Switch-on to attract whole families
80 000 people are expected at this year’s celebration and security will be tight
THE CITY of Cape Town is looking at making this year’s celebration of the festive lights switch-on a safer affair in a bid to attract “whole families back to the event”.
With 80000 people expected to attend, safety and security is the priority, with 120 law enforcement officers slated to be on duty throughout the event.
“The focus this year is to bring back whole families to the event.
“The area will be fenced and entry will be through secured access points with chutes and a search system.
“The Kid Smart Project is on board this year, which will provide a more sophisticated monitoring system to help reunite lost children with their families,” said mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith.
Road closures, parking and a traffic management plan are being finalised and the public will be able to find the traffic plans on the city’s website.
The annual event has been an institution in the city since 1969 and the light displays will brighten up Adderley Street for the duration of the season.
This year’s event will include a free open-air concert at the Grand Parade before the lights are turned on.
Adderley Street will again be transformed into a night market.
This year’s theme is Cape Town Celebrates Summer.
Smith said energy-saving LED light bulbs would be used for all the lighting displays.
“Rope lighting was selected as the most cost-effective method as it reduces the amount of time spent and also dramatically reduces the loading on the system.
“Due to its flexibility, the rope lighting also allows us lots of freedom with our designs,” he said.
The lighting display was designed in-house by the city’s electricity department staff.
The event, including the lights, costs about R1.5 million. This year’s concert on the Parade will feature newlycrowned Idols winner Paxton Fielies, Voice SA winner Craig Lucas, Baby Boy, Soul Kulture, Heavenly Quartez, Koos Kombuis, Vicky Sampson, Jimmy Nevis and Freshlyground.
Rounding off the line-up will be the winners of the city’s Festive Lights music video competition.
Aspiring musicians and bands submit their video to the Indi.com mobile app and the public votes for their favourite performance.
The winner will get a spot to perform at the concert and R10 000.
The competition runs until Tuesday.
“The festive lights switch-on is always a highlight on the city’s annual events calendar as it is a wonderful family occasion for young and old to enjoy.
“It attracts not only local residents, but visitors from afar, and all are met with a warm and true Capetonian reception,” said mayor Patricia de Lille.
The city council will be prioritising safety at the switching on of this year’s festive lights.