Dam Fest, 29 March 2014, Volksrust, Mpumalanga


Words & Photo: Linda Willemse

A fun filled day is planned for young and old at the upcoming Dam Fest on 29 March 2014 at the Volksrust Caravan Park right next to Mahawane Dam in Volksrust. The festival will offer food, arts and crafts stalls, entertainment for the kids including a 'kiddies push-bike' race, a mountain bike ride, fun run, 'walk around the dam', paragliding tandem flights, ladies workshops, boat and jetski rides, fishing activities as well as a braai and opportunity to watch the rugby match on the day (Sharks vs Warathas). Entrance fee R10 per person.

Planned Boat Activities:

Volksrust Boating Club plan to present 2 boating activities for the 29th of March 2014 at the Dam Fest held at Volksrust Carvan Park.

The first activity will be a Treasure Hunt which will test the Skippers ability to complete a predetermined course at a fixed speed with no time limitation. Each Skipper will then have a unique marker that the must place in the dam as where they think the “END” point of the course are. Closes marker to the predetermined GPS coordinates will be in content for a 1st, 2nd and 3rd price.

The second activity will be to blindfold the Skipper and test his ability of distance and speed control. A qualified Skipper which will act as a Marshal will be present on each boat for this specific activity. The Marshal will guide the blindfolded Skipper in the correct direction at no specified speed. The Skipper must the stop the boat, switch off the power driven motor and place his unique marker in the dam. He may then remove the blindfold and the marker most in line with the set beacons will be awarded 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes.

For the public we plan Boat and Jetski rides. This specific activity will only be between dedicated times per the Dam Fest program published on the official website: www.damfees.co.za The cost per Individual will be R10 for the boat rides and R20 per individual for 2 rounds on the dam respectively.

There will be at all given time a qualified Skipper/Marshal on the dam to assist the boats and public with the above mentioned activities.

Entry Fees

The entry fee for any power driven vessel (Boat or Jetski) will be R 120. An additional charge of R30 will be charged for each unique labeled marker that will be refundable at the end of the events to ensure that no markers are left in the dam. Each Skipper must have a stopwatch on his/her vessel for the event day.

Entries will be 06h00 am to 08h45. No social rides allowed on the water the day of the Dam Fest. No sport activities will be allowed on the specific event day. Thus no towing of skiers, tubes, wave boards, knee boards, water snakes or any other similar apparatus may be used.

All power driven vessels must comply with the relevant laws and regulatory bodies.

PLEASE NOTE every boat must have a qualified skipper on board the vessel at all times.

Please take note that as per regulation from SAMSA “Merchant Shipping Act of 1951 and the regulation thereto of August 2007”, Volksrust Caravan Park will have to enforce all rules and regulations related to this Act as of 1st of March 2014.

Note: “No Skippers License NO ride” Also any/all other regulations with respect to this Act will have to be adhered to. For any information regarding this please contact Pieter Bronkhorst 0823741557 / 0177993276.

Dam Fest 65km Mountain Bike Ride

The Dam Fest Mountain Bike Ride is taking place on 29 Mar 2014. It will start/Finish at the Dam Fest, Volksrust Caravan Park. All finishers will receive a medal.

Entry fee R150 pp (min age 15 yrs). ** Early bird entry @ R130 pp if pre-enter online before 28 March 2014.

Registration time on the day: 05h45 am at the Paragliding / Cycling / Running Stand at Volksrust Caravan Park. All cyclists need to report to the Paragliding/Cycle/Run registration table at the Dam Fest no later than 06h00 am on the day.

Start of the race:

06h30 am.
To pre-enter contact / 072 615 4763 .

The cycle route:

Cyclists will start at the Dam Fest held at the Volksrust Caravan Park at 06h30 am. Competitors will follow a dirt track next to the old railway towards the east. The track meets up with the Driefontein gravel road that takes you in a northerly direction through beautiful untouched natural surroundings. Retrace part of the old railway route from Wakkerstroom to Daggakraal while enjoying the splendor of the rolling hills and stunning landscape. It's hard not to image sitting on one of the old steam trains travelling through untouched Africa with a G&T in hand!

The route however gets demanding with numerous hill climbs and sections of challenging gravel over small rivers and rocky terrain. After heading in a north-westerly direction towards Daggakraal one turns south again just before the Daggakraal settlement. It's then the final stretch to the finish back on the Driefontein road. The race ends back at the Dam Fest right in front of the beer tent where cold drinks are available to quench your thirst.

There will be water stations on-route (approx every 20 km).

A percentage of the entry money will go towards the Volksrust Childrens Home for food supplies.

Fun Run

The Dam Fest 4.5 km Fun Run will start/end at Volksrust Caravan Park on 29 Mar 2014. All finishers will receive a medal. Entry fee R40 pp
Registration report time on the day: 07h00 at the Paragliding / Cycling / Running Stand at Volksrust Caravan Park. All runners need to report to the registration.

Start time of run: 08h00

To pre-enter contact: / 072 615 4763

A percentage of the entry fees will go to Volksrust Childrens Orphanage for food supplies.

Ladies Workshops at the Dam Fest 29 March 2014

Ladies, ever wondered how to 'hide' the unwanted curves? Attend the Manilla clothing range workshop with Elzaan and find out how! This workshop will start at 09h30 at the Waterfront Restaurant on the Volksrust Caravaan Park property.

A second exciting workshop will follow at 11h00 am showing you how to prepare tasty and healthy food. This will be presented by the 'Vroue Landbou Unie' on the day.

There will be a small attendance fee charged for each of the workshops.

Kiddies 'Push-bike' Race

All children under the age of 6 years are welcome to take part in the 'push-bike' race. They need to bring their own 'push-bikes' to compete with. The start of the race will be at 09h30 and entry fee is R15 per child. To enter on the day children need to pay entry fee at the Paragliding / Cycling / Running Stand at Volksrust Caravan Park.

Walk Around The Dam

Join us for a organised walk around the dam starting at 11h00 am. This route is a doable walk for the older bones as well as young children walking with parents. Enjoy some of the bird life and natural surrounding whilst walking. Entry fee R20 per person payable at the Paragliding / Cycling / Running Stand at Volksrust Caravan Park on the day.

Fishing Activities

How far can you cast a line? And just how accurate? Come join Jan van der Merwe and team on the day to test your fishing skills. There will be various fishing activities to participate in at the Dam Fest.

Exhibit your hand work

If you have not yet booked your stand at the Dam Fest, please do so soonest in order to avoid disappointment. Please contact Engela van der Merwe at to book your stand.

Paragliding Tandem Flights

Ever wondered what it is like flying like a bird? Here is your chance! You may purchase your flight ticket at the Paragliding stand at the Dam Fest, Volksrust Caravan Park, between 08h00 and 16h00. Flights are weather permitted. Should you not be able to fly due to weather conditions not being favourable, you will get a refund. Paragliding Tandems will cost R550 per flight (we regret, no children under 16 years of age). For more details contact / 072 615 4763 .

Kindly wear long pants (jeans/hiking trousers), comfortable shirt, running/hiking shoes and bring something warm as it might get cold in the air. It is advisable to bring sunglasses and some sun protection (hat/sun cream).

You will be required to sign an indemnity form at the ticket office.

Please note that our pilots that will be doing the tandem flights are TFI rated with the South African Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association, meaning, they are qualified and hold the appropriate license/experience level for taking you to the skies.

We hope to see YOU at the Dam Fest on 29 March 2014 in Volksrust!

For more details: www.damfees.co.za / 072 615 4763