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Hartsfees a huge success

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The festival is the first ever to be presented for able-bodied persons by people living with disabilities.

The Yonder Hartsfees sparkled when the sun set and the lights came on.

THE FIRST ever Yonder Hartsfees has been hailed as a huge success after thousands of people attended the festival over the weekend.

The festival, the first ever to be presented for able-bodied persons by people living with disabilities, kicked off on Thursday.

Those who attended the festival were spoiled by a variety of entertainment . . . including merry-go-rounds, music shows and markets.

The CEO of Yonder, Jannie van Zyl, said they were shocked by the support they received.

“We did not plan to fail, but to have thousands of people making their way to the festival each day was just amazing. We had more than 7 000 people attending the festival and that number is much higher than what we are used to.

“We used to present festivals and shows and about a thousand people would show up. This time around we were truly amazed by the support. This is also an indication that people need a festival. Though we are not as big as the Gariep (festival), we are certain we gave the same entertainment as the Gariep,” said Van Zyl.

He added that they will go back to the drawing board to see what they can add to the festival over the next few years.

“The concept for the festival was spot on but we will make a few adjustments. The shows and activities we included in the festival were all a huge success. We will look at making it more colourful next year.”

Van Zyl said that festival-goers were pleased with the variety of entertainment presented.

“We made sure that we included something for all age groups. We had a variety of music-genres and there are some music groups and artists whom we would like to see next year again,” Van Zyl said.

He added that, unlike other festivals, Yonder included their own mix of entertainment. “This was not just one of the festivals where a person would walk around, eat and drink, then go back home.

“We had a bowls competition where our team competed against a team from the Beaconsfield Club.

“We also had a para-cycling competition with participants from Bloemfontein competing and we are looking at expanding this event next year. We had a colour -run with families participating while South Africa’s Strong Man entertained festival goers with his muscles and the tricks he can do with his body.”

According to Van Zyl the festival concluded with no incidents reported. “We are elated that no criminal incidents were reported. The festival ended without any glitches,” van Zyl said.

The DFA is the official media partner of the Yonder Hartsfees.