Annual Tweede Nuwe Jaar Minstrel Street Parade set to dazzle Cape Town on 4 Jan

Annual Tweede Nuwe Jaar Minstrel Street Parade set to dazzle Cape Town on 4 Jan

One of Cape Town’s largest and most historic cultural events, the annual Tweede Nuwe Jaar Minstrel Street Parade, will be officially opened by City of Cape Town Executive Mayor, Alderman Patricia de Lille, at 12:00 on Saturday 4 January 2014.

This year, the iconic Grand Parade will feature a stage and screen in front of City Hall, grandstand seating, a food court, a prayer room and vendors. On-stage entertainers, selected by the minstrels to represent Cape Town’s rich cultural diversity, will entertain the crowds from 10:00 until the formal programme begins.

The Parade will start at Keizersgracht, proceeding along Darling Street, left into Adderley Street and right into Wale Street, crossing Buitengragt, turning right into Rose Street and finishing at Castle Street and Rose Street at approximately 20:00.

‘The annual Tweede Nuwe Jaar Parade and the Cape Minstrels are part of the rich cultural heritage of Cape Town. It is more fitting than ever to ring in the New Year a second time, as we enter the 20th year of South Africa’s democracy. Embracing our cultural diversity is an integral part of our commitment to building an inclusive city,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Tourism, Events and Marketing, Councillor Grant Pascoe.

This year 75 spectacular groups comprising 40 000 minstrels will participate in the annual street parade. The event attracts entire communities, including little children, all kitted out in glamorous outfits who take part in the colourful celebrations. The various brightly clad teams carry a rainbow of umbrellas and some are armed with musical instruments, dazzling onlookers with toe-tapping songs and beautifully choreographed dances, preserving a custom that began in the mid-1800s.

The Tweede Nuwe Jaar Parade is so ingrained in local society that some performers have been taking part in the parade for over 30 years, and are not only joined by their children but even their grandchildren for this extravagant event.

‘The annual Tweede Nuwe Jaar Minstrel Street Parade is a day of family fun with exciting entertainment that is unique to Cape Town. Each year, approximately 60 000 residents and visitors flock to the CBD to be a part of this historic event,’ said Councillor Pascoe.

No parking will be permitted in Keizersgracht, Darling Street, Adderley Street, Wale Street and Rose Street from midnight on Friday 3 January 2014, to 23:00 on Saturday 4 January 2014. In addition, there will be no access for buses and taxis on these routes, and deliveries are to be avoided on event days. Only accredited and authorised traders will be allowed within the event precinct and designated informal trading areas.

This spectacular event on Cape Town’s annual events calendar has a few surprises in store for attendees this year.

The City’s Traffic Services, Metro Police, Disaster Risk Management and Law Enforcement Services, along with the Cape Town Central Improvement District and South African Police Services, will maintain a high presence during the events.

For Twitter updates :  #FestiveCT, @CityofCT, #2eNuweJaar, #CapeMinstrels.