Hermanus Whales Festival dissappoints

8 Oct 2012 by Horizon Cottages, Comments
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The 21 st annual Whale festival was held in Hermanus on the last weekend of September. Normally this is combined with the annual classic and vintage car show “Whales and Wheels” but the format was changed for 2012, with certain sports events and the classic car show being moved out by another week in order to reduce the traffic into the popular coastal town. Fortunately the weather played along and everything should have been set for a riproaring success for the Festival.

Unfortunately this new arrangement did not turn out as planned for the organisers, businesses and shopkeepers or for the participants. Could it have been the current state of the economy or could it have been as a result of dividing the attractions? By all accounts there was an excellent  turnout for the Whale Festival itself but businesses and shopkeepers did not enjoy the annual bonanza that the Festival brings, with some saying that it was no better than usual weekend in the town. Whilst there were many visitors during the festival, the average spend was very low and it seems that people came to spectate rather than to participate and at the same time spend.

The classic car show on the weekend of 6 October which aims to raise money for improvement of the Hermanus primary school could also not have been deemed a great success.  Unlike previous years, the number of participating cars was significantly reduced and more than half of the school playing fields, which are usually full, left empty. Although some motoring clubs; notably the Triumph Sports car club, the Sunbeam Club, GSM Dart/Flamingo club and a few others put on a good showing there was little vintage or exotic material to be seen. A nice Jowett Jupiter sports car and a very rare 1930’s Jensen were about the only unusual attractions.  The number of paying spectators from the public seemed very thin in comparison with previous years so one may assume that the funds raised for the school would also have been somewhat disappointing. An entertaining Elvis impersonator did his best to keep the small numbers entertained, as did the excellent food stalls, but the usual crowds did not materialise.

A parade by some of the cars through the town during the early morning proved popular with weekenders as did a special parade in the middle of the day to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Triumph Spitfire, Ford Cortina and South African built sportscar, the GSM Dart.

If the organisers wish to regain the popularity of the previous years they will have to give serious thought to the format for the 2013 Whale festival. Perhaps it would be better to combine all of the events over the same weekend and make special arrangements to control the traffic and provide an easy access for the drivers of the classic cars who do not like having to cope with traffic jams

By : Horizon Cottages- Cape Town beach cottages and chalets

 

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