Annual Oyster festival under way in Knysna

The annual Knysna Oyster festival kicked off this past weekend in the Garden Route town. The event was held virtually for the past couple of years due to the pandemic. But now thousands of visitors are once again being welcomed in the town for ten days of activities.

It’s back to normal at the Knysna Oyster festival. The Cycle Tour was a big drawcard this weekend and the Forest Marathon next weekend already has over 6 000 entrants. Following the devastation of the 2017 fires and the economic slump due to COVID-19, the town is rising from the ashes.

“A lot of people went through a number of challenges.  I’m sure you’re aware of the history of Knysna with the fires and just one event after another that has really knocked Knysna down.  That’s why I said in my speech it actually is a revival, a rising from the ashes because it gives people an opportunity to come back. So it’s a time for family and friends,” says Knysna mayor Levael Davis.

A few changes have been made. There isn’t a central point for stalls and entertainment, but events will now be held at local businesses.

“Our programme actually features all our local businesses, so you can go from one business to another and go and have your entertainment and shop and eat or drink at those businesses.  That’s what we’re focusing on this year.  The only time we will be on a central venue will be for the registration of the forest marathon. So, that’s the emphasis, we’d like our local businesses to benefit,” says festival coordinator Andrew Finn.

The festival also benefits local communities through jobs and activities.

“We’ve got some activities like boxing and chess.  Also in general a lot of our residents from all over Knysna are working at these events at these companies, so it’s not only a benefit to the company but also those who are employed at the organisation.  Family and friends can come and bond, it’s school holidays so people are taking time out to come to Knysna and they can enjoy relaxation,” Davis explains.

A new addition to the programme is a mobile treasure hunt and the star of the festival is the oyster with nine hotspots in Knysna and Sedgefield where this delicacy can be enjoyed.

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