Cape Town to kick off summer with festive lights

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South Africa’s biggest free open-air event, the City of Cape Town’s annual switching on of the festive lights, will this year be held on Sunday 4 December 2011.

The City’s Executive Mayor, Alderman Patricia de Lille, will kick off the summer Festive Season with the official switch on, when over 80 000 people are expected to descend on the city centre.

The event will see a range of entertainment including a carnival parade with floats, live performances and appearances by some of the leading television and radio personalities from Cape Town and South Africa.

With Cape Town announced as the World Design Capital for 2014, residents and visitors will see three new festive lights crossings designed under the themes ‘Cape Town – Africa’s Greatest City’, ‘The Musical City’ and a ‘Bird’s Life’, which speaks to the City’s commitment to the preservation of the environment through the Green City and Global Warming awareness campaigns.

One of the central pieces of this year’s installation and always a favourite with children, is the six metre high Christmas tree with gifts, while South Africa’s national flower the Protea has been modified to depict our country’s sporting heritage.

“The ‘Cape Town – Africa’s Greatest City’ display is a celebration of the city’s stature as one of the continent’s leading tourist destinations. Cape Town has just featured on the New York Times’ Top 10 list of the Hip Cities That Think About How They Work. Cape Town is the only African city on the list, which reflects cities that aim to be smart and well-managed, while still maintaining the hip vibe required to attract the young and ambitious. This comes hot on the heels of Cape Town being named the World Design Capital and Table Mountain being voted one of the New7Wonders of Nature. This triple accolade confirms that Cape Town really is Africa’s greatest city,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Tourism, Events and Marketing, Councillor Grant Pascoe.

The switch on concert will take place at the Cape Town Station Forecourt from 3.30pm – 8pm on Sunday 4 December with an entertainment line-up that includes Hip Hop Pantsula, Jozi and the Festive Lights Showcase – an ensemble featuring leading Cape Town musicians and vocalists including Karen Kortje, Camillo Lombard, Alistair Izobell and Loukmaan Adams.

With the event set to officially declare the Cape Town summer season open, the City calls on residents and visitors to work together with law enforcement agencies in ensuring that we all have a safer Festive Season.

More detailed information on the event and road closures will be communicated over the next two weeks in the build-up to the event.

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