With scorching temperatures in Paarl for the weekend, hundreds of families took advantage of the last few summer days to trek to the 16th Boland Summer Festival. About 30 000 people braved the soaring heat, for a scenic drive through the Drakenstein municipality to the event at the buzzing Dal Josafat stadium. On Sunday, families could be seen huddled together in small patches of shade, while some prepared themselves by bringing along umbrellas for protection against the harsh sun.
Drink vendors were extremely busy, as dehydrated festival-goers queued for ice cold drinks and water, to douse their thirst.
Elderly festival goers kept to the shade, while others sitting in the uncomfortable sun, could be seen wiping the sweat beads from their faces.
Festival-goers were treated to a sensory feast; from the smells of sizzling mixed grills and tikka chicken on the braai, to the taste of delicious prawn curry, the chill of soda drinks and cooling ice cream sundaes – there was an array of food for every palate. There was a never a shortage of queues at the food stalls, where cooks had to fight off an unbearable heat while dealing with impatient customers.
For the sweet tooth, there was plenty of desserts and of course the ice cream van made a killing over the hot weekend.
While Boeta Yusuf Fisher entertained the elderly in the tea garden, youngsters were enjoying the thrills of the fun rides. Sports enthusiasts had a lot to keep themselves busy; from rugby, cricket, and soccer to drifting.
For the music lovers, there was much to look forward to at the main stage and at the tea garden, with musical talent from Paarl and Cape Town charming the audiences. Some qaseeda groups also mesmerised the crowds with their harmonious voices.
Organisers said about 30 000 people attended the festival this year, a marked increase from the year before. The annual event raises money for many small organisations, including the organisers, the Paarl Muslim Jamaah.
“We are overwhelmed… we didn’t expect the influx of people of this year. We had a lot more people this year than last year. This was the best of all the festivals over the last 16 years,” said PMJ chairperson Moutie Richards. VOC