Inaugural Knysna Woodworkers Festival a resounding success

The first annual Knysna Woodworkers Festival, in aid of SA Epilepsy Cape and Karoo branch, took place from 29 September to 6 October and, judging by visitors and participants’ reactions, was a resounding success.

Organiser Johan Nel was pleasantly surprised, not only by the amount of visitors to the festival, but by the enthusiastic participation of locals. “We were astounded at the keenness of locals wanting to participate in this initiative – from hosting exhibitions to getting involved in sponsoring various aspects of putting the festival together.”

“Representing all things related with wood, we hosted a variety of locals showcasing their artistic flair with carvings and creations from crafts to functional art pieces and furniture. Experts conducted talks and demonstrations and a successful wood auction took place. A magical forest restaurant and beer and wine garden kept adult visitors satisfied while the young ones made the most of the adjoining play area.”

“The festival was launched with a pageant of wooden boats, including well known historical wooden boats from the area,” said Nel. “An aficionado on local history and a wealth of information on the local timber industry through her association with GeoParkes, Mrs Margaret Parkes kindly opened the festival.”

“And while the festival came to a close on 6 October, the Old Gaol Museum in Queen Street is displaying a fantastic exhibition of work created by our talented local woodcraftsmen until the end of the month.”

“The Knysna Woodworkers Festival was a great success and stall holders have already asked us about being involved in next year’s event,” said Nel. “But it would not have been if not for the kind support and involvement of Timber iQ and Knysna Tourism as our main sponsors. We would also like to thank the Timber Village for providing a perfect venue, all the helping hands that made the launch of the festival and wooden boat show a success, all of our exhibitors, stall holders and experts, and every sponsor that donated or provided discounts – big and small.”

“In this case we definitely see the wood for the trees,” joked Nel. “Because if it were not for all of these helpful ‘trees’ or sponsors, the ‘wood’ – or festival – would never have been as successful! A big thank you to all of you, as well as to all the festival goers.”

Knysna Tourism CEO Shaun van Eck said that his organisation was proud to be associated with the Knysna Woodworkers Festival. “It is always a joy to see a truly original and innovative festival being developed and to see it succeed – and success is exactly what the organisers have achieved.”

“Knysna has a rich history within the timber industry and we have everything we could possibly need to bring this industry out of the history books and back into our local economy,” said van Eck. “The Knysna Woodworkers Festival not only celebrates this specific aspect of our truly unique history, but presents a very real opportunity of reinstating this once prosperous industry.”

“I would like to congratulate the organisers on a well-run inaugural festival,” van Eck concluded. “I wish them luck with their planning for the 2013 Knysna Woodworkers Festival and thank them for planting the seed of potential economic and industrial growth by returning to an industry we know and love – and are known and loved for.”

Author: Write Touch Communications

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