Massive crowds flock to Newcastle's Vodacom Winter Festival
On a weekend which saw KwaZulu Natal blessed with perfect warm and sunny weather, over 35 000 people attended the Vodacom Winter Festival, which took place at the Newcastle Show Grounds between 27 - 30 April. Billed as South Africa's largest four day festival, the event offered a wide variety of quality entertainment, which included performances by some of the country's most popular musicians, as well as boasting over 300 market exhibitors.
The 2nd day of the festival, Thursday 28th April, saw a dramatic incident unfold during the South African Police Services (SAPS) daily parachute exhibition. During the 8000 feet, 15 second descent, experienced SAPS skydiver Warrant Officer Masilo had to deploy his emergency parachute after his primary parachute opened and tangled, sending him into a life-threatening spin. Warrant Officer Masilo, who has over 500 dives to his name, did not panic, calmly cutting his tangled parachute before landing safely at the showgrounds, to the delight of the thousands of onlookers.
The Vodacom Winter Festival has an excellent track record in terms of fundraising, having donated over R1 million towards welfare projects, organisations and school feeding projects in the surrounding communities since Vodacom became title sponsors of the event in 2002.
Alberts Breed, Vodacom KZN's Managing Executive, said that "as the curtain closed on yet another successful Vodacom Winter Festival, Vodacom is once again immensely proud to have been a part of the event. We cannot say enough about the hard work and sacrifice of the Newcastle Sakekamer who, together with Vodacom, have generated over R1 million in donations for local charities. It is thanks to their ongoing efforts that the Vodacom Winter Festival is as popular and charitable as it is, and we at Vodacom are excited about the prospects of growing this event even further in the years to come".
People did indeed flock to this year's event in great numbers, with 6000 people attending the festival on day 1 (Wednesday 27 April), 4900 on day 2 (Thursday 28 April), 8500 on day 3 (Friday 29 April) and a massive 16 000 on the fourth and final day (Saturday 30 April).
The vast number of people who attended this years event would have been present to see the crowning of Miss Vodacom Winter Festival 2011. In what was one of the more hotly contested beauty pageants of the last few years, Nomakha Khumal claimed the title, ahead of 1st princess Eldine Harburn and 2nd princess Careleyn Claassens.
Among the performers who graced the stage at this year's Vodacom Winter Festival were Romanz, Snotkop, Watershed, Cordelia, Eclipse, Joe F, L'vovo Derrango, eight-man Cappella Group Navi Redd, Nicolus Louw, and a Bangra, with the top-class entertainment lineup a huge draw card for the event. Other entertainment on offer included Fireworks for Africa (the company who were responsible for the spectacular FIFA World Cup 2010 fireworks displays at the FIFA World Cup 2010 Opening and Closing Ceremonies), balancing maestro Len Ashton, as well as athletes from WWP Wrestling.
Johan Pieters, Vodacom Winter Festival Committee Member said that "we have enjoyed another very successful Vodacom Winter Festival, thanks to the contributions of our title sponsors Vodacom and the Newcastle Sakekamer. We are most proud of our track record in terms of our contributions to charities in the communities in and around Newcastle, and we are eternally grateful to Vodacom for the support that they give us".
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