our lagoon is a collective responsibility. Each and every one of us needs to say NO to single use plastic items and the plastic that we do use must be RECYCLED!!

This event was generously supported by several local businesses: Pick n Pay, Ocean Odyssey Whale Watching and Eco Trips, Knysna Elephant Park and Metelerkamps in association with WESSA Knysna, Sanparks and Knysna Municipality and our Judge, local artist Jan Andre Raats.
For more information: www.knysnabasinproject.co.za

Published in Festivals & events
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