Mangaung Rose Festival finally here

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Bloemfontein residents and visitors alike can prepare themselves for all the exciting activities that will form part of the annual Mangaung Rose Festival, Hoffman Square, floats, dancers, City Hall, Nelson Mandela Drive, Street Parade, a rose planting ceremony, Coco C, Art and Flower Exhibition,

The festival, of which most activities are hosted by Urth Garden Centre in collaboration with the Executive Mayor of the Mangaung Metro, Olly Mlamleli, starts on Friday morning with the Rose Festival Street Parade, and ends on Sunday 22 October with the Mangaung Rose Classic cycle race.

One of the most exciting additions to this year’ rose festival is without a doubt the Street Parade on Friday 20 October. The parade, which will feature several floats, dancers, etc., will start at Hoffman Square just after 8:00 and ends at the City Hall in Nelson Mandela Drive.

The mayor will take part in a rose planting ceremony at the City Hall, after which all the dignitaries will go to Coco C for a luncheon. The ceremony at the City Hall forms part of the rebuilding of this landmark building that has recently been damaged.

Later in the day, at around 14:00, an Art and Flower Exhibition will be hosted at Urth Garden Centre in Kenneth Kaunda Road. The Art and Flower Exhibition is a unique project through which the paintings of well-known local painter, Ia Crous, will be portrayed through the use of flowers. The exhibition is open for viewing till Sunday at 14:00 and the popular Rose Market will be held at Urth from 16:00 to 22:00.

The Rose Market will continue until 16:00 on Saturday 21 October. However, while the Rose Market is in full swing, people will also be able to join the High Tea, with host Mynhardt Joubert. Tickets to the High Tea is sold at R200 a piece and is available from Urth Garden Centre, 051-451-1913.

Several pageants form part of the festival, such as Miss Rosebud, to be crowned at the Loch Logan Waterfront and Miss Rose Petal, to be crowned at Urth Garden Centre. Miss Bloemfontein Rose will be crowned this weekend and will also be part of the street parade. The winners from Oupa & Ouma Rose will also be part of the parade.

PIETER DELPORT

pieter@mahareng.co.za