How to have a Perfect Winter Break at the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival


Words & Photo: Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival

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The winter holidays are fast approaching and families all around South Africa might be wondering where to spend their mid-year break. With its spectacular natural setting and a programme of events that caters for all ages, the annual Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival probably ticks all the right boxes.

Active parents and their kids can take part in the many sporting events – from the BIG5 Challenge and the all new Lite option, to the Teens Triathlon, the Spur Steak Ranches Rotary Knysna children's cycle tour, the FNB Knysna Family Forest Hike and many more – the whole family can get their heart pumping in Knysna's spectacular lagoon, hills and forests. Plus, with a full Young Oyster Festival programme and professional child minding services on offer, parents can relax while their little ones bake, paint, sing and dance all while making new friends.

All this activity is bound to get the appetite going, and with more than 20 Tabasco® Oyster Hotspots around town offering affordable deals – you can get 6 wild oysters for just R34 at the 34 South Oyster Cart at the main festival pavilion – you can pretty much shuck and slurp to your heart's content!

Besides the daytime fun – including free entertainment by some of South Africa's most talented bands at the festival pavilion – the evenings are jam packed with delicious events. 'The Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival Flavours of Knysna - served with Tabasco®' is one of the most popular events featuring the famous oyster cooking competition, while ‘The Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival Shuckle’ will entertain with the oyster eating and shucking competitions emceed by top comics Kurt Schoonraad and Stuart Taylor. Taylor will also be putting the backspin on the serious side of golf at the Tabasco® Knysna Classic prize giving presentation. Always a huge hit, the Knysna Wine Festival will not disappoint with more than 250 wines available for tasting.

Another appealing aspect of the festival is its focus on charity: did you know every single event on the official programme contributes? Between 2007 and 2013 a whopping R9-million has been raised, most of it benefiting local charities. In perhaps the biggest visual show of support for good causes, festival goers can end the week in a crowd of pink as part of the Pick n Pay Women's Walk. In association with PinkDrive, Pick n Pay hosts the 5km walk at the festival to raise funds to support free cancer screening and health advice in local communities.

All in all the Knysna Oyster Festival offers a well rounded 10 days for the fit, the food-lovers, friends and families.

Mark your Calendar!
With more than 100 events over 10 days, these are just a few of our favourite 'must-see' events:
5-12 July: BIG5 Challenge and BIG5 Lite
5 & 6 July: momentum Weekend Argus Rotary Knysna Cycle Tour
5 July: Oyster Comedy Festival
7 & 8 July: Knysna Wine Festival
8 July: SA Navy to enter the Knysna Heads (weather dependant)
9 July: The Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival Flavours of Knysna - served with Tabasco®
10 July: Tabasco® Knysna Classic
10 July: The Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival Shuckle
12 July: momentum Cape Times Knysna Forest Marathon
13 July: Pick n Pay Women's Walk