November 23, 2012
Switched on by Cape Town’s Festive Lights
Fazielah Williams has lived in and loved her Mother City since birth. Having lived all over the Peninsula during her childhood, she now calls the picturesque City Bowl home and likes nothing more than watching the sun set over Table Bay from the window of her apartment.
A lover of the arts and proud Cape Town fanatic, Fazielah began her writing career by spending many hours as a child conjuring fantastical stories that featured independent heroines from faraway lands who saved the Prince instead. This Capetonian princess has enjoyed stints as a magical arts PRO and TV publicist before finding her calling as a travel writer.
When not waxing lyrical about the Fairest Cape’s most loved attractions and activities and embarking on unexpected adventures, Fazielah can usually be found taking in a show at one of the City’s fabulous theatres.
10, 9, 8, 7, 6 ... the yearly countdown to the switch-on of the festive lights by Executive Mayor of Cape Town Patricia de Lille is a sure sign that the Mother City is geared up for her summer holiday season.
On Sunday 2 December, 2012, this popular annual event will once again ignite the city’s cheerful spirit amid great fanfare.
Touted as Cape Town’s largest, free-to-the-public open-air event, and hosted by the City of Cape Town, the switch-on attracts more than 80 000 spectators to its colourful extravaganza of lights, floats and music each year.
The 2012 event will celebrate the Mother City’s icons through its theme, “Our City, Our People”, which will be reflected in the fantastic line-up of entertainment for the free switch-on concert. Proud Capetonian artists who will be performing at the concert, which kicks off at 15h00, include Zayn Adams, CODA, Alistair Izobel, Lira, DJ Ready D and many more.
“This year’s festive lights ceremony celebrates the diverse heroes of our city who have all made an indelible contribution to the prosperity of Cape Town in their respective fields. As has been the case in previous years, the switching on of the festive lights officially marks the beginning of a joyous festive season in the city. This event is one of the initiatives that helps us build an Inclusive City by bringing together Capetonians from different backgrounds for a fun-filled celebration of our city’s diversity,” said Mayor De Lille.
A street parade, named the Festival Carnival of Lights, will follow the official ceremony at 20h00 and will feature a melange of colourful characters, spectacular floats and entertainers. Keep your eyes peeled for dancers, giant puppets, stilt walkers, Santa Claus and more.
One particularly special display to look out for is the statuesque, revolving Table Mountain float, which lights up to illuminate the city’s cultural celebration and to celebrate this icon being crowned as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.
Watch in delight as the procession moves from the iconic City Hall, up Darling Street, turns right in to Adderley Street beneath the light installations, before finally dispersing in Lower Heerengracht.
The festive lights will be on display until the end of January 2013.
What you need to know:
- On Sunday 2 December, all streets leading off Darling will be closed from 10h00 until 00h00.
- No parking will be permitted in Darling and Adderley streets from 06h00 until 00h00, but special parking has been secured on Queen Victoria and Wale streets.
Where to eat and other important stuff:
- Grab a bit to eat from the food vendors at the Grand Parade. For affordable restaurants nearby, click here.
- The public toilets at the Grand Parade will be open. Remember that if you want to use the facilities at the surrounding fast food establishments, you’ll have to purchase something first.
- Safety first: Read our tips on how to enjoy the festive season safely here.