Tuesday, March 30, 2010

2010 Olive Festival to be a Record for PA Stalls

Zelia Mullins, Prince Albert’s Tourism Manager, who is co-ordinating this year’s Olive Festival, told The Friend last week that “This year, Festival-goers can expect a celebration that will focus on the arts, crafts, food and wine tasting but with a strong emphasis on olives, olive oil and olive products.”

Throughout the weekend, visitors can see olives being pressed at Kredouw Farm at the foot of the Kredouw Pass and at Prince Albert Olives’ new press on the outskirts of town. Olive oil tastings and a display of olive products are also scheduled for the festival.

Asked whether this wouldn’t narrow the appeal to younger folk, Zelia said: “Not at all. What I mean is that we are very pleased at the increased number of local stallholders who have decided to sell olive products, plants, a range of food and locally made goodies, clothing, antiques and collectibles and crafts. There will also be several new stalls this year, where metal art, homemade shoes, woodcrafts, household linens and organic olives are just a few of the items on offer”.
“Naturally, there will be something for everyone: a fun mix of market stalls, walks and talks, live music, theatre and movies, a beauty pageant with a difference, a half marathon and cool activities for the young and the not so young. And of course, there will be the Festival’s old favourites: the chip spiral seller, the ice-cream man and of course, the Huis Kweekvallei stall and its award winning ‘basaar poeding’. And the festival would not be the festival without the kiddies’ favourite: the mallemeule. Townsfolk and visitors should also start practising for the olive-pip spitting competition. The late Clive van Hasselt’s record remains unbeaten.”

This year the official Prince Albert Half Marathon is part of the Olive Festival. The Zwartberg Runners are expecting 120 runners to participate in this event and the other races happening at the same time. Other highlights to look out for will be the local production of the classic comedy sketch, Dinner for One, starring Ailsa Tudhope and Mark Steyn and the screening of two classic Afrikaans movies including the first Afrikaans musical, ‘Kom Dans Vanaand’ at the Jans Rautenbach Schouwburg.

The Patchwork Theatre is presenting their popular story telling and will also be busking in the street along with other residents. A puppet theatre will keep both young and old amused. And the word is about that even a fortune-teller is keen to come to the festival this year and predict our futures … for a small donation, of course!

The “Mr Popeye and Miss Olive Oil” pageant at Villa Kruger at sunset on Friday, 30 April, officially opens the festival and promises to add magic, sparkle and glamour, and even a touch of the outrageous, to the weekend.

Zelia is also delighted that walks and talks that have been so popular in previous years are back on the programme.

Lydia Barrella will lead her historical walks through the town and open her mineral collection to the public, while Sue Milton-Dean will guide those who care about the environment and love wide open spaces on walks at Wolwekraal. The Story Weaver will again tell all about ghouls and apparitions and historical footnotes on nightly Ghost Walks.

By popular demand, the festival will again host the Homes and Gardens tour, enabling visitors and locals alike to get a glimpse of how Prince Alberters live and create their own special spaces. Carol Tissiman is hosting a workshop on indigenous plants for home use and the ever-popular Astro-Tours will hold stargazing evenings on the rugby field at Hoërskool Zwartberg.

The festival runs from Friday, 30 April, until the late hours of Saturday, 1 May. Zelia reports that the town’s guest accommodation is filling rapidly and that excitement is building.

To learn more about the festival or to book a stall or accommodation, call the Tourism Office on 023 541 1366

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