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December 15, 2009

The city of summer light

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The Aqua Festival at the V&A Waterfront

Paris is known internationally as the “City of Lights” and although Cape Town cannot rival gay Paris in terms of the sheer number of lights, the Mother City is bathed in a special glow of its own at this time of year.

While the northern hemisphere wraps up warmly, treads through snow in degrees below freezing point and starts stuffing the turkey, we in the south prepare for an entirely different festive season altogether.

Capetonians spend our days on the city’s beaches, do Christmas shopping in air-conditioned shopping malls or open-air markets, and dish up wonderful salads, cold meats and classic Christmas desserts like trifle before we see in the New Year at beach parties and outdoor events.

This week we look at events taking place during the season to be jolly, including the fabulous Mother City Queer Project and New Year’s Eve celebrations for those Capetonians and visitors who haven’t made plans yet.

  • The whole family can enjoy Carols by Candlelight at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden from December 17-20 2009. What better way to get in a festive mood than enjoying traditional Christmas carols accompanied by the Cape Town Concert Brass Band and the Cape Town Male Voice Choir in the pristine setting of Kirstenbosch?

    The Cape Town Male Voice Choir, a voluntary, community-based association that has been in operation for 29 years, currently comprises 40 members. The Cape Town Concert Brass Band, a collection of amateur musicians, plays classical music, jazz and popular themes, and boasts band members that are engineers, pharmacists and a surgeon by day, to name but a few.

    All Carols by Candlelight visitors will receive a candle and song sheet on arrival. Gates open at 17h00 and the carols begin at 20h00. The cost is R50 per adult and R30 per scholar. For more information, visit http://www.oldmutual.co.za/about-us/sponsorship/arts-and-lifestyle/kirstenbosch-concerts/artists/carols-by-candlelight.aspx.
  • The Aqua Festival is a celebration of music, movement and summertime at the V&A Waterfront from December 15 2009 to January 6 2010, brought to you by Hunta Live. The festival is set on a floating aquatic stage in the V&A harbour with Table Mountain as its backdrop. The entertainment line-up includes the 53-piece Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, Cape Town City Ballet, performers Freshlyground and the Parlotones and jazz icons Judith Sephuma and Robbie Jansen, to name but a few.

    First on the line-up is the H2Opera, conducted by Richard Cook, from December 15-17 2009. The show features the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra and stars such as Brad Cooper from Australia and South Africa’s own Otto Maidi and Pretty Yende. They will be delighting the crowds with arias from popular operas. Ticket prices start at R190 per person. For more information, visit http://www.aquafestival.com.
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    Enjoy Carols by Candlelight at the beautiful Kirstenbosch Gardens. Photo courtesy Chris Freeland

  • The Mother City Queer Project is taking place at the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock on December 19 2009. This event has become a must-do on the annual events calendar for Capetonians, gay and straight alike. It is always a truly fabulous party and, with the theme of “Toolbox Project”, no fewer than nine bars, a champagne bar, four dance floors, a food court and live entertainment by Flash Republic, the Drag Divas and the Dean FUEL Show, this year promises to be no different!
  • New Year’s Eve

    Go for a Muizenberg Moonlight Meander, a guided walk in the moonlight with music, dancing and drumming, from 18h00 until 23h00. Participants are encouraged to dress up. Restaurants will be open or you can take a picnic basket. Please send all enquiries to info@safertogether.org.za

    94.5KFM and Drostdy Hof New Year’s Eve Concert will showcase the talents of Loyiso Bala, Flat Stanley, Chad Saaiman, Loading Zone and DJ Denver Apollus at the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. Tickets are available through Web Tickets at a cost of R220.

Be sure to pencil these dates into the precious little space you have left in your 2009 diary and see in 2010 in fabulous, truly Capetonian Live it. Love it. LOUDER! style.

For more information on these and other events, visit www.capetown.travel.

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