Transnet National Ports Authority’s (TNPA) action-packed Garden Route Port Festival takes place this weekend, 2 and 3 November 2019, in and around the Port of Mossel Bay. The festivities are free and open to all, with a variety of family-friendly activities and entertainment on offer.
At a media briefing on Thursday, Mossel Bay Port Manager, Shadrack Tshikalange said, “We are extremely excited about opening up our port once again so that we can educate the public on what happens here through a range of fun, family-friendly activities and demonstrations. We will also be aiming to promote awareness of the ports, maritime careers and business opportunities offered by this industry.”
Activities kick off on Saturday at 11h00 with a cadets display introducing the official opening and welcome, including brief addresses by Executive Mayor of the Mossel Bay Municipality, Alderman Harry Levendal, and Acting Chief Executive of Transnet National Ports Authority, Khomotso Phihlela.
There is no need to miss the big rugby match on Saturday, as there will be live screenings of the game at the festival’s beer garden and main stage. Patrons can also enjoy a special combo deal made available by Spur, including a burger, chips and Glenhoff craft beer for R80.
On Saturday the 5km Garden Route Colour Splash takes place at 9am, starting at the Station Street harbour entrance and finishing at Kaai 4 restaurant, with prizegiving after the event. Registration and pre-entries will happen on Thursday, 31 October and Friday, 1 November 2019 at the Mossel Bay Harriers Clubhouse at Van Riebeeck Stadium between 2pm and 6pm each day. Late Entries will be allowed on Saturday at the Station Street Harbour Entrance between 06h00 and 07h45.
Fishing enthusiasts will be welcomed at the shoreline and deepsea fishing competition beginning at 5am on Saturday and running throughout the day at the Port Breakwater. Weigh-in is at 4pm and there will be lots of prizes up for grabs. Shoreline entry is R100 per person and R50 for juniors (5 to 12 years old). Deepsea entries are R150 per person and R100 for juniors.
The Cape St Blaize Lighthouse in Mossel Bay will be open to visitors free of charge on Saturday from 11h00 until 18h00 and Sunday from 11h00 until 16h00. Visitors will be able to climb the tower and learn more about the rich history of this structure built in 1864.
The exhibition at Quay 4 will allow attendees to learn about the maritime industry, while corporates get to showcase their company. Participating organisations include Transnet, Afro Fishing, African Marine Solutions (AMSOL), the Dias Museum, ETA College, Francois Ferreira Academy, Hawks Crime Intelligence, Labotech SA, Vodacom, Petro SA, the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), SAPS Da Gamaskop, Sea Harvest, South Cape College and Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT).
Highlights on the main stage will include performances by the likes of national hit-makers Kwesta on Saturday evening and Vusi Nova on Sunday afternoon, as well as a host of local artists including Mossel Bay Harmonic Voices, Die Wasgoedlyn, Soulistic Harmonies, G Minor, Anushka & Keenan, Gody, Fanatics SA, Beat Kings, Space Music, Hakkies Draad, DJ Catt and DJ Didge. Saturday night’s programme ends off with a spectacular laser display.
Port-goers can compete for glory in a range of competitions, such as a talent show, fishing competition, snorkelling and scuba diving competitions, a potjie/fishbraai competition, the Amazing Race challenge, a Playstation gaming competition and the 5km Colour Splash fun run and walk. There will also be a kayak race, a speed boat race, as well as a skate park, boxing demos and beach soccer.
Kids will be kept entertained by live performers as well as a special activity zone with rides and fun activities such as balloon art, face painting, donkey rides, jumping castles, climbing wall, 10metre slides and photo booths.
There will be an arts and crafts market showcasing the talents of local crafters and entrepreneurs, as well as a Smart Youth market where learners will compete against each other, as they put their entrepreneurial and creative skills to the test.
Port Festivals play an important role in TNPA’s drive to create Smart People’s Ports that best serve port communities. TNPA uses this platform to educate the public on what happens in its ports.
“We’re look forward to welcoming Garden Route visitors in their numbers to enjoy our interactive entertainment, all set within the environment of South Africa’s oldest working port,” said the Mossel Bay Port Manager.