With 1 day to go, Transnet National Ports Authority’s (TNPA) Port of Port Elizabeth has showcased the upcoming PEople’s Port Festival for local media and influencers,
 inviting them to use their platforms to raise the profile of this popular event and to promote the diversity and growth potential of the port. The PEople’s Port Festival takes place on 1 and 2 December in the PE harbour.

Port Elizabeth Port Manager, Rajesh Dana, said: “The media and local influencers were an integral part of the success of last year’s festival, which saw 90,000 visitors coming out to enjoy all the fun, edu-tainment and entertainment of the first PEople’s Port Festival in more than a decade. This year we plan to be bigger and better, and we are looking to partner with our media and blogger friends yet again to make this a reality.”

Dana and colleagues outlined how the PEople’s Port Festival would bring elements of a working port to life for the community of Nelson Mandela Bay through edu-tainment, experiential elements and family-friendly live entertainment. Guests were treated to a port bus tour, followed by a tour of the iconic SA Agulhas training ship and former
polar research vessel which will be open for public tours during the two-day festival. The gathering ended with a finger lunch at the newly launched Nelson Mandela Bay Yacht Club.

With a diverse programme of activities, demonstrations and entertainment, visitors to the festival will be able to explore the inner-workings of this busy port, the magic of the ocean, watersports and the lifestyle the port offers. Activities will be underpinned by the 2018 festival theme which celebrates the Centenary of Madiba.

“We will pay homage to Nelson Mandela as a son of the Eastern Cape and reflect his vision of a Rainbow Nation,” said Dana. The Port of PE has the honour of having two new tugs named in tribute to Mandela – namely tug ‘MVEZO’ named after the small Eastern Cape village where he was born, and ‘QUNU’ named after the village where he grew up.

Dana also thanked the strategic partners of the festival for 2018, who include the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism, BLG Logistics of South Africa, the Port of Ngqura, Swartkops Terminals, Tide Marine Shipyard, Bidfreight Port Operations (BPO), Transnet Port Terminals, Fresh Produce Terminals, the South African Navy and South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA).

Confirmed activities for the PEople’s Port Festival 2018 include:
Port Edutainment / Waterside Activities
Ports and Ocean Economy displays showcasing port operations and bringing the port to life
Ship Tours of the iconic SA Agulhas training ship and former polar research vessel which will be open for public viewing.

The MS EUROPA cruise ship will be in Port.
The South African Navy will also have various vessels open for tours, as well as its dive tank, diving displays, diving equipment, rubber ducks, weaponry and career related displays.
NSRI Displays
Yacht Sail-Past
Watersport displays e.g. Rubber Duck Races

Environmental education displays and a focus on the event as being plastic-free
Port Bus Tours
Ferry rides – tickets to be purchased
Port operations displays and getting up close to the technology and machinery used within the port
Tug boat ballet displays.

Careers exhibition
In the special BLG Experience Zone, sponsored by strategic partner BLG Logistics of South Africa:
One of the leading tourist attractions in Nelson Mandela Bay, Bayworld Oceanarium, will once again
have an exciting interactive area for the whole family to experience the spectacle of coastal and marine
A unique and thrilling sharks feature will include virtual reality shark cage diving, a ‘sharks of the movies’ poster display wall and display items including a 3-metre-long robotic shark and prehistoric shark jaw, as well as fun elements such as a shark-themed photo board and a Baby Shark dance area.

In the special BPO Lifestyle Zone, sponsored by strategic partner Bidfreight Port Operations (BPO):
Marina Sea Salt will showcase live demonstrations by SA’s famous Salt Artist: Percy Maimela from Mabopane, who returns to the festival this year to once again create stunning works of art using only fine salt and a brush.
The Lifestyle demo stage will showcase local chefs including Benny Masekwameng and Lee Duru, and will also have a demo stage featuring butchers, winemakers and other foodie delights.
Bocadillos will have a pop-up restaurant with breakfast and lunch walk-ins welcome, and a fine dining 5-course dinner on the evening of the 1st December with pre-bookings required.
The lifestyle zone will also include lifestyle exhibitions, stalls and locally produced crafts and produce.

Kiddies Zone:
Always a highlight, the kiddies zone will feature predominantly free activities, with only the fun fair, paintball gallery and go karts. Activities guaranteed to thrill the little ones and young at heart include:
Combination of inflatables, activities and kiddies crafts
Graffiti Wall
Gravity trampolines
Buskers, Costume Characters, Face Painters, Balloon Animals
Climbing Wall
Mechanical Bull
Family stage entertainment
Amusement Park / Fun Fair – small fee per ride
Paintball Gallery – fee charged
Pedal Go Karts – fee charged
Graffiti trampoline

PEople’s Motor Show
A new attraction for motorheads will feature:
A Spit and Polish Car Show
Modified Production Vehicles – including Show and Shine competition, OEM Displays, Race car displays, Race Bikes and Rally vehicles Auto-Care Sound Competition.

Motorcycle Pavilion
Live Entertainment
Talented and well-known national artists, will be performing on the main stage, along with an exciting list of local entertainment and artists. The main stage will have a family focus during the day leading to an adult focus
in the evening.
On the evening of Saturday 1 December hit-making record producer and DJ, Heavy-K, takes centre stage, along with R&B and house singer Bucie, DJ Superman and Putco. Earlier in the day the main stage will be occupied by performances by the likes of King Jade & Babe Joe, alternate pop singer Claire Venn, local soul / R&B band Clique Claq and Amanda Faku.
Saturday’s diverse local performances also include a Disney Sing Along, the PE se Klopse minstrels, Mo Barnard, Rakshanda Belly Dancer, Black Masters Pantsula, Qhono Africa, Geetanjay Indian Dance, Brendon Peel Magician / Mentalist, Stef The Hypnotist, Ifani, NMU Choir, Fire Performers, NMU Ocean Dance and a spectacular Laser Show.

On Sunday 2 December Afro-pop sensation Vusi Nova will take the stage at 3.15pm to headline a lineup that also includes jazz singer Ntlantla Swana, the Lithitha marimba band, alternate pop duo The Sunshine Factory and acapella performers Dolce.

Another highlight of Sunday is the Nelson Mandela University’s 8th annual Isisusa concert to be hosted by the Department of Arts, Culture and Heritage between 2pm and 3pm. It will feature headline act Titi Luzipho accompanied by the Isisusa Big Band conducted by Gareth Williams.

The Port2Port Paddle Race on Saturday 1 December will be a race between paddlers and one of the harbour tugs, traversing a route between the Ports of PE and Ngqura. Entries are open on the website https://www.zsports.co.za/port2port for two race options, either the 40km Paddle (PE Harbour – Nggura – PE Harbour) or the 12km Paddle (Bluewater Bay – PE Harbour).

For serious anglers there is a fishing competition on Sat 1st December with R22,000 in prizes up for grabs, while for those who fish for fun, including kids, there is a social / charity fishing event to look forward to on Sun 2nd December. Both angling events take place at the Charl Malan Quay.

Avid gamers can win a Playstation in a competition running throughout the weekend. Competitors will be required to play the selected game and the overall winning scorer over the weekend will scoop the Playstation.

Other spot prizes are up for grabs, yacht cruises and tugboat rides.

Important Info
Entrance to the PEople’s Port Festival will be via Baakens Street and the Campanile entrance. There will be plenty of free parking available, with hop-on-hop-off buses running between the parking areas and the festival activities, thanks to the generous support of Blunden’s Coach Tours.
Gates open at 10am to 10pm on Saturday 1 December and 10am – 4pm on Sunday 2 December.
Festival entry and most of the activities are free, with only a few requiring a nominal ticket purchase directly from these vendors. The festival area will be a pedestrian only zone and shuttles will be available from the designated parking areas.
There will be food and drinks on sale for all tastes, including Baakens food trucks and stalls and a beer tent open throughout offering mainstream beers, craft beers, wine, as well as whiskey and brandy tasting.
Two ATMs will be available on site.
Social Media
Free WIFI will be on offer at the festival.