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Posted on: Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Events in December – the festive season is here

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Carols by Candle Light

Carols by Candle Light

We’re in full swing it seems, full swing into the festive season that is. I’m sure for the month of December your calendar is filling up quickly as you celebrate with friends, family and colleagues with Christmas parties and general holiday cheer, however, there are still a number of fun festivals and events taking place in South Africa that you shouldn’t forget about.

Take a break from the champagne and mince pies and have a look and what else is going on around you. Bring your family and friends and have fun together, enjoy the holidays and who knows you might just discover a new holiday tradition!

Events in the Garden Route:
On Sunday 19 December the Knysna Elephant Park along with Plett Aid Foundation will host their annual Carols by Candle Light with Elephant Picnic at 19h00. Entrance is R50 for adults and children are asked to bring an old toy or item of clothing as their entry. Bring your own picnic or pre-order one from their restaurant and come and enjoy some delightful carols at the home of orphaned elephants, you can join the elephants in their controlled free-range environment where you will be able to appreciate their magnificent presence up-close-and-personal. Telephone +27 (0)44 532-7732

Hartenbos Wine Festival

Hartenbos Wine Festival

If you leave your Christmas shopping until the very last minute do not fear then Mossel Bay Christmas Market at the Mossel Bay South NG Church Hall will be held from 20-22 December. This will be the perfect opportunity to purchase some beautiful handcrafted gifts to spoil those you love. Children will be entertained with a variety of games and activities. For further details telephone Cecile on +27 (0)82 224-3865.

If you enjoy a delicious glass of wine then make sure you head to the Hartenbos Wine Festival which is exclusive to the Klein Karoo Wineroute. Come and taste a large selection of wines and purchase the ones you like to take home and enjoy. For further information telephone the Klein Karoo Wineroute Office on (028) 572-1284.

… see more events and festivals at Garden Route Events

Events in the Eastern Cape:

Annual Sdudla Mix

Annual Sdudla Mix

The Gonubie Christmas Fair takes place from Friday 17 to Sunday 19 December in Gonubie, East London. This extremely popular annual event gathers on the sports fields of Gonubie and will get you into the Christmas spirit if you aren’t already in it. Purchase wonderful items including furniture, fashion and tasty treats. With heaps of fun and activities organised by local charity organisations come and have some fun.

Humewood, Port Elizabeth is host to the Annual Sdudla Mix on Friday 24 and Saturday 25 December. Christmas Eve will never be the same again. Be entertained by six live national artists and 14 national DJ’s. Let your eyes experience the magic of the fireworks and pyrotechnics display at midnight to celebrate the start of Christmas. A designated braai area will be available so you can fill your bellies with a boerie roll or two. Find the fun at HumePark – tickets cost R120 per person and are available at Computicket and Shoprite-Checkers stores nationwide.

Celebrate the start of the 2011 with the New Years Festival of Lights on Friday 31 December in Nieu-Bethesda. The lantern parade is an powerful symbol of hope and beauty. Come and make your own lantern at one of our workshops, then join the parade for a magical night walk through starry Nieu-Bethesda, assemble at 20h00 at the Bethesda Arts Centre on Muller Street. Telephone +27 (0)49 841-1729 for more information.

… see more events and festivals at Eastern Cape Events

Events in Mpumalanga:

Sabie Experience

Sabie Experience

The Sabie Experience is a three day staged event taking place from 16-19 December. Groups leave from the Main Road gate of the Sybrand van Niekerk School, Sabie, at 07h30. Be prepared for any weather conditions (even though we are in summer), this will be a great event. Contact the race office on +27 (0)13 764-3500 for more information.

From 16-20 December the Dullstroom Arts Festival will showcase off of the cultural and artistic talent Dullstroom has to offer. A variety of the arts including visual, culinary, musical and more will be enjoyed. Come and watch performances on stages spread throughout the town and enjoy entertainment in the restaurants in the evening. You can also take pleasure in wine tasting at some of the restaurants during the performances. For further details about the festival contact the Dullstroom Info Office on +27 (0)13 254-0020.

Piet Retief hosts the Uban’inkunzi Cultural Competition and Exhibition on 28-30 December. This events aims to develop South Africa’s cultural music and dance in rural areas. Groups from KwaZulu Natal, Gauteng and all over Mpumalanga flock to the event to take park. There are a number of cultural music and dance competitions with prizes. This is non-stop entertainment with more than 100 traditional music and dance groups competing against each other in seven different categories: imbube, maskandi, ushemeni, umzansi zulu dance, fashion show formally called Oswenka and more. Get to Entababusuku, Donkerhoek to be a part of it all. Telephone Melusi on +27 (0)79 496-0432 for more information.

… see more events and festivals at Mpumalanga Events

Events in Gauteng:

Wheels for Christmas

Wheels for Christmas

Brightwater Commons in Randburg is holding a Wheels for Christmas event on Sunday 5 December which plans to be the largest Santa Claus gathering on wheels –so come and be a part of this memorable event. All you need to do is arrive on wheels, dressed in your best Santa gear and remember it’s for a great cause. R30 gets you into the event and a portion of all monies raised will be donated to the QuadPara Association of South Africa. Be there from 12h00 to 14h00. Telephone +27 (0)11 789-5052 for further details.

Summer is here and that means so is the Summer Festival in the East Rand of Johannesburg from 10-12 December. This is a fun outing for the entire family with a beer festival, fabulous food and some of the best South African bands. Also on offer will be 150 exhibitions stands offering a variety of craft items. The event is help at the Sunward Park Sports Grounds.

… see more events and festivals at Gauteng Events

Events in KwaZulu Natal:

Carols with KZNPO

Carols with KZNPO

One of my favourite things about Christmas are Christmas carols and if you also enjoy them make sure you get to the Carols by Candlelight with the KZNPO on Sunday 12 December 2010. The KwaZulu Natal Philharmonic Orchestra (KZNPO) will be performing at the Durban Botanical Gardens. For more information about this event in Durban, telephone +27 31 309 1170.

On Thursday 16 December the Shongweni Farmers Christmas Market in Gillitts will be the perfect opportunity to spend time with family and friends. Browse through the stalls of special hand-made crafts and Christmas décor. The market is open from 10h00 to 18h00 and the entry is free, you will find it at the corner of Kassier and Alverstone Road, Gillitts, Durban.

If you’re looking for the perfect gift for that special someone then head to the Xmas Gift Expo in Ballito from 16-19 December 2010. Come and find inspirational ideas and innovative products – gifts with a difference. Find the event at the Ballito Bay Mall on Simbithi Drive.

… see more events and festivals at KwaZulu Natal Events

Events in the Western Cape:

Durbanville Beer Fest

Durbanville Beer Fest

If you enjoy an ice cold beer then you will enjoy the Durbanville Beer Fest on Saturday 11 December. Get a beer moustache from some of the micro breweries and giants of South African beer, this is a celebration. Held at the Hillcrest Wine Estate, Durbanville from 10h00 to 22h00 you can enjoy a beverage while being entertained by live music and cooking demonstrations. There is something for everyone. For more information telephone Jacky on +27 (0)78 587-7551.

The first Annual Cape Town Bike Show takes place on Sunday 12 December in Noordhoek. You can expect an outdoor exhibit of over 1000 motorcycles as well as displays from motorcycle manufacturers and suppliers. Gates are open at 10h00 and entry is R20 per person.

On 15 December the Pure Boland Christmas Market and Night Run offers you the chance to do some Christmas shopping in a gorgeous setting and take part in a 10km night run through the vineyards of the Brandwacht valley in Worcester – the run starts at 18h00. For more information and bookings for the lamb on a spit telephone +27 (0)82 301-8561.

Lamkietie Fees

Lamkietie Fees

The IPA Family Funday on Thursday 16 December is a celebration of Timour Hall Villa in Plumstead being home to the International Police Association for the past 21 years. The day will offer a multitude of food and craft stalls as well as plenty of entertainment. Entry is R10 per person and children under 12 years are free of charge.

Lamberts Bay is holding their annual Lamkietie Fees from 17-19 December which celebrates the start of the festive season. Come and take part in the various activities which include kit surfing, wake boarding, long board surfing, fire dancing, snorkelling and more. There will also be drumming and poitjiekos competitions. The event takes place at the Lamberts Bay Festival Grounds and for more information you can telephone Liezl Venter on +27 (0)82 628-5453.

The annual MCQP 2010 takes place this year on Saturday 18 December and this years theme is Flower Power. The Mother City Queer Projects is a Queer Art Party Project and promises to be a big bash, one that is full of fun and that you are sure to remember. This is a big dress up, so make sure you are dressed to the nines and ready for a fantastic party. Tickets cost R220 per person or R400 per person for VIP.

Minstrel Carnival

Minstrel Carnival

Don’t forget about the Cape Town Minstrel Carnival on Saturday 1 January 2011. Celebrate the new year with the ‘Kaapse klopse’, watch the centre of town come alive in a glorious celebration. Watch as over ten thousand costumed, banjo-picking musicians and dancers, their faces painted white, as opposed to the original black-painted faces of the visiting minstrels, parade and march through the streets, followed by a series of dance, singing and costume competitions at Green Point Stadium.

… see more events and festivals at Western Cape Events

The festive season is here and there is so much to celebrate and with so many great events and festivals you will be celebrating all the way into the new year. Enjoy this time, spend it with those who are special to you, party responsibly, help those who aren’t as fortunate as you and from all of us we wish you a wonderful festive season.

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Tania Stephenson


Tania loves to cook and create magic in the kitchen for family and friends (or even just herself). Be it finding a new recipe or making a tried and tested dish from her recipe folder - the kitchen is her sanctuary. Find her hanging out with friends round the braai or curled up on the couch reading the latest crime drama. With a spring in her step and a song in her heart you’ll find her supporting local artists in theatre, music and dance – from a hip hop competition or the latest musical on stage at Artscape in Cape Town. Enjoying all things culture she likes to share her experiences and delights with those around her.

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