Stellenbosch bursts with colour and joy on Saturday, January 27th, as the annual harvest parade sweeps through town. This lively event, a highlight of the wine calendar, features marching bands, minstrels, farmers, winemakers, and workers parading on elaborately decorated floats, trucks, and tractors, culminating in a ceremony at the town hall to bless the harvest with prosperity.
In an ancient tradition observed worldwide, townsfolk and visitors line the oak-lined streets, cheering on the procession, expressing gratitude for past harvests, and invoking blessings for the new one.
South Africa marks its 365th wine grape harvest, a milestone commemorated on February 2nd, tracing back to a diary entry in 1659 that marked the industry’s genesis at the Cape.
“The parade not only symbolises our wine story but also brings it to life,” says Elmarie Rabe, manager of Stellenbosch Wine Routes, reflecting on the excitement that permeates farms during harvest.
Where to catch the parade
The procession kicks off at 09:00 from the Toy and Miniature Museum on Market Street, winding through the town’s streets before arriving at the town hall for the official blessing at 09:30. Afterwards, it retraces its steps back to the starting point.
For more details, contact [email protected] or call 021 886 4310. Explore Stellenbosch’s culinary delights, wine, history, and culture at www.wineroute.co.za or www.visitstellenbosch.org. Connect with @stellwineroute on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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Feature image: Vuurtoring Media/Supplied