The People’s Port Festival – opening a world of entertainment and education
On March 25th and 26th, the public will have free access to the Port of Port Elizabeth, and will be able to experience our port like never before.
The first People’s Port Festival will allow visitors to step inside the theatre of port operations, and experience the lifestyle and opportunities the waterfront development offers the city of Port Elizabeth.
“Our port, is a melting pot of cultures and nationalities and as such is a focal point in so many ways for so many people,” explains Rajesh Dana, the Port of Port Elizabeth port manager for Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA). “We want people to experience the exciting world of port operations and have a glimpse into the future vision of our port and the role it plays in our city.”
Throughout the weekend, there will be a number of unique experiences available for people to immerse themselves in:
- The iconic SA Aghulhas which has just returned from Antarctica will be available to board, with some of its crew and researchers available to interact with
- Winners of the various festival competitions stand the chance to board a tug and have the unique experience and participate in the docking watch of a cargo vessel or board a pilot boat and cross the breakwater into open seas
- Experience some of the technological advancements in the ocean economy, and the technology the port of Port Elizabeth and its valued partners have invested in
- Screening of documentaries including the SAS Mendi, to commemorate its sinking 100 years ago
- Explore the heavy port machinery used for handling cargo, including a boat hoist that can lift 90 tonnes.
“The event isn’t just about showcasing the port and the cargo that is imported and exported,” adds Dana. “Visitors can enjoy entertainment from national artists, purchase fresh produce in our fish market and even participate in watersports.”
The diverse programme of activities, demonstrations and entertainment currently includes:
- Automotive exhibition
- Maritime careers exhibition
- Discover ocean-based research in the Bay
- Bayworld experiences
- Virtual diving opportunities
- Family entertainment
- Popular live artists and DJs including Mobi Dixon and internationally renowned Mafikizolo
- Navy vessel tours including a navy strike craft
- Evening yacht procession
- Street soccer competition
- Boxing tournament
- Angling competition
- Fish braai competition
- Tugboat ballet
- Firework display
- Inter-quay ferry trips
- Fish and farmers’ markets
- Food trucks
- Bocadillos pop-up restaurant
- Lifestyle market
Entrance to the event will be via Baakens Street and the Campanile entrance. There will be plenty of free parking available with hop-on-hop-off buses within the port running between the parking areas and the festival activities.
Gates open at 10am, and close at 10pm on Saturday, and from 10am to 4pm on Sunday.
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