Get yourself down to Knysna for the Oyster Festival
By Liezel van der Westhuizen
The highlight of anyone’s week surely is to know that on Friday it’s the start of another 48 hours to sit back, relax or go on an adventure around our beautiful country. This weekend is no different for me as I will be in Knysna for the Pick ‘n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival.
I have been here since Tuesday and despite the rain and predictions of snow, the energy in this town is amazing.
I asked some of the locals what the word Knysna meant, and a few people said it comes from a Khoikhoi word that means ferns. During the ten days of this festival over 200000 oysters will be consumed and it is predicted that over 65000 people will attend this year’s festival.
The festival, now in its 29th year, has been literally decorating the streets of Knysna since 1983. It was originally called the Knysna Winter Festival and was designed to pull in tourists during the off-season.
It has since become an event that rocks the seaside town and is eagerly looked forward to by both locals and tourists alike.
Kids of all ages, from toddlers right through to teenagers are going to be spoilt for choice at this year’s Festival with daily activities conveniently situated in central Knysna at the festival grounds in Waterfront Drive. Daily activities include cooking classes, arts and crafts, dance workshops, face painting, sand art, music making workshops, art competitions, puppet shows and a theatre workshop.
New to the festival this year for children aged between eight and 14 years old is the Junior Kom Braai Championships. It is a fun day out for the whole family with great prizes to be won.
Every official event at the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival raises money for charity and this year I am getting involved along with the public to help donate bikes to the Knysna Sport School.
The idea is very simple and not a concept where we are asking the public to dig deep into their pockets. All festivalgoers need to do is get onto a stationary bike at the Pick ‘n Pay stand at the Nedbank Pavilion and contribute by cycling a few metres. I will also be joining many Capetonians as we take on the Knysna Forest full and half marathon on Saturday with funds raised from this race going to various local charities in the area.
For the more relaxed, there is wine and oyster tastingS, breathtaking views and basically a chance to savour the good life. Throughout the festival patrons can sample oysters prepared in various creative styles for a steal at numerous ‘Oyster Hotspots’!
The entertainment here is top notch, with local bands, singers and performers taking to the stage. The South African Navy and their band will also delight the crowds with street performances and waterfront concerts.
There is so much to do over the next 48 hours in Knysna and it’s the perfect way to warm up your winter weekend.