This year’s Clanwilliam Wild Flower Show – an annual event that takes place in the town’s beautiful, historical Flower Church – has been cancelled due to the extreme drought in the area. This decision was made this week after thorough deliberation with all the parties involved. The Flower Show would have taken place from 25 August to 2 September.
“It is with a heavy heart that we eventually decided to cancel the show. The extreme drought that the whole country is experiencing is the cause of the very late blooming of the flowers and plants. We don’t have enough flowers to build the displays for the show,” says Alida Stone, chairman of the Clanwilliam Flower Show committee.
Annually about 400 different species of freshly cut flowers and plants are used during the festival for the colourful displays that can be seen in the historic church in the town.
“We could not go ahead with the flower show. This year the flowers are struggling and we only pick when abundant, in keeping with conservation. Conservation is still our main priority,” says Alida.
According to Rika du Plessis, conservation manager of Cape Nature Cederberg, the rainfall figure for the first 7 months of this year is the worst since 1953 (64 years). “The average rainfall measured at Algeria Forestry Station is 724 mm per year. Last year it was 545 mm and if we continue with the rain pattern that we are currently experiencing, we won’t even reach 300 mm by the end of this year,” says Du Plessis.
According to Stone, all the other activities will still go ahead for the week of the festival. There will be music shows, art competitions, hiking trails as well as stalls where a variety of products will be on sale. The town, the people, restaurants and local businesses can’t wait to welcome the visitors.
“We are currently working on an audio-visual show that will be presented in the Ou Tronk museum in Clanwilliam. This will show visitors exactly how they go about building the stunning displays for the show in the Flower Church every year,” says Stone. It takes up to three weeks to design and create these displays. This audio-visual show will be shown hourly.
Ramskop Wild Flower Garden is open, and has a diversity of wildflowers under cultivation, eye catching and well worth visiting.