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FESTIVE cheer swept through central Cape Town as thousands of people gathered on the Grand Parade to see displays of fireworks, dancers, music performances and colourful floats before the Festive Lights Switch On Ceremony last night.
The switching on of the lights was delayed for more than an hour because the performances went over the scheduled time.
The event also celebrated the inauguration of Table Mountain as one of the new Seven Wonders of Nature. Since being named among the new seven wonders a year ago, Table Mountain has recorded an 8 percent increase in the number of visitors.
Among the musicians who wowed the crowds were Lira, Freshlyground, Jimmy Dludlu and Emo Adams.
Dludlu said the event attracted bigger crowds each year.
“Cape Town has the best fans in the country and I look forward to being here every year. I know that here are many jazz lovers and I know that my performance was truly appreciated by the crowd,” Dludlu said.
Michael Johnson, 35, from Kensington, said: “I come to the event every year and it is absolutely fabulous. I truly enjoy this – it is one of the most special events in the city. I enjoyed the Lira performance and Emo Adams was great as always.”
Walter Shepherd, 27, from Constantia, said the event brought Capetonians together in a special way.
“It’s so nice to just sit here and enjoy the performances – that has been tremendous for the past few years. I really enjoyed it and it’s the perfect way to start the summer season,” Shepherd said.
Mayor Patricia de Lille said: “We take Table Mountain for granted because we see it every day. But this mountain has placed our city on a global map and we are reaping the rewards with an increase in the number of visitors to the mountain.”
More than 4 000 bulbs have been used in creating the festive lights on Adderley Street.