Royal Show lightsup city’s birthday

2013-05-25 00:00

IT’S that time of year again.

The Royal Show has delighted people for over a century-and-a-half. This year it marks the city’s 175th anniversary.

Thousands of people will flock to the showgrounds in the next week to experience the myriad sights, sounds and smells that the show has to offer.

Being South Africa’s oldest and largest mixed-agricultural event, the show has put Pietermaritzburg on the map. It is fitting that the city’s anniversary celebrations begin here.

In her speech at the official opening, Finance MEC Ina Cronjé said: “The Royal Show has become synonymous with Pietermaritzburg.”

This year the SA National Defence Force kicked off proceedings with armoured vehicles parading in the main arena while the military marching band played popular South African songs.

An aerobatic display entertained the crowd with daring tricks and formations, leaving trails of smoke in the sky.

VIP guests descended upon the main arena with a police guard of honour.

Besides Cronjé and KwaZulu-Natal Premier Dr Zweli Mkhize, VIP guests included the Mayor of Pietermaritzburg, Chris Ndlela, and councillors and mayors from all over the province.

Once all the formalities were said and done and the fire department gave the thumbs-up, the lights were switched off and the fireworks began. A magnificent display lit up the sky and show-goers found themselves in a virtual planetarium watching colourful stars explode.

A concert featuring performances by Jason Hartman and Thokozani Langa completed the opening.

Several exhibitions honour the city on the occasion of its anniversary. The Witness exhibition features a slide show of photographer Jonathan Burton’s images of memorable buildings as they were a century ago and how they look now. In the Crafts Hall, exquisite tapestries depict the landscapes and history of KZN.

Whether it is your first or fiftieth time, the Royal Show will be a great source of information, education and family fun.


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