If there is one thing that we South Africans love, it's festivals. It seems like every single city and town has an annual festival: The Whale Festival in Hermanus, the Port and Wine Festival in Calitzdorp, the Winter Festival in Dullstroom and the Oyster Festival in Knysna - you get the picture. If there's a season or an animal or a beverage or a mollusk, South Africans will name a festival after it and celebrate. That's just us.
It's therefore with great shame that I have to admit that we've never attended our local annual festival: The Bloemfontein Vryfees (translated as "Free Festival" - not that anything is either free or cheap there...). I'm not even sure why we've never attended - perhaps because it's held in the dead of winter? Or because most festivals tend to start feeling the same after attending your 10th one? Whatever the reason, it all ended this weekend: We finally festival'ed!
Now you need to know that Will is a dangerous man at festivals. Not to the general public - to his own waistline. There's just no way that he can resist the temptation of festival foods. And lots of it. And this festival was no exception - he proudly continued his tradition.
|Will going for gold at one of the food stalls.|
Baby Girl is also now big enough to join in the festival fun - squealing with delight at every balloon and dog that she spots. The highlight of her festival, however, was this pink, rubbery, goey ball-thing - which, for the record, lasted a whole 15 minutes before she bit off its nose and it deflated...
Finding some healthy fare at your typical South African festival is, of course, a mission of note. So much so, that Will put his foot down when I wanted to give up searching: "You're at a festival - be a little festive!". Ha! Point taken. I did eventually discover some fantastic chicken pie (very healthy in terms of festival fare, in case you wondered...) with a wheat, celery and peach salad - a little piece of heaven on a plate!
I must admit that the rest of the festival was, you know, like the previous ten we've been to: Braaivleis (grilled meat), calamari, nice clothes, not-so-nice clothes, nice toys, cheap toys, yada yada... But we still had a blast - just a nice change of scenery from our usual weekend wanderings.
We ended our festival by sharing a handmade dark chocolate bar - perfect!