Freedom of Choice Weekend in Prince Albert

More often than not, long weekends are a conundrum; specifically, they way that we choose to spend them.

A long weekend is like a mini holiday, except for the fact that every moment counts. You have to make the most of the extra day or two (or three!) at your disposal if you are to truly return to your regular routine feeling energised and reinvigorated.

Ideally, a long weekend should give one the opportunity to embark on a getaway, enjoying rest and relaxation, and the chance to do something that makes you feel alive.

From Thursday, 26 to Sunday, 29 April, the charming Karoo village of Prince Albert features a traditional market with entertainment, a Karoo-style ‘kuier’ as well as a world class cycling race. Read on to find out what you’re missing out on if you haven’t booked accommodation yet.

Groet is ’n moet

On Friday, 27 April at the newly named Family Park in Rondomskrik, the community ‘kuier’ “Groet is ’n moet” will be taking place as an informal, Karoo-style event. The intent of the event is to celebrate community by eating together.

“The name of the event comes from a conversation I had with our now-deceased artist Outa Lappies in the main road of Prince Albert about 17 years ago,” says organiser Ingrid Wolfaardt. “After him asking me the question, “Is groet ’n moet?” (is meeting and greeting a must), we both finally agreed that greeting was a way of respecting and affirming one another’s humanity.  

The idea is that 300 locals come together to eat simple styled Karoo food with about 80 guests from the NAC (National Airways Corporation) group who asked if they could join the evening’s festivities. They are flying in with private planes from all over the country and serve as the main sponsors for the evening.

Look forward to Kerrie and offal potjie, lamb potjie and chicken potjie paired with side dishes like samp and beans, dahl and home made bread, with some vegetables on the menu. Sangria and homemade pineapple and ginger beer are the drinks for the evening, with something sweet to round things off.

Alwin, a young DJ from the North-end community will provide entertainment for the evening and local singer Wally E will serve as MC. Two local groups – the Prince Albert Vastrappers riel dancers and the Unity Male acapella choir will also be performing for the evening.

“This is a joyful, chilled, ‘kuier” or “jol”, for all Prince Alberters who want to walk away at the end of the evening actually knowing someone’s name they have never known before and, of course, having had a good time while at it,” says Wolfaardt.

Tickets to this event are nearly sold out. For more information, contact Azuke at admin@pactrust.co.za.

The Swartberg100 Gran Fondo

Loosely translated from Italian, Gran Fondo means ‘Big Ride’. These events are also commonly called ‘cyclosportive’, which entails a race that takes place over a long distance of 120-200 kilometres, with steep climbs on difficult terrain with cobblestone or gravel.

The Swartberg100 Gran Fondo starts and ends in Prince Albert on Saturday, 28 April at 07:00 and entails a distance of 170 kilometres, 79 km of which covers gravel. The final, relentless climb takes place over 28 kilometres in the Swartberg pass with gradients of up to 13% in some places.

This race aims to rectify the glory days when tough cyclists braved steep mountain passes with single speed bicycles weighing in at up to 16 kilogram by allowing cyclists to incorporate their modern training knowledge and technology in what is considered one of the most difficult Gran Fondos in the world; a truly unforgettable experience.

For those not looking to take on a race as testing as the Swartberg100 Gran Fondo, a Swartberg100 Medio Fondo consisting of 55 kilometres, kicks off at 09:00  (also on 28 April) as a circular route through the town with a loop out to the east over private farms and a larger loop out to the west over more private farms, with gorgeous Karoo scenery and even terrain.

If you’d like to purchase an entry and obtain more information, click here. Please note that riders that entered in 2017 carry over their entry to this year but must register for the 2018 event.

Prince Albert Plaaskombuis-fees

From the farm, to the kitchen, to the table is the philosophy of this first-time informal country-style market.

The NG church in Prince Albert’s main road will be abuzz from Friday, 27 to Sunday, 29 April with stalls both in and outside the church serving beautiful crafts, new and second-hand books, local delicacies like milk tart, koeksisters and other confectionery, fresh meat dishes like braaivleis, sosaties, burgers and sheep’s head and other traditional dishes too.

A beer garden will feature artists like Anton Oosthuizen from Cape Town and Anya Human and the Brass Strings Band from George on both Saturday and Sunday along with local DJ Tobie Gouws, with Jak de Priester bringing the festivities to a grand finale on the Saturday evening.

There will also be a traditional ‘spit the pit the furthest’ competition on the Saturday, and children can also enter for the fancy dress competition on the same day for R20 by contacting Karen Cordier on (+27) 084 233 4753.

For the daredevils, students will also be opening the old morgue for a haunted house experience!

There will be a choir rendition in the church on Sunday, and a three course meal at the Windpomp-restaurant at the showgrounds will bring proceedings to a final close with a cash bar.

Bookings are essential for the Jak de Priester performance (R100 per person in the gallery and R120 per person in the ground seats) and for the sheep’s head-meal (R100 per meal). Bookings for stalls are also still open. Contact Adele at (+27) 082 639 8647 or the church office at (+27) 023 5411 151 for bookings and tickets. Entrance to Plaaskombuis-fees is R10 at the gates.

For more information about activities and events in and around the village, visit Prince Albert Tourism’s website at www.princealbert.org.za. Also check out them out on Facebook (@PrinceAlbert.WesternCape), Twitter (@prince_albert_tourism) and Instagram (@PrinceAlbertZA).

To find out more about Prince Albert, visit:

Website: http://princealbert.org.za/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PrinceAlbert.WesternCape

Twitter: https://twitter.com/princealbertza

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/princealbertza/

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