KNYSNA is gearing up to receive 65000 visitors over the next two weeks for the annual Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival starting today.
The festival, now in its 29th year, boasts more lifestyle events than ever, and includes favourites like the oyster shucking and oyster eating contests, the waiter race and the SA Navy parade.
The biggest of its kind in Africa, the festival is anchored by a number of sporting events, including the Pick n Pay Weekend Argus Rotary Cycle Tour this weekend.
Tour organiser Zandile Menesis said 6500 riders had been registered, most of them in the mountain bike events.
It is expected that about 200000 oysters will be consumed, and the organisers hope to set a new charity fund-raising record, surpassing the R1.2-million raised last year.
Other sporting events lined up include the Salomon Featherbed Trail Run, the Pick n Pay Cape Times Knysna Forest marathon and half-marathon, and the lagoon canoeing challenge.
The navy ships will again enter the town via the treacherous Knysna Heads and there will be a naval parade in Memorial Square on July 14.