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Excitement mounts for Durban Port Festival

Picture: Rogan Ward

Picture: Rogan Ward

Published Sep 18, 2018

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Durban - It’s almost time for the Durban Port Festival. Hosted by Transnet National Ports Authority, this year’s event will embrace the diversity of Durban’s different cultures, traditions and heritage. It will take place on September 29 and 30 from 11am in the harbour precinct off Margaret Mncadi Avenue.

It offers a weekend of portside fun for all ages, thanks to the proud support of Durban Tourism, EThekwini Municipality, Bidfreight Port Operations, EThekwini Maritime Cluster, East Coast Radio, the KwaZulu Natal Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Bulk Connections, the Confucius Institute at Durban University of Technology, African Marine Solutions, MSC Cruises and SMG Ballito.

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Nationally, port festivals are part of TNPA’s efforts to transform our commercial ports into ‘Smart People’s Ports’ that have a focus on community engagement, tourism, leisure, recreation, and career and business opportunities.

Acting Durban Port Manager, Nokuzola Nkowane, said the port festivals encourage communities to enjoy all the edu-tainment lined up for them, but have the important underlying focus of helping TNPA to raise awareness of the ports, including the career and business opportunities they represent. We want our communities to get excited about the Oceans Economy and to take ownership of the bustling Port of Durban.

During the festival, port-goers can board and tour real-life SA Navy ships stationed at the N Shed passenger terminal in the Port of Durban. N Shed will also showcase an exhibition of maritime careers and opportunities for small and medium businesses, while TNPA will have tugboats and other marine craft open for tours throughout the weekend.

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Waterside activities will include a sail-past and regatta, sea rescue displays, jet ski demos and a tugboat ‘dance’.

Get a complimentary shuttle or enter via the BAT Centre port entrance for access to the main festivities in the vicinity of Royal Natal Yacht Club. Here you can enjoy guided tours at the Port Natal Maritime Museum, live entertainment on the main stage, a mini market and arts and crafts stalls, plus Harley Davidsons, superbikes and supercars, jet ski viewing, rides and loads more.

The special kids’ zone behind Royal Natal Yacht Club will feature face painting, kids’ entertainment, competitions, jumping castles and rides.

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On Sunday, the programme kicks off at 7am with a 5km fun run and walk around the Port of Durban. This activity is free to enter for up to 200 festival ticket holders. Register for the race at www.durbanportfestival.co.za/fun-run/

The entertainment programme is bursting with top national and local music talent as well as dance and magic.

Festival entry per day is just R30 for adults and R15 for children under the age of 13, with tickets available through Computicket.  Kids under 3 enter free.

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Gates open at 10am each day and the hubs of activity within the port will be at the N-Shed (Durban cruise terminal) via Port Entrance 3, Quayside Road (off Margaret Mncadi / Victoria Embankment), as well as at Port Festival Island which is in the vicinity of the Royal Natal Yacht Club / BAT Centre/ Port Natal Maritime Museum.

Blankets, picnic mats and folding chairs are welcome, however, gazebos and picnic umbrellas will not be permitted. Opt for sun hats, caps and sunscreen instead.

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