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Partying with SA’s elite at the Durban July launch party

DJ Tira on the decks at the Hollywoodbets Durban July party. Picture: Theo Japtha/ANA Pictures

DJ Tira on the decks at the Hollywoodbets Durban July party. Picture: Theo Japtha/ANA Pictures

Published Feb 20, 2022

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The Durban July has always been synonymous with glamour, splendour and festivities that go on for days after the event is over.

It's the biggest party weekend in South Africa, where people from different parts of the country, continent and world descend on Durban and party like they are in Vegas.

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And it's all because of this storied horse race meet- the Durban July.

After a muted two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, change is finally in the air and there are a lot of changes.

On Thursday evening, some members of South Africa’s elite rocked up to the Greyville Racecourse to celebrate the new changes that are coming.

Sports royalty mingled with equestrians, while fashionistas and socialites from around the country caught up after having not seen each other since 2019.

Model, Andile Luthuli wearing a creation by Kathrin Kidger at the Hollywoodbets Durban July party. Picture: Theo Japtha/ANA Pictures

Hosted at the Silver Ring paddock, it was an explosion of glamour, fine food and wines and theatrics that took guests to an alternate world, one we had forgotten could exist, for a few hours.

Multiple stations to take selfies and E! red carpet style 360 cameras, living fashion installations that saw some of Durban's best designers show off their latest garments, while champagne and MCC flowed so much, it could fill the Nile River.

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DJ Tira on the decks at the Hollywoodbets Durban July party. Picture: Theo Japtha/ANA Pictures

And the reason for these festivities? Well, home grown betting company, Hollywoodbets, has replaced Vodacom as the headline sponsor of the Durban July.

This was announced with fanfare at the event hosted by SuperSport anchor Carol Tshabalala who looked resplendent in a long-sleeved black sequined dress with 20s era flapper-style fringe.

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DJ Tira rocked the decks, while influencers including Nadia Japtha, partied the night away.

Vodacom has been the sponsor since the early 2000s, so this change is one everyone will get used to. No longer the Vodacom Durban July, it will now be called the Hollywoodbets Durban July.

Sune Botha wearing a creation by Leigh Schubert at the Hollywoodbets Durban July party. Picture: Theo Japtha/ANA Pictures

A big part of the Durban July festivities is the fashion and events industry, and many of those stakeholders were excited that the industry would finally bounce back after the difficulties brought by the pandemic.

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After the successful running of the L'Ormarins Queens Plate and the Cape Town Met, everyone is expecting the July to be just as successful, if not even more so.

Model, Phume Manzi wearing a creation by Zarth Designs at the Hollywoodbets Durban July party. Picture: Theo Japtha/ANA Pictures

The announcement that the race will enjoy a prize increase of 250% over the 2021 offering and will carry a record stake of R5 million, had many excited.

Judging by the splendour that was showcased, we can expect revellers to be in for a good time, especially when the theme of the Durban July is announced next month, giving them ample time to prepare their finery.

Related Topics:

KwaZulu-Natal

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