Celebrate Durban

Halala eThekwini 2010

It’s heritage month – time for the ninth annual Celebrate Durban events showcase which features approximately 45 eclectic and participative events held during September in recognition of heritage / tourism month.

The city has ensured that the season again sees an extensive calendar boasting a mixture of social, family, heritage, sports, arts, culture, health, environmental and community events to celebrate our city’s cultural diversity.

Increasingly some of the most interesting events on the calendar fall under the umbrella of the annual SMME Fair which takes place at the Durban Exhibition Centre from 31 Aug until 5 Sept. Hosted by eThekwini Municipality’s Business Support and Markets Unit the fair affords SMMEs an opportunity to showcase their products and services, network and establish business links with big businesses. In the region of 500 exhibitors participate every year.

At the fair this year will be the International Pavilion which sees exhibitors participating from Durban’s sister cities; Flavours of Durban, KZN which sees top chefs from Durban’s sister cities showcasing signature dishes from their cities of origin, and the annual The Independent on Saturday Design Durban’s Drink which strives to find a drink which is synonymous with Durban.

Other events to flag are the Jomba-themed Red Eye  on Friday 3 September in and around the City Hall  curated by David Gouldie which involves more than 60 artists, dancers and theatre makers all responding to the theme of ‘the body politic’. Included in the event will be DarkChildBrandz Young Designers Fashion show.

The free arts and heritage bus will be running every Saturday visiting a myriad galleries and places of interest – with the arts bus alternating with the heritage bus.

An annual favourite is always the double event at the Blue Lagoon area. On 11 September is the Indian Ocean Blue Lagoon Festival – a multicultural family event; and on Sunday 12 is the sixth annual Bunny Chow Barometer.

Of course there will be festivals within festivals: the Glenwood Community Festival; Shared Histories: The Indian Experience in SA; the 12th Jomba Contemporary Dance Experience;  the Storytelling Festival; the annual Durban International Blues Festival; Durban International Music Festival; KwaMashu Music Festival; Mr Price 031 Festival; and the Cell C Music School Annual Street Music Festival.

There is music to suit every taste and mood: classical and orchestral (the KZNPO season, the Cell C Music School Annual Street Music Festival and the Glenwood Proms featuring the KZNPO); traditional and maskandi (4th Maskandi Experience; Satma Awards and KwaMashu Music Festival);  jazz (Tribute Concert for Surendran Reddy); blues (The annual Durban International Blues Festival); plus an array of fabulous musical combinations which can be found at the Indian Ocean Blue Lagoon Festival; Mr Price 031 Festival; and the Durban International Music Festival; as well as workshops and master-classes to be found at NewMusicSA’s eMusic Indaba.

Throughout the season, there are some interesting niche-market events: Art for Humanity’s Schools project; Senior Citizens Health and Beauty Spa Day; SA Navy Freedom of Entry into the City of Durban Parade; Shall We Dance; Miss eThekwini 2010; Traditional Healers event; DarkChild Fashion & Jewellery Extravaganza;  the Gandhi Peace Awards; a day-long event commemorating 150 years of the railway in SA and the DIPA Professional Management Review Breakfast.

Making sure the city stays fit and healthy during heritage month, there are various sports events – including the city’s annual Zone Based Sports programme; the city-wide sports celebrations being held in Umlazi and Clermont; and Samson’s bodybuilding show and lifestyle / fitness exhibition.

And finally, making sure our children inherit a beautiful city, there are various environmental themed events: Ellis Pearson will be staging his delightful Man up a Tree to mark the Anniversary of Durban Commitment; the city will launch an ecosystem project at Roosefontein Nature Reserve; the Paw Paw foundation will be establishing vertical gardens in various suburbs, and there’s the Dr. Ian Player annual lecture. Another participative highlight is the annual float parade. Interspersed with the events will be a strong presence from the Clowns Without Borders in Siyasebenza!

Our city has once again put together a diverse, engaging and participative programme for September in which city residents and visitors are warmly invited to share.

For more information, contact the Department of International and Governance Relations in the eThekwini Municipality on tel 031 311 2047 or for the whole season visit www.durbanexperience.co.za.

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