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Events in The Free State
1The Macufe Festival
The Mangaung African Culture Festival, also known as Macufe, that takes place in October (in Bloemfontein) is a celebration of music, art, poetry and artistic expression in all its forms. Great regional food and drink specialities also on offer.
2The Bloemfontein Show
Hosted annually in late April, early May, the Bloemfontein show is the largest agricultural and entertainment showcase in South Africa. It attracts around 160 000 visitors to see its 450 exhibits, including livestock parades.
3The Cherry Festival, Ficksburg
What started as a small agricultural festival back in 1969 has grown into an event that draws over 20 000 people in November each year; famous for its cherry tastings, preserves, deli products and beauty queen parades through town.
4Volksblad Arts Festival, Bloemfontein
It is staged over 6 days in July and brings together the country’s top actors, singers and performers; music theatre, drama productions, classic and contemporary music concerts and dance shows feature.
5The Rose Festival or Rose Fees, Bloemfontein
A festival of roses in ‘The City of Roses’; main attractions include tours of the winning gardens around town, the Champion Rose competition and the Miss Rosebud pageant. Most events take place at the city’s Mimosa Mall.
6Philippolis Witblits Festival
Hosted over two days in April in the oldest town in the Free State, the Philippolis Witblits Festival celebrates homegrown witblits (a local version of ‘moonshine’). Attractions include food and drink stalls, local produce and craft markets.
7Berg Bohaai Festival, Harrismith
This festival takes place in September over three days and offers top music entertainment, mountain biking and drum majorette competitions, food, drink and loads of arts and craft exhibits.
8Free State Food Fair, Bloemfontein
An annual event, held in October generally at the Bloemfontein Show Grounds, it’s a celebration of local produce, preserves and ingenuity; look out for unusual jams, chutneys, home-made liqueurs and old traditional favourites.
9Fouriesburg Spring Fair
Held over a weekend in September in an attractive village known for its imposing sandstone church, it features fresh asparagus tastings, an extraordinary variety of food stalls, eco cooking demonstrations, live shows, art exhibitions and workshops and lots of fun for kids in a range of venues around the town.
10The NAMPO Agricultural Show
The four-day NAMPO Agricultural Trade Show, Free State, in May every year, is a mega agricultural exhibition held outside the town of Bothaville. It features over 600 exhibitors and attracts over 70 000 visitors from South Africa and the rest of the world each year.