Deconstructing the Knysna Oyster Festival

Knysna Oyster FestivalSo you’ve heard people talking about the Knysna Oyster Festival.  You even know of people that have been to the Knysna Oyster Festival.  And understandably you would be forgiven for thinking that it’s all about Oysters, but what if Oysters just aren’t your thing?  Well here’s the deal.  Oysters aren’t the biggest draw card to this annual event.

Knysna Oyster Festival logoFrom sport to food and wine to whisky, from dogs to airplanes and shucking to shocking…there is so much to do, and so much going on, that Knysna becomes the place to be for ”the 10 Best days of your winter” 1 – 10 July.

Because its school holidays, lots of the events continue after the 10th July, making Knysna the perfect place to be for families looking for tons of fun entertainment.

So take a look at all there is to do at this year’s Knysna Oyster Festival –  I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.  Look below for links to each activity.

Sport: Paintball, MTB Race, 5km Fun Run, Soccer Tournament, Bridge, Bowls, Athletic Relays, Trail Run, Kids sport Fair, Biathlon, Golf, Extreme Sport, Rugby, Forest Marathon, Trolley Race and Lagoon Challenge.

Kids: Candle Making, Fun Fair, Cycle Tour, Pavement Art Competition

General Activities for Everyone: Flea Market, Dog Agility Championships, Blocarts, Harley Davidson Demos, Radio Controlled Airplanes, Chess Tournaments

Entertainment for Everyone: Dance, Oyster Shucking Competition, Waitron Race, Ladies Night

Food & Wine for Everyone: Champagne and Blues evening, Whiskey and Jazz Evening, Wine Festival, Oyster & Wine Mardi Gras, Wine Tasting, Oyster Eating competition, Oyster and Whiskey tasting, Murder Mystery Dinner, Gala Dinner.


Paintball: 1 – 18 July – Head down to the Oyster Carnival Grounds on Waterfront Drive.

Pick n Pay Weekend Argus Rotary Knysna Cycle Tour (MTB Race):

1 July – Registration at Festival Pavillion, Loerie Park 13h00 – 20h00.

2 July – Start 85km, 50km, 30km & 15km Waterfront Drive – Finish Festival Pavillion Loerie Park.  Expo and Entertainment at Loerie Park from 08h00 – 18h00.

3 July – Start 100km & 46km Road Race – Pavillion Loerie Park 8h00 – 13h00 Expo and Entertainment at Loerie Park.

Hornlee Oyster Festival 5 km Fun Run/Walk:

2 July – Registration from 7h00 at Knysna Secondary School grounds.  8h00 – 20h00

Knysna Soccer Tournament:

2 – 10 July – 10h00 – 15h00 – Tournament for seniors, juniors and ladies.  Elimination matches at Hornlee and Dam-se-Bos stadium with finals at Loerie Park on Sunday the 10th.

Bridge over the Knysna Lagoon:

4 July – 8h45 – 14h00 – Take the ferry to Featherbed whilst playing bridge in pairs.  R230.00 pp includes bridge, ferry ride morning / afternoon tea and lunch.

Scottish Leader Whisky Bowls Tournament:

4 July – 9h00 – 17h00:  Mens and Ladies Teams at Knysna Bowling Club

Disabled Fun Event:

4 July – 10h00 – 15h00:  at Festival Pavillion, Loerie Park.

KMC & Athletics SWD Relays:

4 July – Registration from 14h00 at Knysna Marathon Club:  4 Races from 15h00 – 19h00 for ages 11 – 13, 14 – 17, 18 – 19 and seniors.

The Salomon Featherbed Trail Run:

5 July:  11 & 15 km races: 7h00 – 20h00 – this cult event includes a ferry trip across the Knysna Lagoon to the Western Head.  Loaded with traverses through Milkwood forests and coastal fynbos.

Knysna Sport Fair for Kids:

5 July:  9h00 – 16h00 – A variety of fun sporting codes for kids at Festival Pavillion, Loerie Park.

Due South Xterra by REHIDRAT SPORT:

7 July:  8h00 – 17h00 – Full race – 3km trail run, 25km mountain bike and 7km trail run.  Lite race – 3km trail run, 12km mountain bike and 3 km trail run. At field of Dreams.

Knysna Oyster Festival Classic Golf Day:

7 – 8 July:  17h00 – 22h00 – Festival Pavilion, Loerie Park.

HANSA Waterfront Rush:

8 – 10 July:  10h00 – 13h00:  Fast paced action on steroids.  Great spectator value.  Knysna Waterfront.

Parmalat Knysna Oyster Festival Rugby Festival – Tag Rugby Tournament:

8 July:  10h00 – 15h00 – Oyster Carnival Grounds

9 July:  10h00 – 22h00 – Oyster Carnival Grounds

10 July: 10h00 – 15h00 – Oyster Carnival Grounds

Knysna Marathon Club 5km Fun Run:

9 July:  7h30 – 9h30

A shorter option for the not so fit

Pick n Pay Cape Times Knysna Forest Marathon & ½ Marathon:

9 July:  8h00 – 17h00 – Start: The Glebe in the Forest – end Festival Pavilion, Loerie Park.

Pomp Trolley Marathon:

9 July:  14h00 – 17h00 – Marvellous, crazy and inventive…timed over 600 metres.  At Knysna Station.

FHM Knysna Lagoon Challenge:

9 – 10 July:  9h00 – 17h00 – Starts at the Yacht Club and heads towards the Heads, loops through Thesen Island, the Waterfront and Knysna Quays. 3 Laps.


Candle Making For Kids:

1 – 9 July:  9h00 – 21h00 – At Oyster Carnival Grounds

Fun Fair:

1 – 18 July:  10h00 – 22h00 – At Oyster Carnival Grounds

Spur Rotary Knysna Children’s Cycle Tour:

Registration – Festival Pavillion, Loerie Park

1 July: 13h00 – 20h00, 2 July: 8h00 – 18h00 and Late Registration: 3 July 8h30 – 9h30 Steenbok Park, Leisure Island.

Kids Pavement Art Competition:

4 July: 10h00 – 17h00 Woodmill Lane – Kids dream come true.  Draw to their heart content all over Woodmill Lane’s pavements whilst enjoying snack packs from Pick n Pay.  Prizes for different age categories.


Flea Market:

1 – 16 July: 10h00 – 22h00 – Oyster Carnival Grounds

SA Dog Agility Championships:

1 – 3 July: 10h00 – 15h00 – Oyster Carnival Grounds


1 – 16 July: 10h00 – 22h00 – Oyster Carnival Grounds

Harley Davidson Demonstrations:

1 – 15 July:  10h00 – 22h00 – Oyster Carnival Grounds

Radio Controlled Airplanes:

2 July: 15h00 – 16h00 – Oyster Carnival Grounds

3 July: 12h00 – 13h00 – Oyster Carnival Grounds

3 July: 15h00 – 16h00 – Oyster Carnival Grounds

Oyster Rapid Chess Tournament:

7 July: 8 – 18h00 – A 5/6 round Swiss 25/25 chess tournament – Boiler Room, Woodmill Lane.


Dans met Koekie:

2 July: 19h00 – 23h00 – Knysna Secondary School grounds.

The Oystercatcher Shucking Competition:

5 July:  18h30 – 22h00 – Different teams compete to become the Festival Champion Oyster Shucker – The Oyster Catcher

Protea Hotel Waitron Race:

7 July:  15h00 – 16h30 – Teams of two – open wine, fill 2 glasses and run, hand over tray and race to finish line.  Penalties for spilling – dress up compulsory! – Knysna Waterfront.

Turbine Ladies Night:

7 July:  19h00 – 23h59 – At Turbine Tapas Bar


Bubbles and Blues Evening on the Paddle Cruiser:

2 July: 17h00 – 18h00 – Bubbles tasting to the sounds of some mellow blues plus crustacean canapé extravaganza

The Whisky and Jazz Festival:

3 July: 11h00 – 17h30 – Featherbed Ferry Terminus – Whisky tasting including snacks on the Paddle Cruiser – Jazz band on board.  2 cruises and tastings continue at Cruise Café – R350.00 pp – booking essential.

Wade Bales Wine Festival:

5 July:  17h30 – 20h30 – The Pezula Club House – Meet local winemakers, taste their current releases and learn about the latest trends in wine making.

Pick n Pay Oyster & Wine Mardi Gras presented by Tabasco:

6 July:  17h00 – 22h00 – Festival Pavillion, Loerie Park – The Mardi Gras combines the skills of oyster cooking chefs with choice South African wines.  Tickets R200.00 pp – booking essential.

TSIBA Wine Tasting:

7 July:  17h00 – 22h00 – TSIBA campus.

Longbarn Tavern Oyster Eating Competition:

7 July:  19h30 – 22h00 – Three competitions:  individual – 24 oysters in fastest time, Team – One opens and one eats, Break the Guinness Book of World Records of 552 oysters in 10 minutes.

Oyster & Ardberg Whisky Tasting:

8 July: 16h00 – 22h00 at Turbine Tapas Bar

Murder Mystery Dinner:

6 – 8 July: 18h00 – 23h00 – at the Featherbed Ferry Terminus aboard the John Benn – 80 guests enjoy a cruise and dinner aboard while playing the famous dinner party game – Murder Mystery.

Gala Dinner:

9 July: 19h00 – 23h00 – Knysna Secondary School – a gala evening celebrating the achievements of residents from the local community.

Now that you’ve made your selection of activities to attend, join or watch – you’ll need to know where everything is located.

Enjoy the 2011 Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival.  Please come back and tell us about your experiences.

Posted in News.