Ramp it up at the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival

Words: FinePlaces Marketing & PR | Photos: Theresa Lozier & Steve van Lier

Element Team Riders To Show Some Skill on the Half-Pipe during the 2013 Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival - presented by The Yard Skate & BMX Park

For a new twist on Rock n Roll, The Yard in Knysna – an indoor skate, BMX, scooter and rollerblade venue – is hosting a team of Element sponsored Team Riders during the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival, complete with their own pro-Half Pipe.


Damon De Clercq, Giovanni Votano and Clint Theron are all world-renowned skaters and will be joining in the festival's 30th anniversary festivities with a demonstration of some serious skill at the Festival Pavilion.


Festival Manager Nicci Rousseau Schmidt explains, “It’s all part of the festival’s focus to bring in new and exciting events that appeal to people of all ages and interests. The Yard has organised some of the world’s most talented skate boarders to come to Knsyna and we’re only too pleased to have them as part of the schedule.”


On 05 July from 2pm-4pm on the Element Team Riders will ramp it up at the Festival Pavilion with a demo on the half pipe, and after that they’ll head over to The Yard in Knysna's Industrial Area for the official Element Night Jam from 5-10PM. There the party will continue with more tricks, autographs and some pretty sweet prizes for participants, like Element skateboard wheels, T-shirts, hoodies, caps, shoes and more.


The Team Riders afternoon demo is free to watch, while entrance to the Night Jam is just R25 per person including entrance to the competition. During the festival you can also head down to The Yard- open 7 days a week 10am-6pm (except Sundays, from 1pm – 6pm) and skate all day for only R25, or you can try your luck when the half pipe is free at the Festival Pavilion throughout the day and during the week.


Brothers Steve and Ivan Van Lier founded Knysna's only skate venue in 2009. Steve explains, "We sold our family business in the building industry in 2007. The Yard was an idea that developed with two things in mind- first, the tough economic conditions which seem to hit the smaller towns harder than the big cities and second, Ivan's sons Mathew and Troy's love for skateboarding and rollerblading. So on the one side Ivan was driving through to the only park on the Garden Route in George for his kids to practice their tricks, and one the other side we had an empty warehouse in the industrial area just begging for something… so bam! It was to be a skate and BMX park."


Steve continues, "The park itself was designed and built by Roscoe Siebers – an experienced BMX rider from Port Elizabeth who has ridden in many parts of the world - and the Bowl, ¼ pipes, fun box, spine and banks all use steel framework manufactured in his factory, and cladding done by local Knysna carpenters. The park offers 500m2 of indoor skating as well as 600m2 of outdoor plaza which is the very best on offer in the Garden Route. We have a fully stocked shop which offers all the associated clothing with brands like DC, Planb and other skate related brands to choose from. We have all the spares and complete boards any skater could dream of under one roof. For the hungry and thirsty we also cater from our in house tuck shop."


"The skate and BMX park is open daily from 10:00am till 6pm with boards, BMX, scooters and safety equipment available for hire. This is a safe environment for kids to be dropped as there is always adult supervision. And at R25 for the whole day it’s a bargain. Plus, we offer a Toppies evening on alternate Wednesday evenings from 6pm – 8:30pm for the oldies that want to skate without kids coming past at 100mph, which has broken all expectations on attendance! The quality of skaters coming is just amazing - who would have thought the moms and dads would want to get back onto their skate boards and not only skate, but do tricks that outdo the kids'! "


The Schedule:

05 July 2-4PM, Element Riders Half Pipe Demo at the Festival Pavilion, Waterfront Drive FREE. 05 July 5-10PM, Join in the fun at the Element Night Jam at The Yard, 5 Progress Street, Knysna Industrial Area R25 per person, including entrance to the competition. Daily during the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival - Skate all day at The Yard, 5 Progress Street, Knysna Industrial Areafor just R25


The programme for the 2013 Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival has grown, with new and exciting events joining the stable of old favourites. “Last year’s programme sported more than 100 events,” said Festival Manager Nicci Rousseau-Schmidt. “And it is already clear that we’ll top that number this year.”


Other not to be missed events in the line up include the Knysna Wine Festival on 01 & 02 July where up to 50 of South Africa’s best wines will be on offer, the Pick n Pay Flavours of Knysna Gourmet evening – where Knysna Restaurants will compete for cash prizes with their best oyster recipes – on 03 July, and the Tabasco® Shuckle – on Fire with Nik Rabinowitz on 04 July where the Oyster Shucking and Oyster Eating competitions will be held.


For little ones The Young Oyster Festival is gaining in popularity each year, providing an environment for kids to have a blast. Aside from the regular events such as cooking lessons, arts and crafts, movie screenings, sport clinics, and exciting competitions, this year will see a dedicated Kids Zone complete with popcorn, candy floss and all things necessary for exciting and entertaining kids.


Plus, the Pick n Pay Women’s Walk will take place on Sunday 7 July. The Women’s Walk is a popular event that takes place across South Africa. Bronwen Rohland Marketing Director Pick n Pay said, “This 5km event raises funds for PinkDrive, an organisation that provides free breast cancer screening and health education for women who cannot afford it.”


For more information about the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival, contact Knysna Tourism on 044 382 5510, visit www.pnpoysterfestival.co.za, or if you have a smart phone, be sure to get the innovative Festival App for the complete programme, mobile news and on-the-go information. To get it, go to Google Play or Apple iTunes, or simply scan the barcode on the festival website.


For more information about The Yard or the Element Team Riders Demo and Night Jam, contact Steven on 082 411 0950 or Ivan on 083 325 2526, of find them on Facebook http://on.fb.me/11LZi6E.