Knysna, February 25, 2010 – The popular Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival will take place as usual this July (2-11), despite the 2010 World Cup. That’s the message from the festival team which is already working to put together a bumper programme for visitors to the 10-day event.
“It’s business as usual for the Oyster Festival”, says festival manager Nicci Rousseau-Schmidt, “and we’re ready to show South Africans that Knysna is the perfect place to be during the long holidays that schools will enjoy this year. “Our sponsors are on board and we’ve already had our first Joint Operations Committee meeting. We have no doubt that this year’s festival is going to be a great one.”
Rousseau-Schmidt said that Knysna was very excited to be hosting both the French and Danish football teams during the World Cup, the final games of which will overlap with the festival. “We are planning to add some French and Danish cultural events to the festival programme. However, from the end of June the final World Cup games will be played in Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg and if the French and Danes qualify, that’s where they’ll have to be. So the Oyster Festival will be a great opportunity to escape from the soccer madness to Knysna.”
Rousseau-Schmidt said that Knysna Tourism has been working with its members to ensure that there will be accommodation available at reasonable rates over the period of the Oyster Festival. “Most establishments have undertaken not to hike rates over this period”.
The festival has grown considerably in the last few years, specifically since 2004 when Pick n Pay signed a five-year partnership agreement with Knysna Tourism, which is the custodian of the festival. This agreement was renewed in 2009 for a further five years until 2013.
Today the festival programme has over 100 events and attracts more than 13,000 cyclists and runners who participate in the two main sporting events, the Pick n Pay Weekend Argus Rotary Knysna Cycle Tour and the Pick n Pay Cape Times Knysna Marathon and Half Marathon. Last year the festival raised a record R1, 189,957 for local charities.