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November 12, 2009

Festive lights to set the scene for 2010 Final Draw

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Adderley Street festive lights, photo courtesy Danie van der Merwe

As thousands of soccer dignitaries and journalists prepare to visit Cape Town for the Final Draw for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ on December 4, the City of Cape Town has focused on a soccer theme for this year’s festive lights in the city centre.

The City’s public lighting crews are already hard at work after hours putting up the 12 light installations that span the width of Adderley Street. There will also be a 6m-high Christmas tree at the entrance to the Company Gardens.

More than 50 000 people are expected to gather in Adderley Street on Sunday, November 29 to witness the colourful extravaganza of light and sound when the lights are switched on by Executive Mayor Dan Plato at the Foreshore.

The 43-year-old ceremony, which is accompanied by a star-studded concert and a 2 000-strong carnival parade, is billed as Cape Town’s largest open-air event.

“This year, [the ceremony] will form part of the milestone celebrations leading up to the 2010 FIFA Final Draw on Friday, December 4 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre,” says Lesley de Reuck, Cape Town’s director of 2010 operations.

According to the City’s public lighting manager, Anthony Hendricks, a special team designed the new light crossings to incorporate a strong soccer theme.

“Some of the more traditional elements have been retained and the huge Christmas tree has returned to the top end of Adderley Street. It replaces last year’s indigenous aloe plant, which became a lively talking point in Cape Town,” says Hendricks.

“By using energy-efficient rope lighting, the City has cut the electricity consumption of its festive light displays by more than 50%. About 10km of rope lighting were used to create this year’s displays.

“We don’t foresee a burden on the city’s electricity infrastructure as most industries are closed over the festive season, thus reducing the energy loads.”

Cape Town is expecting a festive season influx of more than 1-million visitors and the municipality has devised a comprehensive co-ordination plan to promote a safe, secure and clean holiday for residents and visitors.

“The event provides Cape Town with an excellent opportunity to test its ability to stage big events in the run-up to 2010,” says De Reuck.

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