The countdown has begun to one of the biggest holiday events on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast, the Ballito Pro, presented by Billabong Festival, which runs at KwaDukuza from 22 June to 3 July.
“The warm coastal atmosphere, laid back lifestyle and stunning setting really makes KwaDukuza the ideal venue for this annual sporting and entertainment festival,” said event organiser, Collette Bundy. “This year is set to be one of the best events with more music, food and entertainment than ever before.”
Centred around the main event – the international surfing contest – the festival offers a range of exciting activities throughout the two weeks, for all ages.
This year sees the introduction of the Fire Up Your Stoke evening on Wednesday 29 June at the main festival area at KwaDukuza’s Willard Beach starting at 5pm. The evening involves fun cook-offs as well as wine and whiskey tasting. Contestants can enter various cook-off categories including the Mini Cooks (ages 3 to 6) preparing sweet treats; Fine Young Cooks (ages 7 to 12) making mouth-watering kebabs and the Ballito Grill Champs braai-off for adults. There will also be an ongoing Battle of the Ballito Burger whereby local restaurants will sell their best burgers with the public voting for the number one dish. Anyone wanting to enter one of the contests can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Fire Up Your Stoke will also include live music, dance and fashion entertainment as well as an exclusive film premiere by Billabong Team Rider and Big Wave surfer, Matt Bromley. Shot by New Zealand filmmaker, Guy Mac, ‘Risky Business’ will be shown to audiences, for the first time ever, at the event.
World-ranked extreme motorcyclists, Bruce and Brent le Riche – sponsored by Monster Energy Drink – will keep the crowds mesmerised at Willard Beach from Thursday 30 June to Sunday 3 July. The two perform a range of spectacular motorcycle trial stunts on a specially made rig consisting of ramps, walls, steps and other death-defying obstacles. Monster’s mini skate ramps will also offer young skate enthusiasts much enjoyment.
On Thursday 30 June, thrill-seekers can head to the Mamba Skate Park – organised by the Peg Lunar Projects – which has been transformed into a jungle providing skaters with a surreal racetrack. This track offers skaters a new experience of technical racing and spectators some non-stop entertainment along with music, food and drinks. The top prize is R2 000 cash as well as a host of Peg products. Entrance is R30 for riders, R20 for spectators with registrations at www.mambaskate.com
Music-lovers will not be disappointed by this year’s Five Star Ballito Pro Free Music Concerts powered by 5FM at Salt Rock Main Beach from Thursday 30 June to Saturday 2 July. South Africa’s hottest bands and artists – including Kwesta, NastyC, Shortstraw, Desmond & the Tutus, a host of 5FM DJ’s and many more – will take to the Salt Rock beach stage. Crush Night Club will host the Battle of the DJs, and the Five Star Ballito Pro Free Music Concerts’ Official After Parties. The concerts will start at 4pm each afternoon, continuing until late in the evening, and there will be food and drink on sale. People are welcome to bring picnic blankets and chairs, although the lively music is sure to get the crowd on its feet.
At Willard Beach there will be a number of children’s events including a Kiddies Corner with face painting, water balls, sandcastle-building contests and a Kiddies Beach dash. For the older crowds, the Beach Festival offers beach soccer, Learn to Surf and volleyball. The Retail Area will ensure visitors are kept enthralled with daily live entertainment, fashion shows, dance displays, a food court, cider garden, arts and crafts as well as a number of other exhibitions and retail stalls.
Through the Save the Waves campaign – sponsored by Dolphin Coast Waste Management – organisers also hope to educate and create awareness about the hazards of plastic, prompting better disposal and recycling of products. There will be a large wire dolphin, three metres in length, at Willard Beach and visitors are encouraged to dispose of plastic in the dolphin’s mouth, thereby indicating the amount of plastic that would, otherwise, have ended up in the ocean. In addition to this, recycling stations have been erected at various locations throughout the Ballito Pro, ensuring no litter is discarded onto the seashore.
Make your way to one of South Africa’s leading holiday spot from 22 June to 3 July to get involved in all of the vibrant coastal action!