The 39th Knysna Oyster Festival ended on 10 July and, according to the buzz around town, it’s been a great success. “The festival definitely brought extra feet to Knysna this winter holiday,” said Festival Manager Andrew Finn. “And it gave all of us an opportunity to get out and have some fun too.”
“Many of the events were very well supported,” he continued. “A number of accommodation establishments have reported a bump in bookings, especially over the second weekend, and some of the restaurants estimate that they were busier this year than during the last festival before the lockdown.”
The Knysna Forest Marathon took place on Saturday 9 July, with more than 6 000 runners taking part in both the full- and half marathon events. “We know that this is a bucket list race for many people, drawing athletes from all over South Africa,” said Finn. “And, with a broad programme that included not only sport but art, culture, entertainment and food, the Knysna Oyster Festival drew visitors throughout its run of ten days.”
This was a festival with many firsts, including the inaugural Oyster Hunt. Nearly 300 players took to their mobile devices – and the greater Knysna area – to find specific locations and take part in daily challenges. Daily winners received prizes ranging from free coffees to branded apparel, event and activity tickets and a variety of vouchers. With the most points at the close of the hunt, Hananja Hanna Stieger won the grand prize of a three-night stay at Brenton Haven Beachfront and much more. “Thank you to all the Oyster Hunt prize sponsors,” said Finn. “The social engagement this game created online reached incredible heights, which is sure to drive even more excitement – and more visitors – to next year’s festival.”
Finn thanked the municipality for its support, as well as everyone involved. “A festival like this cannot happen without the participation and support of the people of Knysna,” he said. “Thank you for standing by us, for getting involved and organising events, and for taking part in the fun. The Knysna Oyster Festival will be back in 2023 – bigger and better.”
Executive Mayor Levael Davis said the festival is sure to grow on the success it achieved this year. “The Knysna Oyster Festival has always been a firm favourite on the South African events calendar,” he said. “With minimal financial support or sponsorship, this year’s festival management team and event organisers have managed to resecure our spot on that calendar. I cannot wait to see what they have in store for us next year.”
Dates for the 2023 Knysna Oyster Festival will be announced soon. Keep up to date by following @knysnaoysterfestival on Facebook and Instagram and keeping an eye on www.knysnaoysterfestival.co.za.