Events in Hermanus
Hermanus has one of the biggest events on earth! It’s easy to claim this title when the subject of the celebration is the annual migration of Southern Right Whales to Walker Bay in Hermanus. With the bay literally teeming with tons of whales from June to November, the Hermanus Whale Festival is a fitting way to mark the peak of the whale watching season at the end of September. The Hermanus Whale Festival is the only enviro-arts festival in the country and the star attractions are the Southern Right Whales. Music, art, markets and environmental activities make up the programme.
On the cultural calendar the Kalfiefees (calf of the whale festival) is a celebration of theatre, music and discussion panels. Most of it is in Afrikaans but with some English productions as well. The festival is held over a few days around the Women’s Day public holiday at the beginning of August with most of the venues in Onrus River.
Wines made in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley and other wine pockets in the Overberg are made to express the unique terroir and climate of this region. The Hermanus Wine and Food Fair is a tantalising showcase of the wines of the Overberg and a wide variety of food stalls to complement the wines. There’s a festive outdoor atmosphere in the courtyard of the Hemel-en-Aarde Village with music and activities for the kiddies while the adults indulge.
From food to flowers there is no richer floral kingdom than The Cape Floral Kingdom. The Hermanus Flower and Eco Fair is a true celebration of fynbos and conservation of our environment in the widest sense. It is held at the Fernkloof Nature Reserve in September every year and besides magnificent displays of the local fynbos, visitors are also introduced to the latest technologies for sustainable living, water-wise gardening and craft stalls.
Abalone (or perlemoen as it is known locally) used to be staple seafood for everyone until about 20 years ago when poaching started depleting the natural resources. However, there is still one day in the year that everyone can feast on abalone. At the beginning of December when the Hawston Sea Festival is held at the Hawston campsite everyone has the chance to indulge. The locals get together and prepare fish, abalone and crayfish in the traditional way and this is one time you can feast on it all at a most affordable price. Entertainment, music and craft stalls add to the festive atmosphere.
The Hermanus Adventure Week is a new annual addition to the festival calendar and it is held in September. It caters for the active with mountain bike races, night and day runs, a triathlon and a harbour swim. There are several calmer events and other things to do in Hermanus for children and those who like to take it easy.
Dip into the tastes and senses of the area any Saturday morning at one of the markets like the wine and food market at Hermanuspietrsfontein Cellar and the food and craft market at the Hermanus Cricket Club.
All the events held in Hermanus combine the best of taste, touch, sight, smell and sound for an unforgettable experience. With the addition of the breath-taking environment there won’t be a moment of dullness!