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Garden Route Events

With National Milk Tart Day and the Knysna Celtic Festival both on the 27th of February, this weekend offers a unique opportunity to celebrate a part of the diverse heritage of South Africa.

Now in its second year, the Knysna Celtic Festival is an annual event established to promote Celtic & Bluegrass music as well as showcase local musicians including the Knysna Pipe Band.

The inaugural festival outdid the organisers’ wildest dreams with well over 2,000 people lining Knysna’s Main Road to watch the Slow-to-Quick March Competition (the only competition of its kind in South Africa!). This unique event takes place from 09:15-10:30 on the N2 between Pledge Square and Memorial Square.

From 11:00 – 15:00, after the parade, all the bands join together at Loerie Park on George Rex Drive, to form a spectacular massed pipe and drums parade comprising 10 pipe bands with 150-plus pipers and drummers. The entrance fee is only R30 for Adults and R15 for children.

Some of the other highlights are the PBASA Pipe Band Competitions, Solo Piping & Drumming competitions, Highland & Irish Dancing Displays, Scottish Country Dancing Display, the Knysna Highland Games and the Regional 3D Archery Tournament.

The Celtic Village returns with a variety of local vendors selling delicious lunchtime food, as no cooler boxes, food or drinks are allowed to be brought onto the grounds of Loerie Park. The Arts & Crafts area this year includes a kilt outfitter; and of course no festival would be complete without the Mitchell’s Brewery beer garden with live Celtic music throughout the day from Cape Town musicians Jenny & The Jameses, Christy-Lyn – a harpist from Cape Town – and Myddle Earth

The 5th annual Sundowners Celtic & Bluegrass Concert crowns the day. In aid of the Knysna Sea Cadets, the fantastic line-up includes Blacksmith from Cape Town and the local Knysna & Districts Pipe Band. Special guest performances from Christy-Lyn and Celtic Dance Tapestry mean that this year’s concert is definitely not to be missed! The food court and Celtic pub will be open throughout.

Tickets are R100 and are available from all Sotheby’s offices in Knysna, Sedgefield and Plettenberg Bay. Gates will open at 16:00.

Contact them on 071 112 9010

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While you are visiting our lovely Garden Route you definitely don’t want to miss out on celebrating National Milk Tart Day.

When it comes to great milk tart, a couple of local bakeries are a slice above the rest.

In the little village of Sedgefield is Sedge Bakery, located on the main road at Shop 2 Sysie Street. Owner Andrew Summer opened the bakery after 5 years in China where he met his wife Mei. With a passion for food and baking, and a desire to be authentic, they gave birth to this little artisanal bakery. Andrew remembers his first milk tart order. A former paramedic, he says: “It seemed more stressful than treating a critically injured patient in my old line of work, it seemed to take hours, yet I got it done.”

Call them on 079 967 1291

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Situated on Main Street in Plettenberg Bay is the delightful Claire’s Cakes. This pavement café is a local favourite where you can sit and watch the cosmopolitan street life of Plett while indulging in local heritage. Their milk tarts are baked by Marlene McCallum who has been working at Claire’s for more than 7 years, and graciously shared the old family recipe with Claire.

Call them on 044 533 0000

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The Mossel Bay Mall in Heiderand houses the iconic De Vlaming. They have been delighting customers for over 20 years. Started by a Belgian-South Africa couple who relocated to the Garden Route, their daughter Mary-Ann reminisces how her late mom gave their first two milk tarts away. As with any excellent product, the first two became thousands and today their daily baking includes anything from 50 to a staggering 700 milk tarts sold on the day before Christmas. On Saturday, as their celebration of National Milk Tart Day, they will sell their milk tarts at only R40 instead of the normal R50.

Call them on 044 693 1201

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