PLEASE USE. Beer anyone? Sedgefield Craft Brewery had a wonderfully made up vehicle for the Street Parade, also assisting the dry throats along the route. Photo: Michaela Vogt
SEDGEFIELD NEWS - From the Sedgefield Slow Fest opening ceremony on Thursday evening, April 13 to its conclusion on Sunday, April 16, this year’s event has run with a blend of exceptional crowd participation and engaging activities. This was echoed by Greater Knysna mayor Eleanore Bouw-Spies and tourism entity Knysna & Partners chairperson Elmay Bouwer, who praised the initiative and dedication of the organising committee.
Not only did the themed orange colour of the festival prevail throughout, but the diversity of activities offered a perfect balance for families to enjoy relaxed catch-up moments after some energetic sporting events and fringe activities to entertain both children and adults.
Not to forget the true message of Easter, devotees could fortify their belief by participating in the Way of the Cross, a pilgrimage through the village with stops at various churches, each with a message of the Passion of the Christ.
Since its inception, the Slow Festival has grown annually and has been integral in showcasing the lifestyle of the village. From a family at the Sand Sculpture Challenge expressing excitement over their imminent move to Sedgefield, and sportsmen planning to return for next year’s Pick n Pay Goukamma Traverse Trail Run and the Garden Route Fat Bike Challenge, to parents planning to go to the Movies with the Stars so that they can share a nostalgic outing that was part of their own youth with their children, the festival has consistently provided entertainment that embraces a warm lifestyle of a community.
If you went down to the woods, well actually to the Fish Eagle Green on Saturday, to watch the start of the Stand Up Paddle (SUP) Race and Anything That Floats, you would have been hard-pressed to find parking space if you were late – testimony to the support for this and other events during the festival.
For the night owls, there was plenty entertainment to keep you up till the early hours of the morning, starting with a music event at the village green and then migrating to Pili Pili for the Beer Pong Competition.
Sometimes the stars shine even during the day at the Slow Festival, and festinos were graced with the presence of Sedgefield local and new Miss South Africa, Demi-Leigh Nel-Pieters who, to the delight of everyone, led the Sunday Street Parade.
She posed and autographed photos before addressing the crowds with motivation for everyone to endeavour to strive to achieve their dreams. Testimony to her message is that she was crowned Miss Slow Festival in 2011 and proceeded to make her own dream come true by receiving the coveted title of Miss South Africa six years later.
So, on Sunday evening, with the hymns of the choir still echoing through my mind and the last tent on the village green dismantled and packed away, I drove home. The sun had set and the Outeniqua Mountains were crystal clear along the horizon, and contentment descended on me as I reflected that, this, like every other Slow Festival with all the wonderful activities for the weekend, had been a special holiday that catered for an escape from daily living and that it truly is a star in the calendar of events in the Garden Route.