Overstrand Executive Mayor, Alderman Dudley Coetzee, officially opened the Whale Festival in Hermanus last night.

This annual festival starts today, and runs until Sunday afternoon.

The following are excerpts of his speech:

It is an honour and an absolute delight to be standing before you tonight to welcome to all to this the 27th annual Whale Festival.  Hermanus as the hub of the Overstrand, once again bears the distinct pleasure of playing host to this highly acclaimed event.

This year, visitors will be treated to a full festival programme.  One, that is marked by the splendor of quality crafters, sumptuous food and wine, great sporting activities and entertainment of a caliber that exceeds even those previously presented.

While the whales will always remain the star performers, these mammoth marine beauties will share the stage with a host of performing artists over the duration of the festival.  Some of the highlights include Good Hope FM

live broadcasts with ever-popular and iconic presenter Nigel Pierce, the interactive Eco Marine Village tent, the Whales & Wheels Classic Car Show and Fynbos selfies at the SANBI photo booth.  Or, head over to the Dyer Island Conservation Trust (DICT) booth – also inside the Eco Marine tent - for a Jelly Fish selfie. Then, post on your Instagram and tag DICT and Volkswagen South Africa on #VWDICT.  You will not only have a wonderful keepsake to take home, but it will further serve as a worthy reminder of your commitment and fight against marine pollution.

To tickle the fancy of the most ardent musos, there is also an exciting lineup of local talent. Fans of Charel Kleinhans, Yung Major, Wesley Clark, Amber Kruger, the Winterstand Band and the Stinging Rogers Duo, to name but a few, can expect dazzling performances from their favourite artists on the Coke Music Stage at Gearings Point.

As before, the much anticipated street parade will take place on day two, i.e. Saturday 29 September. Businesses, classic cars, organisations, sporting clubs and community members are invited to join the procession which will kick off from Swallow Park at 10:00 am before meandering along the coast past Gearings Point, then Market Square, to eventually end at the Marine Hotel.

As always, our thanks go to the organisers, under the astute leadership of Jeanette du Toit, the sponsors, local business and our very special local communities for bringing us a very spirited festival - one that will surely be remembered favourably by all long after the final curtain call. 

I look forward to experience this great event with you all!


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