By Amelia Meyer
Port Elizabeth - Splash Festival
Every year, the friendly coastal city of Port Elizabeth reminds the rest of the country why it has gained the acclaim as a top seaside destination. The Splash Festival, sponsored by Algoa FM, a popular loacal radio station, is a major drawcard to the area.
This four-day event is usually held during the warm month of March. This is not in the peak tourist season (which extends from December to the beginning of February), which ensures that accommodation, traffic and the general hustle and bustle of the city is at prime position to welcome a host of new visitors.
This festival has established itself as a family event and is truly diverse and cost-effective enough to cater for each member of the family. From an Easter egg hunt to touch rugby matches, Sand sculpting competitions to gospel music concerts; the variety is endless.
Taking full advantage of the excellent positioning of the venue, right on the Nelson Mandela Bay coastline, watersports are undoubtedly one of the main features of this event. These include beach soccer, dragon boats, canoeing, rubberducks, regatta, and even a celebrity beach cricket match.
The live entertainment is another enticing offering at the Vodacom Splash Festival. As varied as the population that attends, the music and entertainment for 2009 includes rock, Afrikaans music, and a Divas in Divine Duets concert, featuring internationally renowned artists such as Sibongile Kumalo, Gloria Bosman, Judith Sephuma, Yvonne Chaka-Chaka, PJ Powers and Claire Johnson – an unbeatable cast of South African icons.
The Food & Craft market allows attendees to experience local flavours and exotic treats at a range of over 200 stalls. Vendors come from all over South Africa to sell their wares and cuisine at the Splash Festival each year. Jewellery, potplants, Chop Suey or Boerewors rolls – the Splash Festival provides a truly satisfying experience. Of course, the popular beer tent is always a firm favourite among the adults, and is a welcome retreat from the hot African sun. While sipping on ice cold ale, children are welcome to indulge in the Kiddies Adventure Zone, filled with fun and exciting activities.
Another treat for young and old alike is the range of competitions and the impressive prizes. Little Mr. Muscle & Miss Splash is a favourite amongst the little ones, where gorgeous kids are in training for the Mr. & Miss Splash. Beach- and watersport competitions are fun for the entire family to watch. The public also stand a chance to win and stand a chance of winning a Toyota Yaris in the Splash Win a Car Competition.
Port Elizabeth, as a venue, presents many advantages. Personal- and vehicle security, a spacious venue, optimal public transport, and many accommodation providers in the vicinity combine to create a venue that is viable and convenient to those visiting Port Elizabeth to enjoy the annual Vodacom Splash Festival.