April marks the start of the 2017 Knysna festival calendar highlighted by the following:
Knysna Literary Festival 16 – 19 March
The Garden Route’s only literary festival presented by Pam Golding is geared towards promoting literacy amongst South Africa’s poorer communities, both young and old. The Knysna Education Trust (KET), a non-profit organisation dedicated to improving the standard of education in Knysna’s disadvantaged communities, is the festival’s main beneficiary.
This year’s festival program included:
- Young Writers Workshop & Award Ceremony
- Look 'n Cook with Sarah Graham
- Delicious Word Journey
- Jan Smuts - Richard Steyn
- Fate of the Nation - JJ Tabane, Helen Zille & Fred Khumalo
- Gang Town - Don Pinnock
- "A Manifesto for Social Change" Moeletsi Mbeki
Sedgefield Slow Festival 14 – 16 April
The Slow Town or Cittaslow movement originated in Italy and embraces the philosophy of collectively striving to maintain a town’s character and diversity, whilst at the same time raising the quality of life for all its residents. Community life and respect for the environment are integral to the movement. Tangible benchmarks are set against which member towns measure their progress in attaining the movement’s goals.
Sedgefield is proud to have been designated officially as South Africa’s first Slow Town and the annual Slow Festival celebrates and showcases the town’s Slow status. The Festival’s theme focuses on good, quality, healthy living and a varied and unhurried program of events will keep the whole family entertained over Easter – including PiliPili Beer Pong Challenge, an Easter egg hunt, Movies with the Stars, Barefoot Bowls, Sedge Links Night Golf Challenge, Young Engineers Workshops, Easter Street and Band Parade, Family Fun 5km Trail Run and Magic Mosaic Interactives.
So bring along the whole family and enjoy the 8th annual relaxed Slow Festival – see Slow Festival for the full program of events and plan for next year.
Pink Loerie Mardi Gras and Arts Festival 27 April - 1 May
Having evolved in Knysna, the flamboyant Pink Loerie Festival is a popular feature on the international Gay Calendar. Knysna, one of Africa’s gayest towns, will be awash with pink during the Festival. The 17th Pink Loerie’s theme this year was ‘Once upon a time in Eden’ and the Festival has something for everybody, gay or straight.
The Arts festival will ran daily between 11.00am and 3.00pm. On Thursday 27 April, Kynsa Arts hosted a Knysna Arts Exhibition Cocktail function. Events included:
- Knysa Animal Welfare
- Annual Pink Loerie Mardi Gras and Arts Festival Street Parade
- The Queens of Wigstock Show
- Mr & Miss Gay Mardi Gras Southern Africa 2017
The Mardi Gras opened with a Loerihof Retirement Home Morning Tea. The carnival atmosphere continued each night with fashion shows, parades and parties. Next year's edition will take place from 24 - 27 May 2017.
Knysna Oyster Festival 7 – 16 July
The annual Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival, one of South Africa’s premier lifestyle and sport festivals, encompasses far more than the delectable molluscs themselves. Topping the bill of some 100 events taking place are the The Simola Phantom Forest Night Runand the Momentum Knysna Cycle Tour. Other notable challenges include the Salomon Featherbed Trail Run, the Duesouth XTERRA and the Knysna Lagoon Challenge. Naturally oysters feature throughout the festival, including oyster shucking and oyster eating contests, as well as the Pick n Pay Oyster and Wine Mardi Gras. Oysters will be available from all restaurants participating in the Oyster Hotspots program.
A Knysna Wine Festival and Night Market and the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival Oyster Shucking and Eating Competitions add to the fun. A wide range of sporting and adventure events are too on offer, such as paddling, night biking and bowls.
The Pick ‘n Pay Young Oyster Festival has a children’s program including puppet shows, theatre, sports, face painting, sand art, creative workshops and cooking courses.
Flea markets will continue to provide interesting finds and bargains whilst the Rockspots feature live bands and other entertainment each day.
Next year's dates are set for 29 June – 8 July 2018. Check out the festival website at Oyster Festival.
Knysna’s Festival Calendar includes other events such as:
- The Rastafarian Earth Festival in July.
- Gastronomica Knysna in September.
- The Annual Beach Festival in December.
Knysna’s festivals are yet further reasons to spend some time in this Garden Route gem.
Book your Knysna B & B Accommodation with Bamboo.