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Fab fun on bill at Summer Festival

FEATURED IMAGE: Charys–Mari Botha and Lawrence Zvavanhu are looking forward to the Umhlanga Summer Festival. Picture: Val Adamson

Preparations for the annual Umhlanga Summer Festival are now in full swing, with a packed programme of seaside fun from 14 to 23 December. Highlights include the Miss and Mr Umhlanga pageant and the Carols under the Stars concert.

The festival theme is “Colours of Africa: Embracing all that is Beautiful” and that’s what guests got at the festival’s official launch last week.

Dance and event maestro Kevin Ellis teamed up with designer Gareth Greaves and Extreme Model Management to put on a mini fashion show, fusing Ndebele-inspired geometrics, animal print, tulle, beads and bright orange and yellow solids. 

Afro-fabulous

The duo, who will be running things on the beach, also provided a peak of the Afro-fabulous tiaras, sashes and medals Greaves has conjured up for the pageant. It starts at noon on Saturday 21 December at the Millennium Stage.

Peter Rose, chairman of Umhlanga Tourism, told guests at Coco’s, at Umhlanga Sands, that sponsors had come to the party, which should secure the success of the festival. 

Meanwhile, pageant entrants could look forward to goodies, vouchers and cash prizes of R18 000.

COLOUR ME BEAUTIFUL: Models Danielle Visser and Slindo Zondo in designs by Gareth Greaves. The Umhlanga Summer Festival’s theme this year is ‘Colours of Africa: Embracing all that is Beautiful’, celebrating 25 years of democracy in South Africa. Picture: Val Adamson

Family-friendly

But the organisers said the emphasis would be on public participation and have lined up plenty of family-friendly fun at Main Beach and the stage, from 10am until 2pm daily. 

Each day will start with warm-up exercises, before a programme which includes hula hoops, tug-o-war, musical chairs, face-painting, a talent showcase and a mini Olympics. 

There will also be a kiddies’ sport zone, mini golf, treasure hunts, giant pick up sticks and a chill zone.  

It ends each afternoon at 1.45pm with a community beach clean-up, to encourage respect for the environment. 

In the same vein, the organisers were promoting a no-plastic-drinking-straws policy to help keep trash out of the ocean. 

Carols under the Stars

Carols under the Stars was set for Thursday, 19 December, in the courtyard at Granada Square, on uMhlanga Rocks’ entertainment strip.

Shelley McLean will again be coordinating the concert, with Marion Loudon playing master of ceremonies and singing. 

The popular Tory Du Plessis, Slindo Zondo and saxophonist Kristy Van der Linde were among the entertainers.

Also on the bill was Mikey Mthaba, who was at the 21 November launch, where he gave a taste of what carolers could expect. 

SONG BIRDS: Pinkie Mtshali, who served as MC at the launch of the Summer Festival flanked by Slindo Zondo and Marion Loudon. Zondo and Loudon will both be featuring in the Carols under the Stars concert. Picture: Val Adamson

Vocal pyrotechnics

Known as the “Human Voice Machine”, Mthaba delivered a dazzling display of vocal pyrotechnics – so much so he had to remind the gathering that it was all his own doing, with no electronic help.

Carols under the Stars will have a strong charity focus and the organisers invited carolers to bring toys to be gifted to needy children. 

uMhlanga Rotary will be coordinating the donations with help from the Harley Owners Group.  

Toys for tots

Rose said, “Being a part of a carols concert is always an uplifting way to start the festive season.  

“Please bring a gift that will be donated to children less fortunate at Christmas time. Although many of the season’s events are formally free of charge, we encourage participants to bring along a suitable gift.”

Collection points will be the Millennium Stage during the festival and at the Carols Under the Stars event.

FEATURED IMAGE: Charys–Mari Botha and Lawrence Zvavanhu are looking forward to the Umhlanga Summer Festival. Picture: Val Adamson

Umhlanga Tourism