A decade ago, the first Festival Parade was held on the streets of Grahamstown; this year, the street parade will bid farewell to the 45th National Arts Festival through the streets of Makhanda.

Vibrant colours, rhythmic sounds, captivating sights… collaboration, clowning, costumes… smiles and laughter and whoops of joy – the sounds, the colours, the magic will fill the streets as the carnival dancers by.

Take off your hat to the stilt-walkers, the dancers, the puppeteers. Join in with the band, smile at the smallest and goggle at the giants. Be part of the magic that makes this little Eastern Cape city stand up so proud and tall every winter. Bow to the many Makhanda residents who give so  much to make this Festival city what it is. Take a second to acknowledge whose home these streets are in – then join in the foot-stomping and fun.

The Festival and the Creative City Project help community-based artists to become a central part of the creative economies. They encourage sustainable projects and kickstart initiatives that give back to the neighbourhood. The Remix Lab, one such initiative, provides artists with workshops and hands-on experience to assist them in creating sustainable projects and to provide them with practical guidance in their fields within the arts industry.

Remix Lab participants are responsible for the Parade. They spend the first half of the Festival honing their performance and crafting skills, co-ordinating the participants, rehearsing, learning, designing, teaching, tech-ing and tweaking. And, at the end of the Festival, it will be their work that winds its way through the streets of Makhanda in a riot of colour, a festive double-digit celebration!

THE ROUTES

Saturday – 6 July 11:00

The parade will begin at 11am at the Khutliso Daniels Secondary School in Joza. It will proceed towards Maweti, turning left into Nompondo Street. It will turn left into Vellem Street, until it reaches Sani Street. It will turn into Makana Way in front of PA, proceeding up Mbongela Street, and back to the finish at Khutliso Daniels Secondary School in Ncame Street.

Sunday – 7 July 12:00

The parade will begin at 12 noon at the Link Street taxi rank. It will proceed down Beaufort Street, turn right into Bathurst Street up to Commemoration Church. It will then turn left, passing the Cathedral. It will travel up High Street and finish on the Drostdy lawns.