EL Port Festival back by popular demand EL Port Festival back by popular demand
East London’s premier outdoor family festival is back. The city’s iconic harbour precinct is set to be transformed this Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th... EL Port Festival back by popular demand

East London’s premier outdoor family festival is back. The city’s iconic harbour precinct is set to be transformed this Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th June into a spectacular showcase of local music, quality arts and crafts, impressive naval prowess and high-adrenaline entertainment, as TNPA together with its main partner, Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality stages another eagerly anticipated East London Port Festival. Daily Dispatch is the Port Festival media partner.

The two-day festival returns with all the thrills and spills that have made this one of the region’s most popular and best-loved outdoor events, but ramps up the fun factor with a host of exciting new attractions.

“The East London Port Festival is a celebration not only of our city’s marine and maritime identify, but also the importance of our ocean economy,” says acting Port Manager Alvin Singama. “As such, we encourage all members of the public, young and old, to come experience first-hand the exciting inner workings of a vibrant commercial port.”

In addition to old festival favourites such as air and sea rescue demonstrations, naval manoeuvres, tug rides, helicopter flips, an anything-that-floats competition, live jazz and a spectacular fireworks display, this year’s festival will also include two days of heart-stopping bungee jumping and harbour racing featuring rubber ducks, yachts and, possibly hard bottom boat racing.

The South African Navy will be sending one of their spectacular frigates, SAS Spioenkop. The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) will back up the water maritime exhibition with one of their protection vessels while the much-loved Cape Minstrels will add to the festival’s eclectic music and entertainment programme.

Festivalgoers will be able to see one of the giants of the oceans, an impressive mega-ton car carrier manoeuvring onto the quayside and begin to receive its load. The SA Agulhas, a polar supply and training vessel which recently returned from a scientific expedition to Antarctica, will also be in port are part of the water based maritime exhibition.

Scholars and students interested in pursuing a marine career are invited to attend a maritime exhibition, which will also feature a careers expo.

As was the case with previous events, the 2017 East London Port Festival is being staged as a charity and community development event. Previous port festivals have raised millions of rands for local charities and NPOs, and this year’s event will again seek to benefit local community and church-based organisations, who are encouraged to contact festival organisers to explore ways in which they can participate in and benefit from the festival.


  • SA Navy vessel open to public
  • Two days of main-stage music, including live jazz, school choirs, local musicians and a tailored programme by the ever-popular Centrestage performers
  • Performance by the Kaapse Klopse
  • Fireworks display
  • Quality craft market
  • Street and artisan food fair
  • Anything-that-Floats competition, to benefit the local SPCA
  • Harbour racing, including paddle- and jet-ski racing, rowing regattas, yacht racing, hard bottom and rubber duck racing
  • Sea and air rescue demonstrations
  • Maritime exhibition, including careers expo
  • Tug rides
  • Beer Garden
  • Children’s entertainment arena
  • International Seafarers Day (Sunday)


For more information on the above events, or to find out how your organisation can get involved, contact Terry Taylor of the TNPA Port Festival Organising Committee on 043 700 2446 or 083 284 1786. Also visit the Port Festival Facebook page (Port Festival East London)

News editor