Cape Town - Tens of thousands of Capetonians descended on Adderley Street for the annual switching on of the city’s festive lights on Sunday night, officially marking the start of the festive season in Cape Town.
More than 5km of rope lighting and 4 000 bulbs were switched on by Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille after 9pm.
About 2 000 people participated in the event’s official activities, and many more were involved in the build-up.
This year’s event saw about 80 000 people descend on CBD for last night’s switching-on ceremony.
Bernadette Rautenbach, from Plumstead, said she thoroughly enjoyed the ceremony.
“This is my first time here. We’ve been here for a couple hours now and we’re having a wonderful time,” she said.
She got into the spirit of things by donning a big Afro wig, and was seen jamming to the music that was being played by the many acts on stage.
Various lights and bulb creations have been put up in Adderley Street with a 6m-high Christmas tree at the entrance of the Company Gardens.
Fifteen-watt bulbs were used in the decorations previously, but have been replaced with seven-watt energy-efficient bulbs.
Myroenesa Ahmed, who was spotted selling toys with lights, said she used this time of year to sell various “lighting toys” around town in keeping with the lights theme.
“I sell shoes and accessories during the week, and every year this time I sell these lights, and it is definitely worth it,” Ahmed said.
She said while there were more people in the CBD on Sunday compared with previous years, very few people were buying.
About 25 municipal employees were involved in making, assembling and installing the various designs and light crossings.
For the first time, a Christmas tree has been erected on the Grand Parade.
Sunday’s festivities were highlighted by spectacular performances by popular South African artists under this year’s theme of “Our City, Our People”.
Some of the country’s top artists, including jazz musician Jimmy Dludlu, songbird Lira, hip-hop master DJ Ready D and pop band Freshlyground, performed at the switching-on ceremony.