Stellenbosch’s joyous, colourful Harvest Parade takes place on Saturday, 01 February 2020. This annual tradition celebrates a year of hard work, heralds the start of the harvest season and gives thanks for the bounty ahead.
“It’s a fantastic sight and wonderful tradition to be a part of,” says Elmarie Rabe, General Manager for the Stellenbosch Wine Routes. “Not only do you get to enjoy the festive floats, music and unforgettable winelands ‘gees’, but you celebrate this year’s grape harvest with the winemaking community. It’s a special and significant event on the region’s calendar.”
The parade starts in Alexander Street at 09h00 (outside the Dutch Reformed Church Stellenbosch-West), before moving up Alexander Street, turning right into Bird Street and then left into Plein Street, where it comes to a stop at the Town Hall for the customary harvest blessing.
Expect a delightful flotilla of trucks and tractors, marching bands, minstrels and plenty of fun along Stellenbosch’s oak-lined streets. “It’s a time to dance, sing and make merry before the serious work of harvest begins,” says Elmarie, “and to celebrate with the farmworkers, wineries and estates in the true spirit of community and thanksgiving.”
A highlight of the event is the Huisvlyt Craft expo, which officially opens at the Stellenbosch Town Hall after the parade. Visitors can enjoy a variety of stalls, local produce, handmade homeware, preserves, bakes and so much more.
Entry to the craft expo is absolutely free, making this year’s harvest festival the perfect, family-friendly day out in the Cape’s ‘City of Oaks’.
The 2020 Harvest Parade is hosted with the support of the Stellenbosch Municipality and sees the participation of some of South Africa’s top wine farms, including Kleine Zalze, Clos Malverne, Middelvlei, Kaapzicht Beyerskloof and L’Avenir.