KNYSNA NEWS - While the Oyster Festival programme has been downsized significantly for its virtual version, a number of events are not to be missed, with the focus on marketing Knysna as a prime tourism destination.
The Knysna Oyster Festival has been a permanent fixture on Knysna's vibrant cultural scene since 1983, when it started out as the Knysna Winter Festival. It soon established itself as a primary drawcard for the town in the winter months.
Unfortunately for those who make the annual pilgrimage to Knysna, Covid-19 put paid to a physical festival.
The virtual festival will, as originally planned, take place from Saturday 27 June to 4 July. While there will be online yoga and Pilates, trivia nights, art exhibitions and more, organisers of the handful remaining sport events elected to go virtual in their own unique way.
The festival will kick off, as it does every year, with the Knysna Cycle Tour - which started with the first part of its virtual tour on Monday 22 June. The first non-sporting event of this year's programme will come in the form of a painting-smear demonstration by Mel Elliott Art.
The first day will then wrap up with the 34° South Virtual Oyster Show followed by a live performance by Tony Cooke.
The next six days will see various events taking place including trivia nights in support of Famsa on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 19:00; Pilates and yoga at 09:00 every alternating day from Monday to Friday; a motivational talk on a woman's sense of worth at 09:30 on Wednesday; art shows by Jandre Art Studio at 10:30 on Thursday and Saturday; a talk with SA rugby legend Tendai "Beast" Mtawarira; and live performances by Shaza in support of Famsa at 19:30 on Friday and Saturday.
The festival will be wrapped up with the Houtkapper Trail Run, which will start on 5 July and run for a week until 12 July. According to festival coordinator Andrew Finn, all of the events will be streamed live on the Knysna Oyster Festival's Facebook page.
Finn also pointed out that this year's festival is less about making money, than it is about ensuring Knysna doesn't fall off the tourism map.
"This is basically a huge marketing strategy to continue marketing Knysna as a tourist destination," he said. "There will be very little money made this year, and the majority of the income will be donated to the charities we typically support."
See the Knysna Plett Herald back page or website for more on the Oyster Festival sports events.
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