This year’s Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival looks to be even more promising than last year- if this is indeed possible! With a line-up ranging from oyster shucking to cycle races, one couldn’t find a more diverse festival; whether a single woman, or family man this Festival is sure to entertain!
Having started back in 1983, the Festival was originally conceptualised by late Dick Ginsberg, a local businessman. He and Rose Smith from the then Knysna Publicity Office organised the ‘Knysna Winter Festival’, as it was called. Originally intended to boost economy during Knysna’s “Winter season”, the Festival is now a multi-faceted event which lasts for ten days.
With more than 100 exciting events ranging from cycling, running and adventure races to wine and whisky tastings and gala evenings, are expected to draw about 65 000 people to the beautiful Garden Route town over the 10 days of the festival.
And could we possibly ask for a better setting? Absolutely not. Knysna is brimming with diverse fauna and flora, various adventure activities, cultural attractions and more!
Here are a couple of events that will be taking place at the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival this year:
- Pick n Pay Oyster & Wine Mardi Gras
- Oyster Eating Competition
- Waitron Race
- Bowls Tournament
- Pick n Pay Weekend Argus Rotary Knysna Cycle Tour – cycle through beautiful indigenous forests.
- Pick n Pay Cape Times Forest Marathon or Half Marathon- experience the scenic beauty of the area.
Have you come for sports?
- Even if the Cycle Tour or the Forest Marathon is a little out of reach of your physical capabilities, no problem. There’s also a full programme of adventure and soft sports for the whole family to participate in, including paddling, golf, bowls, soccer, night biking and angling.
Have you come for the food?
- Oyster-related events include the annual oyster-shucking (opening) competition, the ever-popular oyster eating competition and the Pick n Pay Oyster & Wine Mardi Gras – a fabulous evening of oysters and wine tasting. Oyster Hotspots will be selling oysters in a variety of tastes and flavours at give-away prices!
- Oysters are, of course, a huge component of the festival and every year about 200 000 of them are consumed over the 10 days by visitors.
Have you come to watch the Navy?
- The Navy will skilfully sail through the infamously treacherous Heads and will have an internationally acclaimed band to entertain festival participants during the street parade and at the Waterfront.
Have you come for the Kid’s grrreat programme?
- The Pick n Pay Young Oyster Festival includes youth theatre, puppet shows, creative art workshops and cooking courses. The Knysna Sport School Sports Fair will give kids the opportunity to try their hand at a variety of sports, free of charge.
These were the numbers of people who competed in the two great races (cycling and running, respectively) in 2012. Dare to raise numbers this year? Time to start training!
- 6 500 cyclists took part in the Pick n Pay Weekend Argus Rotary Knysna Cycle Tour
- 8 500 runners in the Pick n Pay Cape Times Knysna Forest Marathon and Half Marathon – both breaking past attendance figures.
- The Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival Programme
- Festival Tips This is a great Directory of articles for all sorts of topics related to the Festival. Articles that particularly caught my eye are, Vanessa Haywood (star of District 9) fitness training programme, bringing light to NGO’s, such as TSiBA but go and have a look yourselves on: Oyster Festival Tips.
- Oyster Hotspots
- Read More about last year’s fest (Media)
- Last year’s winning oyster- The Featherbed Company
Charities and Sponsors
The biggest contributors towards the charity amount was the Pick n Pay Rotary Knysna Cycle Tour that raised R500 000 over two days, and the Pick n Pay Cape Times Knysna Forest marathon and Half Marathon that raised just over R217 000. Some of the charities that will benefit include Child Welfare, Animal Welfare, Vermont Old Age Home, Dorothy Broster Children's Home, Knysna Education Trust, the Knysna Alcohol and Drug Centre and Hospice.
The main sponsor, Pick n Pay, renewed their sponsorship in 2009 for another five years. Jonathan Ackerman, Marketing Manager of Pick n Pay, said that the Oyster Festival presents the values that Pick and Pay stands for. "The programme is filled with sport and other events that not only promote a healthy lifestyle, but also family time together. The amount raised for charity is fantastic and I want to congratulate all involved in the Festival for their contribution. At Pick n Pay we believe doing good is doing well, and this is a perfect example of that philosophy."
Join us at the Oyster Festival & stay at our Knysna Accommodation.