The Best Festivals To Enjoy The End Of 2016
CHERRY FESTIVAL, FICKSBURG – 17-19 NOVEMBER – Ficksburg is known as South Africa’s Cherry Town. Every year it plays host to the cherry festival, the oldest crop celebration in the country. Visitors can look forward to cherry tours, a golf classic, a half marathon, cherry product competitions, food stalls, live music, excellent wines and beers, veteran vehicle displays and equestrian events. There will also be a ready-steady-bake competition and workshops on how to make cherry mampoer (South Africa’s version of moonshine).
SOWETO MARATHON – 6 NOVEMBER – The People’s Race will be run for the 23rd time this year, inviting sportsmen and -women from all over South Africa to participate. Formally known as the Old Mutual Soweto Marathon, this event is made up of a standard marathon of 42.2 kilometres, a half marathon of 21.1 kilometres, and a 10-kilometre run. The race takes place at the FNB Stadium in the vibrant, historical Soweto Township – this is both the start and finish venue. Each entrant will receive a race pack; which contains a race number, free t-shirt, timing chip and race number / bib; as well as a commemorative medal.
TUNING THE VINE, CAPE TOWN – 9 NOVEMBER – Say hello to the sunshine and good times as you head to the CBD and sip on the grapey goodness across some of the Mother City’s hottest venues. The monthly #InnerCity WineRoute brings the Western Cape’s best wine producers right to your doorstep, giving you the chance to chat with winemakers, walk the streets and discover brand new flavours.
STELLENBOSCH STREET SOIREES, STARTS – 16 NOVEMBER – 22 MARCH: The ever-popular Stellenbosch Street Soirees are back in full swing, bringing together wine farms, restaurants, locals and visitors to the vibrant streets of the City of Oaks. These street parties take place every second and last week of the month for a hip crowd to immerse themselves in the inimitable food and wine culture of this forever-young town, with live music adding to a cool and casual vibe. R70 gets you a glass to taste as many wines as you wish.
CAP CLASSIQUE & CHAMPAGNE FESTIVAL, FRANSCHHOEK – 3-4 DECEMBER – This year’s Magic of Bubbles Festival promises to be a dazzling affair of glamourous outfits, delicious champagne and sumptuous eats. Join hundreds of champagne aficionados for one of the best festivals in the country. Restaurants, winemakers and boutique shops pull out all the stops to make this an unforgettable event. Spend the weekend popping corks, filling flutes, sipping bubbly and snacking on delicacies prepared by some of the valley’s gourmet masterminds.
FAVOURITE THINGS MARKET, BOT RIVER – 16-18 DECEMBER – For everything handmade, homemade, delicious, fresh and beautiful, Gabrielskloof is set for another finely curated get-together. Going into its 7th year, this popular market comes just in time for last-minute Christmas shopping. Situated just one hour from Cape Town, the event will include indie crafts, local food and excellent wines.
UBANIINKUNZI CULTURE & SPORTS FESTIVAL, PIET RETEEF – 28-30 DECEMBER 2016 – Celebrating unity through diversity, the Ubaniinkunzi Culture & Sports Festival is an outdoor event that aims to preserve the indigenous music and dance of Southern Africa and promote new talent. Visitors can learn about and enjoy African culture, music and dance. Sports activities include swimming in the river, horse riding, cycling, motor biking, hiking, and entertainment for children. The festival is hosted on a farm big enough for camping, braais and extreme family fun. Expect to see Zulu dancing, nbube music, maskandi music, fashion models (Oswenka) and stick-fighting (izinduku), and learn to play traditional games such as umlabalaba.
NEW YEAR FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS, NEEU-BETHESDA – 31 DECEMBER – Do something completely different for New Years’ Eve and join the lantern parade that traces the starry streets of Nieu-Bethesda in the Eastern Cape. This celebration represents hope and beauty and welcomes people from all backgrounds. Lantern-making workshops are hosted in preparation for the evening walk. This is followed by dancing and feasting.