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Leisure Isle Festival1The long wait is nearly over for Knysna’s favourite family festival!

This year is the 10th anniversary of this popular event, and the organisers have pulled out all the stops to ensure a memorable fair for the whole family. There will be over 120 stalls – a new record! As always, a percentage of all proceeds will go to local charities – to e’Pap Children’s’ feeding scheme, Hospice, Animal Welfare, Steenbok Nature Reserve and Loeriehof.

From 9am on Saturday 20th October and 10am on Sunday 21st October, the entrance gardens to Leisure Isle will come alive with activities for all ages, and stalls will offer a great range of mouth-watering refreshments, preserves, a large array of artwork and crafts, second-hand books and a huge range of plants. Relax in the beer garden or tea garden with friends and watch the world go by, or bring a rug and chill out under the trees with the whole family.

Leisure Isle FestivalActivities for the kids include the ever-popular barrel train, a jumping castle, face painting, sand art and mosaics, airbrush tatoos and other fun things to do.

The Dog Walk on Sunday, staged by Animal Welfare, is always one of the highlights of the Festival and is enjoyed by all ages. You don’t even have to have a dog to participate – bring your teddy or favourite fluffy toy and sign up for the 2km or 5km walk in Steenbok Nature Reserve and around the Island. Register on Saturday from 9am at the Steenbok Nature Reserve main entrance – follow the KAWS signs. Events will start at 10am on the dot. The entrance fee is R30 per dog. The following prizes will be awarded :

  • Dog of the Year
  • KAWS adopted pets
  • Best effort dog walker
  • Best trick dogs
  • Fancy dress for dogs & kids
  • Best smiler
  • Cutest puppy and dog
  • Funniest dog walker
  • Best tail wagger
  • Best barker
  • Look-a-like kids and adults
  • …and lots more……

A brand new event this year will cater for our elderly citizens, sponsored by Loeriehof. There will be a 4km walk for the hale and hearty, and a 2km wheelchair walk. Willing assistants will be on hand to push the wheelchairs if necessary. Instead of prizes, a lucky draw will take place. The first event will start at 9am, and the wheelchair walk at 9.30. Early registration is suggested, at the starting point at the Green Hole. Entries will cost R20. Contact Eureka Burger at 084 312 4490 for further information.

Local artists and crafters will exhibit paintings, ceramics, pottery, woodwork, jewellery, calligraphy, photography, metal art, beadwork, toys, knitted and sewn articles, Christmas decorations and other hand-crafted items.

Leisure Isle FestivalBook enthusiasts will know that the early birds get the best choices at the huge Hospice book sale, always among the most popular stalls. Helpful assistance is always at hand, and great bargains are to be had. Spring is in full swing, and the plant stall will again feature an amazing array of indigenous and other plants to give your garden a wonderful lift. Plants, herbs, cut flowers and compost will be for sale at very reasonable prices, and all proceeds will go to Steenbok Nature Reserve.

To take away, cakes and biscuits will be on sale, as well as cheeses, pickles, dried fruit, jams, preserves and honey, bread and pastries, chocolate and confectionery, biltong and smoked meat products, frozen meals, olive and chili products and more.

Relax in the beer garden or tea garden with delicious freshly baked goodies on hand to enjoy with your favourite beverage. Across the road, you will be tempted by a wide variety of hot and cold dishes such as wraps, rolls and sandwiches, pitas, samoosas, and also vegetarian food.

Leisure Isle Festival team - Peter, June and Roger

Leisure Isle Festival team – Peter, June and Roger

The Leisure Isle Festival was started 10 years ago by Roger Voysey, Peter Marais and Phil Harvey. This year sees the end of an era, as Peter and June have relocated to Natal and Roger is at the helm for the last time.

Over the last ten years, the Festival has prospered and grown enormously, from 38 stalls in 2002 to over 120 this year – and in funds raised for local charities from R3948 in 2003 to R125 000 in 2011.

Well done to these stalwarts and strength to the new team taking the festival forward.

Submitted by Margaret Richards (044 384 1756/082 844 0434)

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