This year’s Whale Festival drew thousands of visitors to Hermanus and was billed as a huge success. Although attendance numbers have been dwindling over the past few years, Whale Coast Tourism Manager, Frieda Lloyd is confident that the festival can retain its rightful place as one of the best festivals in the country.

The Walker Bay Orchid Society (WBOS) held its inaugural Orchid Art Competition this year for secondary schools in the Overstrand. The competition was started by WBOS member, Ann Bown. Students from Grade 8 – 11 at Hawston and Hermanus High participated. The winning students were announced prior to the Walker Bay Orchid Show at the Whale Festival this past weekend, and were asked to attend the show on Saturday to receive their prizes. Back from left are Ann Bown (WBOS member), Shane Stevens (second place), Jay-C Burgess (runner-up), Keanu Jacobs (first place), Marinus Nolte (WBOS chairman), (front) Reavin Davids (third place) and Randy Laverlot (runner-up). They were the winners for Grade 8 and 9 and are all from Hawston High School.

“In the last few weeks we have had several residents, business owners and civic organisations contacting us with fresh new plans and ideas for the festival. We are excited to work with the organisers of the Whale Festival and all of the other events that are hosted during this weekend to create an umbrella marketing campaign that will meet the needs of all tourists and draw new visitors to our towns.

“What impressed me most is the willingness of residents to become actively involved in breathing new life into the Whale Festival and what our region has to offer as a tourist destination. People are not just complaining from the side lines but rather saying ‘count me in I want to help make a difference’,” says Frieda.

Locals and visitors had a blast at the Whale Festival, with especially the Eco-Marine Tent, drawing throngs of curious visitors wanting to know how they can help to save our planet. As resident Carolyn Etsebeth said in a Facebook comment: “The festival can be summed up in all the families and friends getting together, the beautiful smiling faces all around and the people enjoying the views. And with the amount of feet in town for the weekend I think the cleaning teams deserve a mention! Well done to all involved.”

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