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Knysna Timber Festival and Antique & Classic Boat Show

Until well into the 20th century the entire economic life and structure of Knysna revolved around the timber trade and, even though the timber trade in the Garden Route may look somewhat different from the days of old, the 4th annual Knysna Timber Festival celebrates this intrinsic part of Knysna’s history. Organised by the Knysna Timber Initiative, the 2017 Knysna Timber Festival promises to be a special and very poignant event. It takes place from Friday 29 September to Sunday 1 October 2017 at Timber Village in Welbedacht Lane.

Timber Village is just one of the many properties razed to the ground during the devastating fires that raged in the Knysna area during the month of June, yet despite the loss of 1000 m² of buildings and more than 120 m³ of indigenous and rare woods, the owners of Timber Village, Daniel Hennessy and Karl van Lith, retained all their staff and started with the rebuild as soon as they were able to. The infrastructure for the festival has already been completed and the workshop and retail spaces will be rebuild after the festival.

Festival Manager, Picca de Bruin says: “This year’s Festival will be even more important than ever because it’ll be the first opportunity after the fires for everyone in the industry to meet up, and find creative new ways of restarting and re-growing the Garden Route’s timber economy,” while  Morné Smith, chairperson of the Knysna Timber Initiative says: “The timber industry provides jobs and incomes for thousands of people in the region, and the Festival is an opportunity to showcase the deep level of skills – and the high quality of the products – for which Knysna has become famous.”

Keynote speakers will include Pam Booth, head of the Knysna Municipality Environmental Management, on ‘Making use of wood waste,’ Marius van der Merwe on ‘Processing biomass into biocarbon and energy’ and Dalene van der Merwe on ‘The art of the Indigenous tree.’

Highlights of the festival include Rheenendal based artist Lyn Beaton will exhibit her hand-carved marionettes, and will talk about the art and craft of making puppets while this year’s Knysna Timber Festival will be a fantastic opportunity to see the Wood-Mizer LT20B Diesel sawmill in action. The sawmill was donated to the  Knysna Timber Initiative by international sawmill giant Wood-Mizer, in action. “The mill will be made available to community projects that require timber to be milled, and also as a facility for training operators in the use of a bandsaw mill,” said Jean-Jacques Oelofse, Wood-Mizer’s Corporate Director – Emerging Markets.

The Knysna Timber Festival is a family festival, Kidbuddie will be at the festival with their spectacular children’s play area creations, while the very popular Tool Time workshop area will where children can purchase kits and assemble a planter box with guidance and supervision. The Knysna Honorary Rangers will host an exciting installation while Woodoc will be exhibiting its Owl Box Project again this year.

The Knysna Timber Festival is a festival to experience with all the senses, while celebrating the history of one of the most beautiful spots in our Garden of Eden.

You can visit the festival:

Friday from 10:00 to 16:00

Saturday from 10:00 to 16:00

Sunday from 10:00 to 15:00


You can contact the Knysna Timber Festival on 082 571 2464 (Picca)

Find them on Facebook at

Visit their website at


Knysna’s rich woodworking history includes both the twin mast, 73 foot brig a Knysna’, owned by George Rex, and the Thesen Family who, in 1870,  abandoned their plans to go to New Zealand and settled in Knysna.

The only festival of its kind in South Africa, the 5th Annual Knysna Antique & Classic Boat Show will be held on Saturday 7 October 2017 at Thesen Harbour Town on Thesen Island.

Highlights of the display of wooden and ‘classic plastic’ boats, the oldest of which was built in 1934 in Knysna by Cyril Noble and is still running over 80 years later, will be the newly restored wooden boat ‘il Silenzio’, with its original ‘Thesen Boatbuilders’ badge from the 50s, as well as an all original 1948 a Chris Craft, on display for the very first time.

Don’t miss the maritime display and boat safety presentation upstairs at Sirocco restaurant in the Project Bar or the presentation by the Sea Cadets.

You can visit the show:

Saturday from 10:00 to 16:00


You can contact the Knysna Antique & Classic Boat Show on 076 680 8788 (Cameron)

Find them on Facebook at

Pictures: Supplied

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