Royal romance: part of the great vibe that makes the Show

2014-05-26 00:00

A YOUNG Pietermaritzburg couple delighted the thousands of music fans in the main arena at the Royal Show in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday when they got engaged.

With the assistance of emcee Pierre Venter-Maher, Nolan Mulder got down on one knee and proposed to Chelsea Coetzee, who threw her arms around her fiancé and shouted, “Yes”.

In a post on his Facebook page Venter-Maher said: “I think romance is typically in the air at the Royal Show … I was fortunate enough to facilitate in a marriage proposal last night on stage … Congrats to Chelsea Coetzee and her very relieved man. Many happy tears in the crowd.”

There was also plenty of brilliant music on offer from Watershed, Durban-based Gangs of Ballet, whose bass guitarist, Hardus de Beer (aka “H”), is a Maritzburg College Old Boy, rock legends Prime Circle, who beamed some of their set live to the world, and city bands Undivided Roots and FireTree.

Terry Strachan, chief executive officer of the Royal Agricultural Society (RAS), said moving the concert to mid-afternoon had really paid off in terms of visitor numbers.

“We’re about 4 000 visitors up, year-on-year as of the close of gates on Saturday, which is really very, very good,” he added. “Moving the concert to start at 3 pm meant people from Durban could come up and enjoy the music and not get home too late, and moms and dads with small children, could also enjoy the show.

Yesterday’s Royal Symphony concert, featuring the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra and soloists Steve Hofmeyr, Chris Duigan and Shelley McLean, and the RSG concert also brought in the crowds, completing a bumper weekend for the show.

The only problem occurred early on Saturday morning when a young Brahman bull escaped into the road, while it and other cattle were being unloaded at Gate 5.

“Apparently the bull shot out the gate and got pretty close to the motorway,” he added. “But this is the Royal and things like this do happen when you have 1 500 livestock on site.”

The young bull was eventually caught at the Chatterton Road circle and returned, unharmed, to the showgrounds. Traffic was briefly disrupted but no one was injured in the incident.

Last year, a young heifer got loose at the show and knocked over Waterfall resident Terence Galloway, who sprained his hand.

To prevent this happening again, Strachan said the RAS had installed gates at the entrances to the livestock arenas to stop animals getting into the main grounds.

What to look forward to today

• From 9 am, the main arena will host the champion young rider and other equestrian competitions, and from 6 pm there will be polo.

• At the River Stage, visitors can enjoy Miss Lollypop’s Fun & Games, a performance by The Unforgettables Band and a summer music show.

• The Drakensberg Boys’ Choir will be performing in Hall 2.

• The show is open from 9 am to 6.30 pm on Fridays, 9 am to 8 pm on Saturdays, and 9 am to 6.30 pm from today until Thursday. Halls are closed on June 1.

• Entry is R50 for adults and R35 for pensioners and children under 12. Children under six free. On May 28, entry is R35 for everyone and on June 1 it costs R60 to enter the showgrounds for the Ukhozi concert. Parking on the Voortrekker field costs R20.

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