The Kirkwood Wildsfees is fast becoming one of the Eastern Cape’s largest, and most successful, events. It is characterised by a really festive ambience with plenty of sights, sounds, competitions, stalls and performances. Set in the heart of the little “dorp” of Kirkwood in the Sunday’s River Valley, the Wildsfees was originally intended to showcase agricultural and wildlife-oriented.
Any other time of the year, Kirkwood is a sleepy hollow in which locals enjoy the tranquillity of the Eastern Cape bushveld and surrounding mountains.
Some of the top performers in South Africa travel to be a part of the Kirkwood Wildsfees, since it is so well attended and promises to be plenty of fun. The huge stage, with fabulous sound and lighting, is centrally located, allowing festival-goers to enjoy the vibrant atmosphere from almost anywhere in the grounds.
Some of the artists that made an appearance for the 2012 Wildsfees included Nicholis Louw, Nicole Brown and Orchestra, Valiant Swart, Karen Zoid, Snotkop, George Longane, Elvis Blue, Heinz Winkler, Arno Carstens, Chris Chameleon, DJ Superman and Charlize Berg.
The food and wine is another huge draw-card to the Kirkwood Wildsfees. Suppliers from all over the country converge here to let visitors sample their delectable flavours of goods; whether cheeses, pastries, wines, meats or gourmet treats.
There are loads of stalls offering different dishes and moreish snacks. Of course, the enormous beer tent might be just the place for many festival visitors who want a cold beer, a comforting glass of wine or a party-starting tot of tequila.
Game auctions are in keeping with the original purpose of the Wildsfees, and prospective buyers can look forward to the opportunity to invest in impala, Burchell’s Zebra, bushbuck, reedbuck, blesbok, gemsbok, giraffe, kudu and much more.
There are loads of competitions associated with the festival, including the always-popular potjiekos competition. Savour the flavours of potjies (stews made in traditional cast-iron tripod pots on hot coals) as a host of experts and enthusiasts put their skills to the test.
The Kirkwood Wildsfees is perfect for families, particularly for those with children, as there is just so much for young ones to do.
Children’s activities include train rides, Lollos performing on stage, pony rides, face painting, clown shows, magic shows, a jumping castle, balloon animal artists, biscuit decorating crafts, colouring-in, sand art and a beading workshop. The evening childminding service includes a light meal and drink as well as activities (such as games with fun prizes, crafts and a movie corner).
Physically disabled people in wheelchairs and children under the age of 7 years get in free.
Adults’ fees were R70 (on Friday and Sunday) or R100 (on Saturday) in 2012. Entrance fees for 2013 are not guaranteed to be the same.
Special discounts for bus tours and large groups can be arranged.