A family-focused, fun-filled weekend with a lineup of exciting sports and entertainment is how the annual Nelson Mandela Bay Splash Festival is being punted by the municipality.
This year’s R2.5-million festival was announced at a media launch held yesterday at the Port Elizabeth harbour.
Extended to four days to cover the entire Easter weekend, the programme includes three national sporting events of which two will be broadcast live on DStv.
The national events are the volleyball and angling championships and a jet-ski competition.
Also on the programme is the WWWP International Wrestling Monster, which will include six international wrestlers from the US and 12 national wrestlers.
Sports, recreation, arts and culture head Noxolo Nqwazi said the festival would open the city to tourists and showcase local artists.
“The investment made by the city must be seen through rands and cents for businesses in Port Elizabeth. We [Nelson Mandela Bay] must be seen as a destination of choice,” she said.
Visitors to the festival – with the tagline “A Fun Family Experience” – can also enjoy live entertainment with both a gospel and Afrikaans-orientated concerts as well as more than 150 stalls.
Safety and security head, councillor John Best, said there would be ample security during the festival.
He used the weekend’s Ironman competition as an example of how the municipality could keep everything and everyone in check.
“Everybody will agree that the work done by security [over the weekend] was amazing,” he said.
“We will make sure safety will be upheld.”
Mayor Athol Trollip said it was important to host such events to highlight what Nelson Mandela Bay had to offer.
“We have got everything for tourists here. The city is perfect for national, international, regional and local tourism,” he said.
The Nelson Mandela Bay Splash Festival runs from April 14 to 17 at Hobie Beach and will be managed by Soul Good.