Due to the recent announcement of the new school term dates by the National Department of Education, the Knysna Oyster Festival (KOF) executive committee has announced a change in the dates of this year’s hybrid festival: these new dates now being 9 to 18 July 2021.
The Knysna Forest Marathon and Houtkapper Trail runs will remain on the weekend of 10 and 11 July whilst the cycle races have moved to two weekends later, namely 17 and 18 July. These events will communicate the date update directly to their entrants as well as their means of participation as they unpack these in their planning. “In the meantime, we encourage those that have entered to keep their accommodation reservations (although ensuring that the new relevant dates are taken into consideration). This year will be different: due to the ongoing pandemic, we know we will not see the big numbers of participants, as in past years, in the main sporting events of cycling or running.
However, we would still like to see a large number of visitors. So, the message is ‘stay, work, play for the full 10 days – or longer’ in the greater Knysna area”, said festival co-ordinator, Andrew Finn.
“The focus of this year’s Knysna Oyster Festival, which will be a hybrid (actual and virtual) event, is on encouraging visitors and holidaymakers to discover that there is so much more than just the Estuary, our magnificent beaches and indigenous forests, whilst promoting existing local businesses and what they offer – supporting local”, added the general manager of Visit Knysna, Colleen Durant.
During April, we anticipate rolling out the full calendar of event offerings to the public, nearly 3 months ahead of the actual festival dates. This gives visitors plenty of time to make their accommodation reservations, identify what activities appeal to them, and even book all these in advance as, due to the ongoing pandemic and the fact that we could be at any level of lockdown, all planning and preparation is towards niche activities and limited numbers at a time and venue, taking all protocols for ‘safe travels’ into consideration.
Knysna Municipality’s executive mayor, Cllr Elrick van Aswegen remarked as follows: “In the past couple of years, our destination has been hampered by a number of ‘natural disasters’, this latest, the Coronavirus, impacting travel and tourism throughout the world. But as the pandemic unfolds, so we learn to evolve. The Knysna Oyster Festival epitomises incredibly well the same resilience that our local people do: always at the forefront of the evolution. Come July, no matter what the circumstances will be in relation to the virus in our country, we don’t doubt that your 10-day stay in Knysna for a unique Knysna Oyster Festival 2021 experience will be worth the visit.”