October Events and Festivals
To celebrate the full effect of Spring here are a few suggestions of popular annual events and festivals happening around South Africa in October.
Western Cape Events
Make your way to the charming town of Standford for the Glendower Bird Fair from the 1st to the 4th October. Again sponsored by Glendower Whisky and Overstrand Destination Marketing, the Glendower Bird Fair Now in its 5th year with the focus being more bird related with additional festivities arranged by Stanford Tourism. Outstanding speakers will enrich and educate with their knowledge and expertise, special outings are also planned and guided bird watching walks through Stanford are offered … See more at Stanford Glendower Bird Fair and to book your stay see Stanford Accommodation.
The Durbanville Wine Valley will once again throw open their farms to enthusiasts of the good life from the 2nd to the 4th October. This Season promises to be a feast for the senses with activities ranging from vineyard walks and cellar tours, picnics, arts, crafts, music and special lunches and dinners. See Season of Sauvignon 2009 for more info. Still in Durbanville Bloemendal Wine Estate celebrates the annual Seasons of Sauvignon with its Blanc and Blues Festival. Bloemendal will be releasing its 2009 Suider Terras Sauvignon Blanc with a great line-up of local bands. To book your stay in the Durbanville Valley see Durbanville Accommodation.
In the Cape Winelands the Cape Outdoor Adventure & Travel Expo takes place in Franschhoek from 2nd to 4th, and at Franschhoek Uncorked (10 – 11 October) there is something for everyone with: cellar- and vineyard tours, barrel-tastings, scrumptious food and wine pairings, art exhibitions, flower-bulb markets, jazz and blues bands, live music extravaganzas and much more. Visit 10 of Franschhoek’s most spectacular gardens as they burst into bloom this Summer – see Franschhoek Open Garden Festival (25 – 26 October). To plan your stay see Franschhoek Accommodation.
Not to be missed is “Rocking the Dasies” in Darling. Now in its fourth year, Rocking the Daisies is the fastest growing eco-friendly music and lifestyle festival in South Africa. Taking place from 9 to 11 October on Cloof Wine Estate in the village of Darling, the festival will once again offer the best in live entertainment, lifestyle exhibitions and gourmet food.
In the Breede River Valley the popular Robertson Wine on the River (16 – 18 October) you get to enjoy live music, browse through the arts & crafts lane, enjoy lunch in this beautiful setting or sample any of our local produce on show. Wine sold on site at cellar price and there is plenty for the kids to do.
Eastern Cape Events
At the Addo Rose & Garden Show (9 – 11 October) you will be amazed by the spectacular displays incorporating 25 000 roses! Enjoy an exciting new program of garden tours, music and fun demonstrations with flowers and food. Browse among farm stalls for fresh produce selling everything from kudu salami to strawberries and cream. Link up with friends for a memorable day in the country where you can chill out under trees with a beer or cup of tea while listening to Jazz. (See Addo Accommodation to book your stay).
The Bedford Garden Festival (23 – 25 October) offers visitors exceptional opportunities to see various botanical varieties at their peak as well as meeting a host of friendly folk and fascinating characters. Spring comes early to this area of the Eastern Cape and October is the prime month for viewing the unique landscaping and the wonderfully-picturesque settings of the extensive farm and town gardens. Of particular interest to avid gardeners are the diverse plantings, both usual and unusual, that give each garden its own special characteristics.
Make your way to Port Elizabeth if its art you are interested in. The Collective Graduate Exhibition and Fashion Show (9 – 16 October) will be showcasing an engaging collection for local and international collectors, design agencies, photographers and fashion professionals to catch fresh emerging talent from the innovative NMMU Applied Design department, headed by Bruce Cadle. Here you will find talent at the creative frontier of photography graphic design, fashion, textiles and interior design on exhibition in Port Elizabeth.
The exhibition opens on Friday 9 October at 18h00 at the North Campus Art & Design building (follow signposts from the entrance in Admiralty Way) and there is no cover charge to attend. It is however recommended that you book tickets in advance (at Computicket) for the Collective Graduate Fashion show to be held that evening at 20h00 at the Goldfields Auditorium, North Campus. Tickets are R85 per person.
KwaZulu Natal Events
Highlights on the KwaZulu Natal events calendar in October include the International Poetry Festival (see our previous article at International Poetry Festival in Durban). From the 5 – 9th October thirty poets from twelve different countries will participate in the 13th Poetry Africa international poetry festival which takes place in Durban, with a special celebratory event in Johannesburg.
The extensive week-long Durban programme includes performances, readings and book-launches every evening at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, University of KwaZulu-Natal with a festival finale at the BAT Centre.
At the Soweto Food Festival (1 – 4 October) you can hob-nob with the glitterati, enjoy food, beer, wine and whiskey tastings and discover what you’ve been missing in Soweto. Key players in the food industry, upcoming chefs and veteran ‘foodies’ will all be on hand to share information and tips about where the world of fine cuisine is headed next.
Take to the Newtown Cultural Precinct and participate in the Newtown Diwali Festival (3 October). A wide array of fun activities is on offer ranging from children’s art workshops, dance workshops, an esoteric fair, a textile and crafts fair, fashion shows, retail and food stores and a dazzling entertainment line-up which culminated in an exquisite fireworks display. Hosted by the City of Johannesburg, Newtown Diwali Festival has become an integral inclusion to the City’s cultural calendar.
Head to Emmarentia Dam on 3rd October for “Rocking the Gardens”. Rocking the Daisies in partnership with Oppikoppi, will be gracing the shores (figuratively speaking) of Joburg’s widely enjoyed Emmarentia Dam. The one day event, Rocking the Gardens, will take place on Saturday 3 October and will host a selection of South Africa’s hottest bands and entertainers’ custom to the young yet incredibly progressive festival. Other events not to be missed in Gauteng include the Good Food & Wine Show and the Soweto Mushroom Festival.
Free State Events
Head to Bloemfontein for the 10-day Mangaung African Cultural Festival which showcases the cream of African and international talent. The Makufe Festival features jazz, gospel, kwaito, hip-hop, R&B, rock and classical music, as well as dance, drama, cabaret, musical theatre, poetry, fine art and traditional arts and crafts. First held in 1997 before an audience of 30 000, Macufe now attracts over 140 000 people from South Africa, Africa and the world.
The “City of Roses” presents the Bloemfontein Rose Festival (15 – 22 October). Among the events will be a Champion Rose Competition, exhibitions of wide varieties of roses, and a bus tour to all the rose competition’s winning gardens. A Miss Rosebud Competition will also be held and there will be many other attractions. (To book your stay in Bloem see Bloemfontein Accommodation).
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