It’s Cool to Care
The Umhlanga Summer Festival 2018
uMhlanga: 14 – 23 December
The annual uMhlanga Summer Festival brings a myriad family-centred holiday activities to uMhlanga for the 2018 festive season for visitors and locals alike, from 14 – 23 December.
Understanding that the season is about goodwill, family and community, the theme for this year’s festival is It’s Cool to Care – with all aspects of the season aimed at caring for people and the planet.
The Beach Festival starts on Friday 14 December and continues until Sunday 23 December where people are encouraged to participate and join in the fun and games on the uMhlanga Millennium Stage with daily activities planned around the main beach as well as on the stage from 10am until 2pm daily. The day starts at 10am with daily warm up exercises to get the blood circulating. The programme features nostalgic old-school family fun: hula hoops; tug-of-war, musical chairs, face-painting, talent showcase, mini Olympics etc.
Kevin Ellis – experienced eventor, creative and multi-awarded international champion dancer -will again be leading the daily activities, together with Gareth Greaves – stylist, designer and unofficial poster boy for Movember. The programme wraps up every afternoon at around 1.30pm with a community beach clean-up to ensure that everyone gets involved in keeping the beaches in their pristine condition.
The Carols Under the Stars evening at Granada Square on Thursday 20 December takes place from 6pm until 7.30pm. The event takes place in the al-fresco courtyard square, literally under the stars. Getting the festive cheer rolling, sing along to favourites like Jingle Bells; Silent Night; Away in a manger; O Come all ye Faithful; We wish you a Merry Christmas and finally Santa Claus is coming to Town. Soloists include the wonderful Haylea Hounsom Heyns singing her new Christmas song; local song bird, Fazyln Naidoo; Shelley McLean’s Cowan House Carolers; Tory du Plessis and her Cherry Blossom Studio Singers and dancers; and Mikey Mthaba AKA “The Human Voice Machine”.
Father Christmas will be arriving in style riding on the back of a shiny Harley Davidson. Entry is free and all are welcome, however, participants are warmly encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy that will be gifted to an under privilege child, co-ordinated by Rotary uMhlanga.
The annual Miss uMhlanga Beauty Pageant will take place at 11.30am on Monday 17 December on the Millennium Stage, co-ordinated by Kevin Ellis and Gareth Greaves. Registration is at 10.30am and the event will be on stage until 2pm featuring a bevy of the potentially best ambassadors to represent uMhlanga. The Miss uMhlanga is open to teenagers from age 15. No children will be competing this year. Interested participates should come to the beaches to register from 10.30am on 17 December. Winners will walk away with sashes; tiaras; cash prizes; medals and trophies. Entry to participate into the Miss uMhlanga is R150 cash – which will go towards purchasing needed items for uMhlanga child-focused NGOs.
On Sunday 23 December, there will be a new addition to the festival line up – the first ‘Waitronathon’ which includes the hard-working men and women who serve visitors over the festive season: the wild and wacky fun run and obstacle course has been designed – especially for uMhlanga waitering staff working along the uMhlanga strip. They will need Olympic style prowess as they navigate an obstacle course while carrying a tray of drinks!
The season will be an opportunity to collect goods and / or funds for Girls & Boys Town: an organisation based in nearby Verulam that cares for vulnerable children aged 10 to 17. So, you see, it really will be Cool to Care! uMhlanga Tourism – caring for people and the planet.
Also a big part of the festival is to encourage awareness about our natural beauty spots in uMhlanga and to actively keep them beautiful – so there will be daily beach clean ups, and the organisers are encouraging a “No plastic straw policy” to avoid unnecessary plastic to find its way into the ocean.
uMhlanga Tourism would like to acknowledge their partners, supporters and stakeholders: Durban Tourism; Hirsch’s; Granada Square; Coca Cola Beverages South Africa; Chempac; Sibaya Casino and Entertainment Kingdom; Dupé; Nivea, Durban Youth Radio and Beach Garden Events situated at Breakers Resort.
uMhlanga Tourism Summer Festival: 14 to 23 December. 10am to 2pm daily
Carols Under the Stars: Granada Centre: 20 December at 6pm.
Miss uMhlanga Beauty Pageant: 17 December. Registration at 10.30am (no late entries). Competition 12pm to 2pm, winner crowned on the day.
Waitronathon: 23 December, 10am registration, race at 10.30am.

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