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Tuesday, December 11, 2018


(Fazyln Naidoo & Haylea Hounsom Heyns)
(Pic by Val Adamson)

The annual uMhlanga Summer Festival brings a myriad family-centred holiday activities to uMhlanga for the 2018 festive season for visitors and locals alike, from December 14 to 23.

Understanding that the season is about goodwill, family and community, the theme for this year’s festival is It’s Cool to Care – with all aspects of the season aimed at caring for people and the planet.

The Beach Festival starts on December 14 and continues until December 23 where people are encouraged to participate and join in the fun and games on the uMhlanga Millennium Stage with daily activities planned around the main beach as well as on the stage from 10h00 until14h00 daily. The day starts at 10h00 with daily warm-up exercises to get the blood circulating. The programme features nostalgic old-school family fun:  hula hoops; tug-of-war, musical chairs, face-painting, talent showcase, mini Olympics etc.

Kevin Ellis – experienced eventor, creative and multi-awarded international champion dancer -will again be leading the daily activities, together with Gareth Greaves – stylist, designer and unofficial poster boy for Movember. The programme wraps up every afternoon at around 13h30 with a community beach clean-up to ensure that everyone gets involved in keeping the beaches in their pristine condition.

The Carols Under the Stars evening at Granada Square on December 20 takes place from 18h00 until 19h30. The event takes place in the al-fresco courtyard square, literally under the stars. Getting the festive cheer rolling, sing along to favourites like Jingle Bells; Silent Night; Away in a Manger; O Come all ye Faithful; We wish you a Merry Christmas and finally Santa Claus is coming to Town. Soloists include Haylea Hounsom Heyns singing her new Christmas song, Feels Like Christmas; local songbird, Fazyln Naidoo; Shelley McLean’s Cowan House Carollers; Tory du Plessis and her Cherry Blossom Studio Singers and dancers; and Mikey Mthaba AKA “The Human Voice Machine”.

Father Christmas will be arriving in style riding on the back of a shiny Harley Davidson. Entry is free and all are welcome. However, participants are warmly encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy that will be gifted to an under-privileged child, co-ordinated by Rotary uMhlanga.

The annual Miss uMhlanga Beauty Pageant will take place at 11h30 on December 17 on the Millennium Stage, co-ordinated by Kevin Ellis and Gareth Greaves. Registration is at 10h30 and the event will be on stage until 14h00 featuring a bevy of the potentially best ambassadors to represent uMhlanga. The Miss uMhlanga is open to teenagers from age 15. No children will be competing this year. Interested participants should come to the beaches to register from 10h30 on December 17. Winners will walk away with sashes; tiaras; cash prizes; medals and trophies. Entry to participate into the Miss uMhlanga is R150 cash – which will go towards purchasing needed items for uMhlanga child-focused NGOs.

On December 23, there will be a new addition to the festival line up – the first wacky ‘Waitronathon’ which includes the hard-working men and women who serve visitors over the festive season: the wild and wacky fun run and obstacle course has been designed – especially for uMhlanga waitering staff  working along the uMhlanga strip. They will need Olympic style prowess as they navigate an obstacle course while carrying a tray of drinks!

The season will be an opportunity to collect goods and / or funds for Girls & Boys Town: an organisation based in nearby Verulam that cares for vulnerable children aged 10 to 17. So, as can be seen, it really will be Cool to Care! uMhlanga Tourism – caring for people and the planet.

A big part of the festival is to encourage awareness about natural beauty spots in uMhlanga and to actively keep them beautiful – so there will be daily beach clean-ups, and the organisers are encouraging a “No plastic straw policy” to avoid unnecessary plastic to find its way into the ocean.

uMhlanga Tourism would like to acknowledge their partners, supporters and stakeholders: Durban Tourism; Hirsch’s; Granada Square; Coca Cola Beverages South Africa; Chempac; Sibaya Casino and Entertainment Kingdom; DupĂ©; Nivea, Durban Youth Radio and Beach Garden Events situated at Breakers Resort.

For more information: visit, Umhlanga Tourism Facebook page (Umhlanga-The FunShine Coast) or contact Sabelo at or call 031 561 4257.