After a two-year break due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Mitchell’s Plain festival was back at Westridge Gardens – with another instalment scheduled to take place in December.
Over 12 000 people attended the autumn edition of the Kyknet & Kie Mitchell’s Plain Festival in association with the Plainsman, from Friday March 18 to Sunday March 20.
Festival founder Rozario Brown said after two years of restrictions on mass events, there was an appetite for events to come back.
“With the current Covid-19 regulations, it was a challenge,” he said.
“A lot of people attended the event. We made sure we had Covid-19 marshals, sanitising stations, to name a few, put in place. There is an appetite for events to come back. People are tired of being locked up; people just want to live their lives,” said Mr Brown.
“What makes me happy about this is to see vendors trading, people working and being able to put food on their tables. That’s what it’s all about,” he added.
Mr Brown said they had had to work with what was available to them, such as the dates of the festival for this year, the infrastructure and the stage, among other things.
“We are excited to announce that this December the big one is coming. We will be hosting the Mitchell’s Plain Festival again this year. I am excited and our people are ready. We are waiting on the president to open and lift the lockdown so that people can enjoy life again,” said Mr Brown.
“We appreciate the support and love the community has for the festival. We hope that when we have the big one in December that the situation will be close to normal,” said Mr Brown.
The next Kyknet & Kie Mitchell’s Plain Festival in association with Plainsman, will take place from Friday December 2 to Sunday December 4 at the Westridge Gardens.
Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis said the City of Cape Town was proud to be a part of the event. “It was wonderful to see the crowds in their numbers at this year’s festival,” he said.
Deputy mayor Eddie Andrews added that they were petitioning the president to open and lift the lockdown for people to enjoy events again.
Vendor for Cape Town Locals Solo Smash, Jessica Wernich, said they loved being back at the festival.
The Eastridge-based business was at the last festival in 2019 as well, and, they said, they loved the environment. “This year we had a lot of local artists and entertainment. This festival is good for the community and helps the community. Thank you to the organisers for making this all possible,” said Ms Wernich.
The family who run Abdullah’s Food Caravan were hard at work at the festival, with some of them serving people and others preparing food behind the scenes.
Owner and founder, Abdullah De Roos, 62, from Colorado Park, told the Plainsman that creating the family business with its new food caravan had been his dream.
Mr De Roos is a qualified panel beater by trade, but after sustaining a back injury in a car accident in 2000, he was unable to continue that line of work.
He then started transporting children to and from school but his business was affected when the Covid-19 lockdown shut down schools.
“I needed to do something else during Covid-19 and my plan B was to start the food caravan with the help of my family,” he said.
The caravan’s first outing was at the Southern Mail Family & Lifestyle Market at Maynardville Park, an event sponsored by Plainsman’s sister paper.
Two weeks later the caravan made its Mitchell’s Plain Festival debut.
His daughter Shameema De Roos said this was her father’s dream which had finally become reality.
His son Nadeem De Roos said the family had spent many weeks building the caravan during the Covid-19 pandemic. “We are happy to be here during this pandemic. Everyone is trying to rebuild now. We went from a 3×3 stall to a caravan and it’s amazing to see,” he said.
“Thank you to Mr Brown and his team for making this possible for vendors like us,” said Mr De Roos.
Mr Brown said no negative incidents had been reported during the festival. “The patrons enjoyed themselves in a responsible manner and we thank them for their continued support,” said Mr Brown.
“Thank you to all our partners – the Plainsman, City of Cape Town, Departments of cultural affairs arts and sports, Dairymaid, Coca Cola Peninsula Beverages and the Safety and Security Directorate such as the law enforcement, fire and rescue, disaster management to name a few. Thank you for all the support,” he said.
He added that the local artists had been “amazing”.
“We hope to accommodate more local artists in December. Having local artists perform (is a) proud tradition which will always carry on,” said Mr Brown.