Knysna Oyster Festival 2015
The 32nd annual Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival takes place during the school holidays from 3 to12 July. With more than 100 activities spread over 10 days, it offers something for everyone and there will be no shortage of fun.
Fun-filled festival programme
The festival programme includes numerous sporting and lifestyle events from running, cycling and adventure-racing, to food and wine-tastings, live music, a special children’s programme and of course, loads of oysters!
Fun with a purpose
One of the requirements for events to be officially listed is that the event must benefit a local non-profit organisation (NGO) or charity. Each NGO that runs an event must apply for accreditation and can decide which charity or charities they’d like to support.
In 2014 the festival had 92,000 visitors over the 10 days with the economic impact of R91 million. The festival also raised R2.1 million for local charities and NGOs. We’re hoping to grow that figure significantly each year.
Momentum Weekend Argus Knysna Cycle Tour
The cycle tour, presented by the Knysna Rotary Club, is the biggest sporting event of the festival. The Rotary Club of Knysna uses the funds raised by this event to support a wide variety of people in the Southern Cape.
A few of the organisations that have benefitted from the proceeds of the Momentum Weekend Argus Rotary Knysna Cycle Tour in the past include the Vermont Home, Knysna Sports School, Knysna Education Trust, Epilepsy South Africa and the Knysna Sea Cadets.
Over the next year their funds will be dedicated to a variety of projects, including:
- bursaries to support deserving students for tertiary education,
- support for E-Pap’s children’s feeding scheme, that provides nutritious food to over 3 000 school children every day in the Eden district, and
- the Young Oysters Community Library programme, where almost 900 kids per day participate in this midweek programme at 11 community libraries and 2 community halls is Khayalethu and Smutsville.
Potential to launch sustainable, long-running community projects
In an attempt to include all local communities in the festival, Knysna Tourism’s Local Loeries project offers sustainable opportunities for previously disadvantaged communities to get involved in the festival and reap the benefits for many years afterwards.
The programme identifies individuals to be mentored in four areas:
- food & catering,
- sports development and
Mentors assist candidates to set up businesses that can provide services to the festival such as catering, cleaning and transport. Mentoring continues for as long as necessary and entrepreneurs are offered the chance to get involved in the town’s other Knysna festivals.
The project also provides for the scrapping of entry fees for festival sport events for those who can’t afford them, and competitors with potential are identified by local clubs and NGOs. Local sports clubs provide mentors and the necessary equipment while waiving club fees to assist in their development.
A similar project exists for children who are spotted as having sporting potential at the Knysna Sport School Sports Fair, a two-day sports workshop that introduces a wide range of sports to children from disadvantaged communities.
Knysna Makers Co-op
The Knysna Makers Co-op, a local craft co-op, will have a pop-up shop at the main festival venue. 40 local crafters will display their products, and we hope this marketing will be the launch pad for a variety of the products on show.
Knysna Green Chefs Community Cooking
The Knysna Green Chefs Community Cooking exciting cooking competition is organised by Knysna Tourism has been one of the most successful community projects of the Festival. Local aspirant chefs are invited to present their dishes to a panel of judges, and five finalists are chosen. The first prize is a Chef’s Course at Kilzer’s Kitchen, a local cooking school.
We want to make our province Better Together
In partnership with the festival organisers, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) have come out in support of a wide variety of activities to promote social inclusion in the Western Cape.
DCAS also provides our media truck for the sporting events, which allows the organisers the use of the mobile media screen.
The department's support and efforts during the Knysna Oyster Festival aims to promote social inclusion of a diverse group of people, especially disabled people, through assisting and supporting their participation in various events.
Over time, this kind of support will leave a sport and recreation legacy in the area.
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