The Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival begins on Friday this week, with a jam-packed programme of events guaranteed to keep locals and visitors of all ages entertained. Whilst the 10 day festival brings a much-needed influx of more than 50 000 excited visitors to the area, Garden Route residents certainly don’t shy away from joining in the fun that is happening right here on the doorstep.
Aside from the popular weekend sporting events, such as the Momentum Weekend Argus Rotary Knysna Cycle Tour (2nd and 3rd July) and the Momentum Cape Times Knysna Forest Marathon (9 July), highlights of this year’s Festival include:

Food and drink:-
• Look out for Oyster Hotspots – restaurants in and around Knysna and Sedgefield where you’ll find oyster specials and other interesting dishes over the 10-day period.
• As part of the Best of Brunch promo, local restaurants will serve up delicious takes on everyone’s favourite meal – brunch!
• The Knysna Wine Festival and Night Market will host some of South Africa’s best wine estates on 4 and 5 July where you can meet local winemakers, taste their latest wines and learn about the latest trends in wine-making.
As an extra treat, Heather Walters will perform live on 4 July and Robin Auld on 5 July.
• Seafood Wednesday takes place on 6 July, giving seafood lovers another chance to indulge in all manner of seafood. The event kicks off with a seafood walk-around at participating restaurants during the day; a seafood braai competition takes place in the afternoon, and the ever-popular oyster shucking and eating competition takes centre stage in the early evening.
• Flavours of Knysna served with Tabasco Sauce, also part of Seafood Wednesday, will see some of the best local eateries going head to head in the oyster stakes. We hear Sedgefield’s PiliPili (last year’s winnners) will be there to defend their title!
• The Oyster, Bubbly and Chocolate Experience will be hosted at the Simola Hotel at 18:00 on 3 July where visitors can enjoy instructional bubbly tastings from five different estates, paired with the decadent combination of oysters and chocolate.

Live entertainment:-
• The Comedy Shuckle is a Festival must-see, with top comedians Schalk Bezuidenhout and Kagiso Mokgadi ready to have you doubled over in laughter.
• The Exclusive Glenmorangie Whiskey & Live Jazz cruise is a festive addition to this year’s line-up on 3 July at 17:30.
• If the classics are more your cup of tea, then don’t miss the all-new Opera Gala Concerts on 7 and 8 July.

For the little ones:-
• The Pick n Pay Young Oyster Festival presented by Humpty Dumpty Windmeul Eggs will host fun cooking lessons and arts and crafts for two to 10 year olds. This will take place 2 – 9 July from 10:30 to 15:30 and on 3 July from 10:30 to 13:30.
The Young Festival, situated at the Main Festival Pavilion, is open from 09:00 – 15:30 daily, will include lots of entertainment and is ideal for creative kiddies.
• The Momentum Health Kiddies Zone is a fully supervised, secure and fun area for children aged two to twelve, with great age-appropriate activities such as jumping castles, sand art, colouring and drawing as well as jumping rope games. It is also at the Festival Pavilion and runs from 09:00 to 16:00 daily with extended hours on 4 & 5 July until 21:00
• The Dare2Dash obstacle course is situated at the Festival Pavilion and is open from 10:00 to 15:00 daily

Trail runs
• The ELEPHANT Free Range Trail Run offers three of the most beautiful trails in the Knysna area. These are scheduled between 3 – 8 July at 09:00.
• The Momentum Health OatWell DualX, powered by PeptoPro, will be at the Festival for the first time this year and offers the best of both trail running and mountain biking. The start is at the Festival Pavilion on 7 July at 08:00.

A change of pace
• For those who’d like to take things at a slightly more relaxed place, also on the cards are bridge tournaments and bingo on 1 July, a bowls tournament from 4 – 7 July and the all-new Forest Family Dam Ride on 3 July.

For the full programme and details about all events, registration and ticket costs, please visit or follow the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival on Twitter @OysterFestival or on Facebook/KnysnaOysterFestival for daily updates.