Knysna Oyster Festival 2010 countdown begins …
With less than a month to go until the 2010 Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival kicks off, organisers say that the festival is expected to attract thousands of sportsmen and women, food lovers and party goers to Knysna this July.
Jonathan Ackerman, marketing director of Pick n Pay Retail, said that he is delighted with the way the festival has grown since Pick n Pay became involved as naming sponsors in 2004. “At the time we said we would assist to add value and grow the festival and, in doing so, make a worthwhile contribution to local economic development, because Pick n Pay is committed to supporting events which benefit the local community and local charities.
“The festival is now well established and has a good infrastructure and from Pick n Pay’s point of view it offers excellent branding opportunities in South Africa’s Favourite Town,” said Ackerman. “It revolves mainly around sport and leisure activities and is an ideal platform to promote the brand of Pick n Pay which is associated with healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle.”
“We are set for an incredibly festive time in Knysna,” says Festival Manager Nicci Rousseau-Schmidt. “At the moment the town is gripped by soccer fever with two teams, France and Demark, having made their base camps here. And on 2 July, before the end of the World Cup, the 10 day Oyster Festival will kick off and the country’s top cyclists and runners will be heading down to the Garden Route.”
Rousseau-Schmidt says that the 27 year old festival has more than 100 events on the programme this year. “The Oyster Festival is all about sport and lifestyle events. Many of the sporting events are as old as the festival itself and are hugely popular with sports people from all over the country who come to Knysna to play and then to party.”
The two main sporting events are the Pick n Pay Weekend Argus Rotary Knysna Cycle Tour on the first weekend of the festival and the Pick n Pay Cape Times Knysna Forest Marathon and Half Marathon on the Saturday of the second weekend.
In between there are a number of other great sports events including the Salomon Featherbed Trail Run presented by Petzl, which has proved so popular that this year the organisers, Magnetic South, have added a night run.
The Duesouth XTERRA presented by REHIDRAT® Hydration Powder attracts South Africa’s top multi-sport athletes and the Knysna Lagoon Challenge is a draw card for paddlers around the country.
There are also bowls, soccer, rugby and bridge tournaments, golf days, a geocaching adventure, a pump trolley marathon, a street mile run and a fun walk for people with disabilities.
A complete programme for younger festival goers will ensure that there’s plenty to occupy them while mom and dad enjoy the more adult activities. The Pick n Pay Young Oyster Festival provides fun, supervised activities for kids aged 3-9 as well as some activities for the 10-15 age group.
The Proudly Knysna Festival which runs at the Knysna Secondary School in Hornlee includes a jazz festival, funfair and stalls. The Oyster Carnival Fun Fair at the Oyster Festival Grounds will also have many attractions for young people.
The fabulous line-up of lifestyle events centres around the mollusc that gave the festival its name, the most popular of these being the Pick n Pay Oyster & Wine Mardi Gras presented by Tabasco, at which local chefs prepare thousands of oysters in original and interesting ways for the 1,000 or so guests.
Don’t miss the party of the year, the Official Heineken® Afterparty at which two of South Africa’s top bands, The Parlotones and Flat Stanley will be playing.
Other great parties include the Wade Bales Wine Festival, the Whisky & Jazz Festival on the Paddle Cruiser, the Longbarn Oyster Eating Competition, the Nights of 1000 Pictures in aid of Knysna Hospice, The Oystercatcher Shucking Competition presented by Tabasco, the Admiral’s Ball and the SA Navy Band in Concert at the Knysna Waterfront.
This year the Oyster Festival hub has been moved to Waterfront Drive. It will be known as the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival Grounds and is where the Heineken® Pavilion will be erected.
Between 2 and 10 July visitors will also be able to indulge in a variety of delicious food at the Pick n Pay Fresh Experience at the Oyster Festival Grounds.
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