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Festivals & Annual Events in Cape Town
January
* Cape Minstrels Carnival
Troupes of Cape Minstrels in colourful costumes sing, play and dance their way down the streets of Cape Town in the Grand March Past on New Year's Day and Jan 2nd. A fun, festive Carnival unique to Cape Town.

* R1-million J&B Met Horse Race
Apart from being one of the country's premiere horse races, the Met has also become one of the main fashion events of the year. Prizes are awarded to the best dressed couple, and both on and off the race course competition is fierce.

* Shakespeare in the Park
Every year excellent local adaptations of a Shakespeare play are performed on the open air stage at Maynardville (in Wynberg). Enjoy a picnic in the park before the performance.

* Kirstenbosch Sunday Summer Concerts
(See December)

* Spier Festival
(See November)
February
* Up the Creek Music Festival
3 days featuring the best of South African music. Fantastic setting on the banks of the Breede River (about 3 hours drive from Cape Town), loads of sunshine, swimming and partying.

* Kirstenbosch Sunday Summer Concerts
(See December)

* Shakespeare in the Park
(See January)
March
* Red Bull DHX 2012
Inline skaters and skateboarders reach hair-raising speeds as they race down Kloof Road in this adrenaline-packed international event.

* Cape Argus Pick 'n Pay Cycle Tour
Over 38 000 cyclists of all ages and fitness levels compete in the 105km route around the beautiful Cape Peninsula.

* North Sea Jazz Festival
Local and international jazz artists participate in this 2 day event, a sample of one of the most successful jazz festivals in the world.

* Kirstenbosch Sunday Summer Concerts
(See December)
April
* Dunhill Symphony of Fire
For 4 nights the city is treated to this spectacular extravaganza. Competing nations synchronise firework displays to music, and the event culminates in an exciting play-off on the last night.

* Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon
Over 8000 competitors tackle this grueling 56 km ultra marathon along one of the most scenic routes in the world.
May
* MasterCard Cape Gourmet Food Festival
A 2 week festival of fine food and wine that has something to tantalize everyone's tastebuds. The festival includes a taste showcase at the Cape Town International Convention Centre featuring top international chefs and local food personalities.
July
* Currie Cup Rugby
From July to October the country's top provincial teams compete in South Africa's premier national rugby event, with matches at the Norwich Park stadium in Newlands.
August
* Cape Times Waterfront Wine Festival
This event at the V&A Waterfront provides the perfect opportunity to savour some of the Cape's finest wines. Wine lovers are spoilt for choice with hundreds of local and international wines available for tasting.

* Currie Cup Rugby
(See July)
September
* Cape Town One City Festival
A celebration of Cape Town's cultural diversity. An incredible variety of events including processions, theatre, music, art exhibitions and parties throughout the streets and venues of the city.

* Hello Darling Arts Festival
This two week arts festival takes place in the Evita se Perron theatre in Darling, a beautiful West Coast village about an hour's drive from Cape Town. The event features some of the country's top performers including Pieter Dirk Uys and his alter ego Evita Bezuidenhout.

* Darling Wild Flower Show
Spring has sprung and the West Coast nature reserves are carpeted with flowers. The flower show in Darling showcases the magnificent varieties of these beautiful wild flowers.

* Cape Town International Opera Festival
Opera lovers will be pleased to know that Cape Town now stages a 3 week international opera festival at the Nico Theatre complex. Check the local press for details.

* Moby Dick Hermanus Whale Festival
A 10 day festival in the small east coast town of Hermanus (about an hour's drive from Cape Town) celebrates the annual return of southern right whales to South African waters. The festival features a large craft market, theatre, live music and, of course, spectacular whale watching opportunities.

* Currie Cup Rugby
(See July)
October
* Stellenbosch Food and Wine Festival
Every year the beautiful town of Stellenbosch hosts a 4 day food and wine festival. There is always a great selection of fine wines to be enjoyed and festivities often continue well into the night.

* Currie Cup Rugby
(See July)

* The Big Walk
Thousands of people walk for charity between Simons Town and Cape Town, finishing at the Grand Parade - a distance of over 80km. It is the biggest timed walk in the world, with 30 000 entrants.
November
* Spier Festival
Every summer the Spier Wine farm in Stellenbosch hosts a varied programme of theatrical and musical concerts in an outdoor amphitheatre. Enjoy a performance under the stars - phone Spier or check the local press for details.
December
* Kirstenbosch Sunday Summer Concerts
These Sunday evening concerts, held from December to March, feature a broad range of musical performances. Its easy to see why they have become so popular as concert-goers enjoy the music while picnicking in the beautiful Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. Concerts begin at 5.30, arrive early.

* Obs Street Festival
Observatory's Lower Main Road, lined with restaurants and bars, is the place to be for live music, crafts, food and drink in this 'holistic' day long festival.

* Mother City Queer Projects (MCQP) party
This has become one of Cape Town's biggest and best annual parties. Gays, lesbians and friends - dressed in elaborate, sexy, dazzling costumes - party the night away in a fun-filled fantasyland. Leave all inhibitions at home!

* Spier Festival
(See November)

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