East London Port Festival 2012

[See details of the East London Food and Wine Fair ]

East London will once again be hosting the hugely popular Port Festival. It will take place at the East London harbour over the 23rd and 24th of June.

A view of the East London Harbour

A while ago the Transnet National Ports Authority announced it would reintroduce port festivals and East London would be the first to do so.

Also know as the ‘Harbour Festival‘, this event was a great family favourite for many years before it was stopped seven years ago. And the East London Port Festival 2012 is also a celebration of the fact that East London is the only working river port in the whole of Africa.


There will be a lot of exciting things to attract all members of the family, including: adrenaline rides, children’s entertainment areas, lots of performing artists, food stalls, school careers’ expo, craft markets and, of course, some F1 Power Boat Racing!

Power-boating in the East London Harbour

Negotiations are also under way to get the South African Navy involved by having some of their naval vessels join in the festivities. However, there will definitely be tug-boat rides available.

The harbour festival has previously attracted up to 30 000 people and Port Manager Jacqueline Brown is excited to get it going again, “We are thrilled to be staging a port festival again, and all of us at the Port of East London look forward to welcoming people from all around the province and beyond to get a closer look at the many fascinating facets of a working harbour.”

The event will start at 7am and continue into the evening. There will be a number of competitions, including the always popular ‘Anything That Floats’ Race!

The Port Manager also added “The Port of East London is exceptionally proud that we have been selected as the pilot site for the reintroduction of this exciting concept. We have proven in the past that we can put together a fantastic programme of events which attract thousands of local, regional and even national visitors to our port, and this year will be no different. We look forward to showing the rest of the country what East London can do!”

[There are plans to have free ride shuttles available on Saturday to ferry festival-goers between the beachfront and the main entrance gate]

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9 Comments

  • shereen says:

    how much is it to go in

    • Rory says:

      Hi Shereen,
      Apparently Entry is free. (However some reports have said there is an entry fee, I’m still trying to confirm).
      I suppose each station/event will have its own cost.

      • Les says:

        Is there an electronic program of activities and if so where do I get one from. I am specifically looking for the the times of the F1 racing over the two days.
        Many thanks

        • Rory says:

          Hi Les,

          I haven’t been able to get hold of any formal program. I think the F1 Powerboat racing is usually in the afternoon.
          There might be a program at the entrance to the festival, but I wouldn’t count on it.

          Hope you get to see it.

      • Rory says:

        Here’s the latest update regarding cost:
        (There are still conflicting opinions to the entry fee. I think there are too many organizers.)

        But I think this is accurate:
        Entrance fees for the main festival:
        Adults = R20
        Children under 10 years = R10

      • Terence Lindeque says:

        Hi i would like to en-quire if the port-festival is going to take place this year again? 2013!

  • […] main event dominating East London this weekend is the Harbour Festival. You can read all the details at that […]

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