Rosy Mangaung Festival

Mangaung Executive Mayor, Olly Mlamleli. PHOTO: SEITHATI SEMENOKANE

As part of the Rose Festival, the mayoral parade made its way through the streets and onlookers were treated to singing, live music, the roar of motorcycles, an array of vintage cars, as well the beauty of roses from the city on Friday.

A donkey-drawn carriage, decorated with pretty roses, with two pageant queens from Mangaung waving their way through the streets of the City of Roses on Friday morning was one of the favourite attractions. Residents and visitors alike were thrilled by the beauty that the city has to offer.

“I was so humbled by how people liked and enjoyed the parade. We passed many cheering residents on the streets while some watched from their office windows,” said Executive Mayor, Olly Mlamleli.

The parade made its way from the Bloemfontein station, through the CBD, all the way to Hertzog Park where the mayor, along with members of her municipal council, planted a few roses as part of the celebrations.

Speaking at the rose planting ceremony, Mlamleli said that the rose is the queen of all flowers. “We are approaching 16 days of activism against violence against women and children. We are given flowers when we are dead. So today I want you receive flowers while you are still alive.”

Power Tshabalala from the Izimoto Zakudura, which is a vintage car club, said that his club supported this initiative as it is something they would like to pass on to generations to come. “We support this as it exposes the community to things we are not exposed to everyday, such as vintage cars. This is our new spot and we would really like to be part of each and every festival in Mangaung. To show how serious we are about this, most of our guys here drove from as far as Pretoria to be here today to show our commitment to boosting tourism in Mangaung and the province,” said Tshabalala.

Beauty pageant queens then handed out roses to everyone in attendance, spreading the joy. “We are going to invite other municipal countries to come join our parade, this way we will ensure that we revive the economy of our city. Others may complain saying that doing this parade is a waste of money, however this is boosting our tourism,” ended Mlamleli. – Seithati Semenokane