Absa Kirkwood Wildsfees is Wild@heart in 2015

2015-05-28 12:16
Even the fairies will be letting their wings down and going wild at this year’s 2015 Wild@heart Absa Kirkwood Wildsfees, which is set to take place during the weekend of June 26 to 28. Among the big attractions at the festival are the biggest stage i

Even the fairies will be letting their wings down and going wild at this year’s 2015 Wild@heart Absa Kirkwood Wildsfees, which is set to take place during the weekend of June 26 to 28. Among the big attractions at the festival are the biggest stage i (Deon Ferreira)

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THE Eastern Cape, which is home to the legendary Big Five game species, is also home to the country’s first festival to treat visitors to the Big Five in entertainment for the single price of an entry ticket.

Among the big attractions at the 2015 Wild@heart Absa Kirkwood Wildsfees, to be held from Friday, June 26, until Sunday, June 28, are the biggest stage in the Eastern Cape featuring top national artists, more than 350 specialist stalls, motor, agricultural, and outdoor expos, food and wine stalls with a difference and the country’s first festival within a festival for the children of festival-goers.

“We are recognised as one of the most child-friendly festivals in the country, and this year we have declared that ‘kids are king in Kirkwood’ while they are with us,” says festival director Jenni Honsbein.

Housed in the Squillos Kids’ Square will be a Magic Faerie Trail – another Wildsfees first; a Kids Castle, kid-friendly rides and puppet shows and workshops. Entry for the first two hours is free.

Included in the attractions and entertainment on the festival grounds are the Eastern Cape’s only annual mohair expo, the Walk on the Wildside experience, the province’s biggest new vehicle show, and more.

For the first time, the festival will host a series of talks on contentious issues such as fracking and its consequences, sustainable fishing techniques, anti-poaching and the effects of a lack of sleep on adults and children.

Theatre productions include Een klavier, een hart with Rocco de Villiers and Die hart is maar net ‘n pomp (the story of South Africa’s pioneering heart transplant) with Johan Engelbrecht.

A special treat for women will be a high tea with Emsie Schoeman, the doyenne of etiquette in South Africa, supported by the two well-known kokkedore, Tiaan and Mynhardt.

Artists appearing on the giant Windhoek stage include Wicus van der Merwe, Radio Kalahari Orkes, Lianie May, Mi Casa, Snotkop, Kurt Darren, Desmond Wells, Ray Dylan, Nicholis Louw, Izak Davel, Die Campbells, Dr Victor and the Rasta Rebels and many more.

Also new to the festival is the Tiki Island Style beach bar, which promises to be the “chill place of the year”, Honsbein predicts.

Heating up the action and getting hearts fluttering will be two of TV’s hottest young stars, who will sporting “six-packs” for photo shots with fans. Absa Kirkwood Wildsfees visitors will be able to meet Isidingo’s hunky Maurice Paige on Saturday and Izak Davel on Sunday. Both will be showing their Island Style from 10 in the morning.

There will be top entertainment provided by local artists from the Eastern Cape as well.

The Eastern Cape’s premier game auction, which takes place on Friday, June 26, is another festival highlight. Once again it will be the only game auction in the country where buyers can bid for disease-free buffalo from the Addo Elephant National Park.

Park manager, Mzwandile Mjadu, says the Addo Elephant National Park will once again offer prime, disease-free buffalo at the auction. “As always, we are happy and proud to be associated with both the auction and the festival. Last year a provincial record was set with the sale of a buffalo cow for R975 000, and a total of R9-million for the 30 buffalo from Addo. We hope to break some more records this year, with the funds raised to be ploughed back into conservation,” he says.

Other attractions include the skaapkop lang tafel, mohair expo, Boerboel show, wine, gourmet food and beer tents, cooking demonstrations and agricultural, new car and outdoor expos.

The gates open at 9am, and festinos can party late into the night. Tickets are available from the Absa Kirkwood Wildsfees office on 042 230 0064 or go to www.wildsfees.co.za for more information. – REPORTER

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