Summer season party still in full swing

AWARD-WINNER:Port Elizabeth-born singing sensation Zonke Dikana is among the many top artists on the Summer in NMB calendar. Zonke will be performing at the main Ebubeleni Festival on Sunday
BAY SONGBIRD: AWARD-WINNER:Port Elizabeth-born singing sensation Zonke Dikana is among the many top artists on the Summer in NMB calendar. Zonke will be performing at the main Ebubeleni Festival on Sunday

It’s the final stretch of the Summer Nathi festive calendar, but the party is not over yet with several big names expected to round out the summer season in the Bay.

Since December 16, the Summer lineup in Nelson Mandela Bay has been packed with fun, family activities as well as a bumper-to-bumper events calendar.

Here’s a  comprehensive guide to things to do around the Bay.

December 28

Parents with children under the age of 12 can join the holiday club at the Boardwalk to enjoy hours of fun and games in a safe environment.

Parents can also make use of the Kids Corner in The Boardwalk’s retail area.

Kiddies can enjoy fun games such as the speedway go-kart, adventure golf and a wide range of other games at the amusement park.

At 10.30am the Death by Coffee crew host a poetry open mic session at the Death by Coffee Roastery in Mount Pleasant.

Poetry lovers are invited to share some of their work over freshly roasted organic coffee and chocolate croissants.

Flying the rainbow flag high is the second annual Kasi Pride “Bringing a Queer Experience to eKasi” at PataPata Lifestyle in New Brighton.

The event is aimed at celebrating diversity, with the a parade from the  Nangoza Jebe Hall to PataPata Lifestyle starting at 11am.

The Ebubeleni comedy night is billed to be a night of humour with Ntosh Madlingozi, Siya Seya, Trevor Gumbi, Khanyisa Bunu, Nkosinathi Maki and Skhumba Hlophe lined up to leave people in stitches.

Ebubeleni festival director Marc Mahambehlala said hundreds of citizens in the Friendly City and leisure tourists had embraced the festival as a festive season entertainment tourism outing of choice.

“The festival sold out in 2018 after expansion from a single day to three.  

“Tourist visitor numbers increased enormously in the Bay during the festive season, especially around the festival dates.

“The festival prides itself for contributing to efforts meant to boost the local economy through, among others, the attraction of tourists, presenting income-generating and employment opportunities in Nelson Mandela Bay.

“Benefiting the most are young people with qualifications but lacking work experience.

“Included among those employed by the event are graphic designers, administrators and public relations personnel.

“Among the businesses that benefited are those in accommodation, tour operations, caterers, technical services, security and vendors,” Mahambehlala said.

The comedy night will start at 6pm at the Boardwalk ICC.

Jazz lovers can make their way to the Roof Top Garden bar at 7pm for a night of smooth, Afrocentric sounds.

December 29

The main Ebubeleni Music Festival event promises a day with the stars, with gates opening at 10am at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

Performances from local and national artists include Zonke, Vusi Nova, Ami Faku, Tsepo Tshola, DJ Tira, headliner Simmy, Zer012 Finest, Anathi, Msaki, O47 and Jaziel Brothers.

Socialite and  radio and television personality Somizi Mhlongo will be the MC with Umhlobo Wenene presenter Mafa Bavuma.

Patrons may bring their own cooler boxes at a fee, but  event organisers caution that no glass bottles are allowed.

The Music Kitchen together with Mark Haze will be hosting a tribute to Bon Jovi and the Masters of Rock for rock lovers on Sunday evening at 8pm in Newton Park.

Monday is a rest and recovery day, with holidaymakers gearing up for a memorable New Years countdown.

December 31

The municipality and Soul Good promises yet another epic summer party with two New Year’s Eve events — at Hobie Beach and Wells Estate — on December 31.

Some of the artists performing at the Hobie Beach event are local musicians Afrobeez, Young Creatives and Liber8, while attendees of the Wells Estate event can look forward to performances by Zowler SA, Real Tau and DJ Mash, among others.

Other New Years Eve parties around the Bay include a performance by Thuens Jordaan at The Barn, News Cafe in Summerstrand will be hosting a Bottomless Bubbles party, while Deep Brew will host Pierre Johnson to usher in the New Year.