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Hermanus Times 25/10/2001

Oktoberfest a ‚truly happy event‘

Hermanus is the festival town of the Western Cape. So says the MEC for housing in the Western Cape, Mr Cecil Herandien, who opened the town’s first ever Oktoberfest on Saturday morning.

With three successful festivals under its belt and one to go, Hermanus and their organisers can justly feel proud of themselves. The driving force of the Oktoberfest, Dr Niel le Roux, also behind the Kalfiefees which was held for the first time in August, says he is overwhelmed at the public’s joyous response to the Oktoberfest where live music was provided all day by the Jugendblasorchester Grimma e.V. „It is something I have never experienced in my life – a cross section of a town forgetting all their cares and woes, dancing on the tables and really letting their hair down – without one unpleasant incident.“

„I am also amazed by what has happened. The MEC phoned me on Sunday morning and asked me to set up a business plan for a bigger and better Oktoberfest next year. So we will give the people what they want. We will have five marquees, each brewery will have its own tent and its own band and it will run from midday on the Friday through to the Sunday.“

The Western Cape government has donated money to all the Hermanus festivals and the December Sea Festival in Hawston is no exception. Le Roux is throwing his substantial talent for organising public events in that direction too. „I’m doing what I can to get the popular Glitter Sisters to do a show at the Sea Festival to really get it going.“

Le Roux is convinced that the public will have a more co-operative relationship with the traffic department after Saturday’s festivities considering the camaraderie at the breathalyser tent, which the public made full use of, as well as the booze bus sponsored by Tempest Car Hire.

The charity organisations‘ foodstalls were completely sold out and not a German sausage was to be found in the town on Saturday night.

The majority of revellers were locals but there was a healthy sprinkling of tourists from all over the world.

Vielen dank

Niel le Roux, GHACT voorsitter en organiseerder van die Oktoberfest.

Die Oktoberfest was ’n reuse sukses omdat dit met soveel oorgawe ondersteun is deur die hele groter Hermanus gemeenskap, inwoners van die Overstrand, plaaslike besoekers en oorsese toeriste. Dit was ’n tweede GHACT „event“ wat bewys het dat GHACT die belange, vreugde en vermaak van sy mense op die hart dra en daarom ’n baie groot dankie aan elkeen wat bygewoon het om dit ’n ware fees van formaat te maak. Ons kan tereg trots daarop wees dat minister Herandien met die opening verklaar het dat Hermanus dié feesdorp is. Alle eer en dank ook aan my toegewyde en hardwerkende Oktoberfestkomitee wat almal komiteelede van GHACT is.

I also extend my warmest thanks to everybody who helped to make the Oktoberfest such a huge success – all the volunteer members of GHACT who sold tickets at the door, members of the Hermanus Hospitality Association who served the beer, all the stall holders and their teams who served food and drinks, boys from the Overstrand Child & Youth Centre, the ladies from the tourism bureau, the Tygerberg College students and their leader, the man with the PA system and the main sponsors – SA Breweries and the Western Cape government as well as all the other sponsors who contributed to the success of the Oktoberfest.

Be assured of our utmost appreciation. A very special thank you to all the hosts who gave free accommodation to the touring Germans in private homes and guesthouses and showed them the meaning of South African hospitality. They left on Sunday with Hermanus as the highlight of their visit!

Einen speziellen Dank an die Deutschen Gastgeber, die dazu beigetragen haben, dass Hermanus in guter Erinnerung bleibt.

GHACT promises a bigger Oktoberfest next year with more and bigger tents as well as more brands and bands!

Hermanus Times