New family fest coming

Najuma Parker, Community Chest marketing and communications officer, with their chief executive officer Lorenzo Davids at their Bree Street offices.

After a 60-year tenure the Community Chest Carnival has reached the end of its life-cycle and will be replaced by the Southern Mail Wynberg Family Festival which is set to take place on Friday March 24 and Saturday March 25 at Maynardville in Wynberg.

Chief executive officer of Community Chest in the Western Cape, Lorenzo Davids, said the organisation would no longer be running the annual carnival due to a change in their business model. “Hosting events are not our core focus anymore. We have decided to move forward and we are very happy that the director of the DStv Mitchell’s Plain Festival, Rozario Brown, has decided to revive and replicate what we have done in the past. Over the last couple of years the carnival has raised only two percent of our annual operating costs,” he said.

Najuma Parker, Community Chest marketing and communications officer, said their new focus entails investing in education, health, community development and job creation.

“Over the last 20 years the revenue generated through the carnival has slowly dwindled. We are now in a position to raise greater funds through initiatives that require less effort and time,” she said.

Community Chest ran the carnival for 64 years and it roots date back decades. “The carnival started as a theatrical garden party at De Waal Park and was sponsored by Rotary clubs and churches,” said Mr Davids.

He said he is fully behind Mr Brown and hopes to play a supportive role during the transition period. “We are very excited about this new development as we know the carnival has become an institution in Cape Town. Hosting events has become a specialised field. It’s sensible for us to recognise that and allow the innovators to stand up,” he said.

Mr Brown said while planning the Southern Mail Wynberg Family Festival, he was not aware that Community Chest would not be hosting its annual carnival ever again.

“Cycle of Life, the organisers of the Mitchell’s Plain Festival and the Wynberg Family festival, have a simple policy which dictates that we should give back to communities where we host events and create as many employment opportunities for the locals as possible. A week ago Mr Davids went on Cape Talk radio and announced the end of Community Chest carnival and gave a resounding endorsement to the Wynberg Family Festival and he also used the radio interview to call upon their supporters and followers to support our event,” he said.

Following the announcement Mr Brown contacted Mr Davids and decided to make Community Chest a beneficiary of the Southern Mail Wynberg Family Festival this year.

“We are also committed to do our level best to try and maintain the strong community and charity spirit associated with the Community Chest Carnival and we would like to see the Wynberg family festival grow significantly over the next three years or so, in order for us to give back to the community,” he said.

Mr Brown said people can expect two days of non-stop family orientated entertainment, plenty of children’s entertainment, loads of good food, exciting non-food stands and the best local entertainment on one stage.

“People are hungry for family-orientated entertainment. I have seen the ability of big events like the DStv Mitchell’s Plain Festival bring people together and make them forget about their daily problems even if it is only for a weekend. More importantly, I have seen how people can enjoy themselves without using illegal drugs and alcohol. We are in the business of nation building, contributing to social cohesion and creating part time employment. I have learnt that events like these can contribute significantly toward job creation and heighten awareness around social issues affecting communities,” he said.

Confirmed entertainers for the event include former Idols winner Karin Kortje, London Louw, Salome and popular Hip Hop star, YoungstaCPT.

Local DJs such as Superfly, Godfrey (the yardman), Ron X and Dr Jules will be on the decks to host “open air parties”.

Heart 104.9fm will also do two live broadcasts from the festival on Friday March 24, between 3pm and 6pm. Organisers have said a more detailed programme of entertainment will be released closer to the event

(BLOB) Early bird tickets cost R35 and R50 at the gates for children aged six to 12 years old. Children who are 13 years old and over will pay R50 and R65 at the gates. Children aged 0 to five years old and pensioners enter free. Tickets are available at Computicket and House & Home stores. Stall holders can call Sharon on 021 391 0140/1 or email Sharon@mitchellsplainfestival.com

For more information call 021 391 0140.