The Splash Festival
The Splash Festival is the biggest water event on the whole of the African continent, and Port Elizabeth is the proud host of this fun annual occasion. Usually held at the end of autumn, before the winter chill descends on this coastal hotspot, the Splash Festival has been hugely successful in terms of giving water sportsmen and –women the platform on which to compete, as well as in showcasing different sports and disciplines to the locals and tourists of Nelson Mandela Bay. This has earned PE the official title of being the Watersport Capital of Africa, according to Mayor Zanoxolo Wayile.
The entire festival takes place on the stunning beachfront of the Friendly City, giving this whole stretch a really vibrant, festive feeling. Safety and security is of utmost importance and officials are present and visible to assist anyone in need.
Some of the water-oriented events to which visitors of the Splash Festival can look forward include the World Cup Surf Ski Race, the World Inflatable Boat Championships, an ‘A’ rated volleyball tournament, the Jet Ski Challenge, the SA Surfing Grommet Games and the King of the Bay Beach Sprint. However, events are not limited to accomplished sports enthusiasts.
Children love the traditional Easter egg hunt, clown shows and magic shows, while everyone can enjoy the talent search freestyle competitions and fashion shows. The Little Miss Splash Pageant is always a hit, as tiny tots show visitors what Port Elizabeth and the Splash means to them.
Well-known artists from Port Elizabeth and South Africa make their annual appearance to perform at the Splash Festival, making each of the four days vibrant, lively and fun. Some of the recent performers include:
- Faye Gatley
- Marinus van Rooyen
- Dejavu Dance Group
- Rakshada Belly Dancers
- The Red Location Children’s Choir
- Steff the Hypnotists
Every year, the circus acts arrive for this prestigious event and wow the audience with their incredible feats and hilarious antics.
One of the major features of the celebrations that are associated with the Splash Festival is the magnificent fireworks display. Thousands of visitors stop whatever they are doing and gape in wonder of the stunning pyrotechnic display overhead. Locals living on the beachfront flock to their balconies and stand in their gardens to be a part of the colourful bursts that laden the night sky. This is a real treat and a must for anyone in the area.
In 2013, the Splash Festival dates are still to be confirmed. Visitors from other parts of the country (or the world) are urged to book their accommodation in Port Elizabeth well in advance, since hoards of people flock to this town to share in the celebration, excitement and fun sporting events.