The annual Stellenbosch Harvest Parade celebrates the start of the grape harvest season in the Boland as well as the very popular Stellenbosch Wine Festival
For me the festival highlight was the Blessing of the Harvest and the Harvest Parade. Early on Saturday morning I took to the streets of Stellenbosch along with what looked like most of its inhabitants as celebrants from Stellenbosch member farms marched through the streets on a flotilla of tractors
The Stellenbosch Harvest Parade marks the start of a lifestyle event around world-class wine, great quality food, the coming together of friends and families, and the bringing of what we call goodness to the community.
The parade started from Paul Roos Gymnasium shortly after 09h00 and stopped at the town hall in Plein Street around 10h00 for the official blessing of the harvest.
Members of the local farming community trekked through the town of Stellenbosch to the rhythm of Cape minstrel groups and marching bands. Whether on foot or catching a ride on tractors, trucks, trailers, farmers and farm workers have the freedom of the town on that day.
Dressed in brightly coloured clothes and accompanied by lively bands the minstrels made their way through the oak-lined streets of Stellenbosch to the delight of all the people lining the streets.
Local schools and community organisations were also invited to be part of this parade by dressing up and joining the parade.
Joining in these festivities was the best opportunity to really experience the heart of the winelands.
“The parade captures the essence of the harvest, which is such a special time in Stellenbosch. The parade celebrates the people responsible for producing our wonderful wines and the important role the wine industry plays in our region, both in terms of job creation and as a huge tourism drawcard.”