Pack your bike and your running shoes and head for Knysna this July for South Africa's most popular and enduring festival, the annual Pick 'n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival, which takes place from 30 June-9 July. The 10-day event has become a feast of sporting activities for the whole family, with the focus on cycling, running and adventure. There's also a full programme for the not-so-active….and the tasty local mollusk which made the festival famous still features!
Highlights include the Pick 'n Pay Weekend Argus Rotary Knysna Cycle Tour - a two day festival of cycling - and the Pick 'n Pay Cape Times Knysna Forest Marathon and Half Marathon - one of the most popular and challenging events on the running calendar with its unique start in the heart of the Knysna Forest.
The SA Navy will once again have a grand presence in the coastal town and visitors to Knysna will have the opportunity to board one of three minesweepers anchored at Thesen Islands. The majestic sight of these huge vessels entering the estuary through the famous Knysna Heads is one of the highlights of the festival. Don't miss the annual Navy street parade or the SA Navy Band in Concert at the Waterfront.
Adrenaline seekers will have a number of exciting events to choose from this year. Register now for the Simola Festival Nights, a three day programme of active lifestyle night events including The Nite Bike (a Rally-style MTB Challenge), The Night Run (a Rally-style running challenge) and The Night Multi (a multi-sport challenge).
The ever-popular Ladies Night will have a new coordinator and format this year. Called "Essences of a Woman", the evening will take the format of a formal dinner with Head girl Tammy Turner, owner of Hungry Heads at the helm, being the official Celebrity Guest Caterer. Movers and Shakers, will be moving to the groove and shaking up a storm of Cocktails extraordinaire!
The main theme of the evening will be 'The World is your Oyster!' The underlying theme will be 'Wine, Women and Song' All profits from the night will go to Family and Marriage Society of SA (FAMSA).
The official marathon after party at Tapas Crabs Creek on Saturday 8 July promises to be the biggest party of this year's Oyster Festival, with live music from local entertainers as well as Johannesburg's talented band Born To Be Wild and a number of national DJs. Jump on a shuttle bus in Knysna's Main Street and join the thousands of runners, cyclists and festinos at this popular outdoor venue on the lagoon.
Two events which proved popular last year are back on this year's programme - the Street Carnival with its live music, craft market and kiddies entertainment, as well as the Landrover G4 Waterfront Rush, a hybrid obstacle course combined with a multi-sports race which sees contestants racing the clock around a course on, in and above the water of the Knysna Lagoon. This is a great spectator event and is set to become a firm favourite on the Oyster Festival programme. Don't miss it!
This year will also see a repeat of the successful Pick 'n Pay Food Affair presented by Tabasco & Van Loveren Wine Cellar, a three-day food extravaganza featuring celebrity chefs and cooking demonstrations with the theme "A healthy lifestyle".