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posted on 10 April 2014
The Cederberg wildflowers: so ephemeral, yet so enduring in their annual appearance across this mountainous landscape. In 2014, as the town of Clanwilliam celebrates its 200th birthday, the flowers certainly form part of the region’s sense of timelessness - a connection to the way it would have been experienced, hundreds and even thousands of years ago.
The Clanwilliam Wildflower Show has been part of the town’s cultural tapestry for over forty years. Every year, visitors from all over the world flock into town in order to participate in the spectacle of more than 400 species of freshly picked wildflowers, many of which grow nowhere else in the world, artfully arranged under one roof. This year, the sense of heritage runs a little deeper, in that the show will be forming a part of Clanwilliam’s year-long celebration of its 200th year of existence.Biodiversity meets cultural diversityThe overall theme for the town’s bicentennial celebration is “Stap Saam” or “Walk Together” - an expression of the diverse groups that crossed paths (and swords!) through the area as part of South Africa’s chequered history.
“Stap Saam” is a call to action, encouraging people to step into the future with a renewed sense of co-operation and community; celebrating diversity but walking together. Much like their ancestors, the townsfolk of Clanwilliam are spending much of 2014 on walks: from historical walks through town to rock art hikes and even romantic full moon strolls, and flower season will be no different.
This year, flower viewers are encouraged to get their walking shoes on, and truly get up close and personal with the glorious diversity of flowers on show.Of course, the show itself will as always lend visitors the ability to see all the flowers in one place; to witness the exquisite detail that one needs to see up close and on foot without needing to step outside. However, there will also be many opportunities to get out and view things in person, including trips to the Ramskop Wildflower Garden and a range of guided and group walks to see the flowers in their natural habitat.
There will also be a photographic competition, to give visitors the chance to share the discoveries encountered on their own walks! The photographic competition is in its second year, and includes categories for Primary School, High School and Adult entrants, who will be required to incorporate their own interpretation of the “Stap Saam” theme into their submissions. Entries can be emailed to email@example.com, or submitted via http://www.clanwilliamflowerfestival.co.za/index.php/competition.
The 2014 Clanwilliam Wildflower Show starts on Thursday 28 August, with an opening event that will feature performances by a diversity of local artists. There will also be an exhibition of the winners and finalists from the photographic competition. The fun will continue until Friday, 5 September, with lots to see and do throughout the week. This willinclude a quality crafts and food market, various guided and group walks, rock art tours,rooibos tea experiences and much, much more.
There will even be an exposition on theways in which local flowers and plants were used throughout the region’s history – not tobe missed by anyone interested in bush medicine.When out walking, an invaluable tool to take on the journey is the Clanwilliam flower guideand regional map, which is available for R30 at most retail outlets in Clanwilliam.
Entrance fees for the Clanwilliam Wildflower Show remain as they were last year: R30 peradult, R25 per pensioner and R5 per child.
For ongoing updates, activities and a flower spotter’s diary, the best thing to do isbookmark the website, www.clanwilliamwildflowerfestival.co.za, and “Like” the Facebookpage: http://www.facebook.com/ClanwilliamWildflowerFestival.
You can also contact thetourism office at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 027 482 2024