Cape Town’s largest public open-air event, the official switching on of the Adderley Street festive lights, is to move from the Heerengracht fountain circle to the Cape Town Station forecourt due to construction on the MyCiTi bus inner-city routes.
Executive Mayor Dan Plato will officially launch Cape Town’s summer holiday season when he switches on the lights on Sunday, November 28 at 20:00.
Over eighty thousand spectators are expected to gather in Adderley Street to watch the colourful extravaganza of light and sound. More than five kilometres of rope lighting have been used to create the various light creations, including the six metre high Christmas tree at the entrance to the Company Gardens.
Of the 12 light installations, there are five brand new designs, including a huge rotating protea flower, boats, a new nativity scene and a Father Christmas. The other seven light crossings have been converted from last year soccer-theme displays into typical Cape Town festive images.
With the theme ‘Celebrating Africa’s Greatest City’, the curtain raiser concert features a star-studded line-up of performers including James Bhemgee, the latest winner of the “SA’s got talent” television programme.
The third runners-up, the Limited Edition drummers, will join Freshlyground, and local groups such as La Vuvuzela and the Gang of Instrumentals on stage.
“The aim of this year’s festive lights ceremony is to thank Capetonians for their enormous contribution towards Cape Town’s successful hosting of the Fifa 2010 World Cup Soccer Tournament. We also want to re-ignite the gees and welcome tourists during the summer holidays,” says Mayor Plato.
“The City will also use the occasion to highlight the impact of climate change. This year’s event marks the departure of the next SANAE weather team to Antarctica early next year. Their research helps to supplement international research on the changing weather patterns.
“Since 2006, the City has succeeded in reducing its carbon footprint of the festive lights celebrations by halving its energy consumption with the introduction of rope lights. This year another innovation will be the ‘From Waste to Wonderful’ initiative. Several costumes of carnival parade characters will be made from recycled waste material,” he says.
The festivities on 28 November kick off at 16:00 with a star-studded stage concert on the Cape Town Station forecourt.
The carnival parade will involve over 1 500 participants. The procession will move from the Heerengracht Fountain, up Adderley Street, turn left into Darling Street and disperse at the Grand Parade. It will include brass bands, a fire engine with Santa Claus, dancers, giant puppets, stilt walkers, carnival characters and colourful floats.
Two large LED screens in Adderley Street will enable spectators to follow all the action on stage, with an additional screen on stage to track the carnival parade. The show will be complemented by a dazzling laser light display, which will be bounced off mirrors and buildings along the street.
The Adderley Street lights will stay up until mid-January 2011.
Safety and security as well as emergency staff will be on hand to ensure people have a safe and enjoyable outing.
On Sunday, November 28, the streets leading off Adderley Street will be closed from 12:00 (noon) until midnight. No parking will be permitted in Adderley Street from 06:00 until midnight. Special parking has been arranged on the Grand Parade, Queen Victoria and Wale Streets.
Details of road closures will be advertised.
The City has also installed festive lights in Athlone, Atlantis, Bellville South, Bonteheuwel, Brooklyn, Crawford, Delft, Fish Hoek, Garden Village, Gatesville, Gugulethu, Hanover Park, Heathfield, Heideveld, Hout Bay, Langa, Lavender Hill, Lwandle, Maitland, Macassar, Manenberg, Mfuleni, Mitchells Plain, Nyanga, Nomzamo, Philippi, Phoenix Village, the Red Cross Children’s Hospital, Sea Point, Sir Lowry’s Pass, Somerset West, Strand and Sybrand Park.