The ever-popular annual Leisure Isle Festival will be held on the weekend of 9th and 10th November 2019. A week later than usual to avoid a clash with the Rugby World Cup Final, the organisers are looking to do even better than last year’s Festival which raised over R300,000 for 8 local charities. Booking of Festival sites opens on Thursday 1st August and can be done online from our website www.leisureislefestival.co.za. Paper application forms will be available at Sotheby’s offices on Leisure Isle, Thesen Islands and at Woodmill Lane as well as at Sedgefield.
The Festival will be held on the ‘village-green’ atmosphere of Kingsway Park on Leisure Isle. This is the 17th Festival which has raised a total of nearly R2.0M for charities since its very small beginnings in 2003. The event, organised by a group of volunteers, aims to provide opportunities for local charities to participate and raise funds to benefit the wider Knysna community and to provide local crafters and small businesses with a market-place for their high quality products. Once again special efforts will be made to provide local emerging crafters with an opportunity to showcase their products. This year there will be 9 beneficiary charities - Knysna Animal Welfare, e’Pap Children Feeding Scheme, Hospice, Steenbok Nature Reserve, Vermont Old Age Home, LoerieHof, Die Werkswinkel and Ithemba
There will be a mouth-watering array of food and drink, as well as art and crafts, toys, a huge array of books, indigenous and other plants and many other delights. A number of the stalls including book sales, pancake stalls, the wine and beer bar and tea garden will be run by participating charities. A strong focus this year will be on the provision of learning activities for children. Queen Bee, Knysna Basin Project and Steenbok Nature Reserve stalls will provide environmental displays, face painting, colouring competitions and treasure hunts in addition to more energetic activities such as a jumping castle.
The organising committee this year comprises: Niall Johnston (convenor), Peter Smith, Bob Hunt, Chris Kay, Sheena Mare, Natalie Scanlen, Libby Gibb and Iain Butchart.
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This year will see the Eden Kite Festival reach new heights in all sorts of ways! The family-fun, community-oriented event is now in its third year. From an informal start in 2015, to unexpected growth last year, 2017 is the year the festival really ‘comes to town’. As founder of the event Keith Mould puts it. “We are moving the festival to the Eden Lawns fields in Sedgefield. It’s a perfect venue – safe, easy access for everyone and lots of space for us to grow even more in the future”.
The festival is, as always, in aid of Masithandane, the regional Non-Profit Organisation well-loved for their work in the Eden District. Funds raised by the festival this year will support their Bursary Fund. A real need in Sedgefield is to assist families with, transport costs to school, school fees, uniforms and toiletries for teens. There is no public transport system or high school in the Sedgefield area.
Executive Mayor of Knysna, Eleanore Bouw-Spies is a fan of both the festival and Masithandane. “The festival is a real asset in our calendar, and Masithandane has a significant impact in the community”. Bouw-Spies has tentatively agreed to formally open the event again this year.
More big news is that Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty is sponsoring the festival. Peter and Sheena Mare are principals and owners of the Knysna, Sedgefield, Stilbaai and Mossel Bay franchises. They believe that the combination of the family-oriented event and Masithandane’s visible service to the community is a natural fit for Sotheby’s. “We support a lot of local events”, Peter Mare told us: “With the kite festival we are promoting healthy, outdoor activity for the whole family and helping Masithandane to make a real difference in the lives of the local community.”
The 3rd Eden Kite Festival takes place on Sunday 22 October 2017 from 9:30 to 16:00 at Eden Lawns, N2, Sedgefield.