Come the end of this month, the Westridge Gardens will once again be a hive of activity and entertainment as the DStv Mitchell’s Plain Festival returns. From Friday 29 November to Sunday 1 December, an expected 40 000 people will return to participate in the Western Cape’s biggest community festival. “The vision [in starting the festival] was to have a professionally organised, accessible and inclusive event, which showcases Mitchell’s Plain and the Cape Flats as a stable location to come and do business in,” says festival director, Rozario Brown.“Most importantly, we decided to host an event where any form of illegal drugs, substances or alcohol will not be allowed. We genuinely wanted an event where our people could come together once a year to celebrate all the good and positive things coming from within the community.”The festival has been going strong for the past 10 years with the City of Cape Town renewing its partnership for the next three financial years.This will include utilising City and event services; namely electricity services, law enforcement, metro police services, traffic management services, fire and rescue services, solid waste, disaster risk management as well as the waiver of venue costs for Westridge Gardens. “The DStv Mitchell’s Plain Festival is one of Cape Town’s biggest annual events, attracting roughly 40 000 people every year and it is one residents always look forward to attending. Entering into a three-year agreement with the festival is a demonstration of our commitment to supporting community-based events. As the City, we recognise the importance of events such as the Mitchell’s Plain Festival in making positive change and the economic benefits they bring to the community,” says Mayco member for safety and security, JP Smith in a statement.The festival has exceeded all expectations, says Brown.“We are very grateful for the continued support from the community, the business community, our social partners and the City of Cape Town. This continued support from our various partners enables us to keep the ticket prices affordable and make the event accessible to as many people as possible. Most importantly, it enables us to continue making the event free of charge for our most valued persons – the most vulnerable people within our community, the physically disabled, the pensioners and children under the age of six,” says Brown.Over the last 10 years, around 400 000 people participated in the event with 1 600 local traders and businesses having the opportunity to share their products and services with the community. The event has also provided a space for more than 100 non-government/non-profit organisations and well deserving causes which benefited from low-cost or free trading and exhibition space.“Four years ago, we adopted Heinz Park Primary School, one of the poorest schools in the Western Cape located in a community with a massive drug and alcohol abuse crisis. We are the exclusive sponsors of the annual Heinz Park Primary School Prom, which we host in an effort to ensure that all these learners remain in school and at least complete their primary schooling career. The school had a massive drop-out rate of almost 20% among its Grade 6 and 7 learners on our partnership’s commencement. These figures have dropped significantly,” says Brown.Brown says the event will once again offer the community an exciting line-up of local artists.“This event counts among the safest, most affordable and inclusive events in South Africa. Residents are definitely missing out on the amazing free gifts, prizes and free medical checks and other offerings,” says Brown.“More than fifty local artists, DJ’s and entertainers will entertain the audiences. Some of the top names include Salome, Robin Pieters, Tye Platinum, Candice Thornton, YoungstaCPT and Early B.”There will be the usual air shows on the Saturday and Sunday afternoons as well as a motor show on the Sunday.The High School DJ of the Year Competition finals and so much more will also take place over the weekend. “Our all-new and improved amusement park rides will offer amazing thrills for the young and young at heart,” says Brown.Smith encourages residents to attend the event.“Community events are nothing without the support of the community, so we encourage residents and visitors to make their way to Mitchell’s Plain for this event and support the vendors, artists and entertainers who are in the line-up,” says Smith. V Tickets cost R50 for people over the age of 12, R30 for children between the ages of 6 and 12. Pensioners and children under the age of 6 enter free. Tickets are available through Computicket and at the gate. Pre-bought tickets are advised to avoid long queues.