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CELEBRATE DURBAN 2007 (article first published : 2007-09-2)

Durban has pulled out all the stops to host 40 eclectic participative events which are on offer this year during the sixth annual Celebrate Durbanís fabulous line up in recognition of September being heritage month. The spring season sees a full calendar for the month of September Ė in particular over the Michaelmas school holidays - with a balanced mix of social, family, heritage, sports, arts, culture, environmental and spiritual events to celebrate our cultural diversity.

Among the many highlights of the season are the Glenwood Community Arts Festival which takes place in and around the bustling suburb of Glenwood from August 31 until September 2 featuring three days of interactive family events including the Glenwood Proms with the busy KZN Philharmonic Orchestra on August 31 and Palettes in the Park with the KZNSA Gallery on September 1. Davenport Road will be closed from 16h00 on Saturday afternoon for al-fresco street party. The event wraps up on September 2 with a community day of prayer in which 12 churches will be participating.

Blue Lagoon will be the venue of two of the events during the season: the Fusion Music Festival on September 8 which is a music concert embracing all of Durbanís cultures Ė traditional and contemporary with a special emphasis on the youth. Interspersed with the music will be dance and comedy in a day-long cultural celebration in one of Durbanís favourite open-air leisure destinations.

A fabulous day of open-air music can be enjoyed at the 6th annual Cell C Music School Street Festival. Highlights of the day include the 1812 OvertureÖ with real cannons; a concert featuring the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra and the SADF band; the youth jazz band of Durbanís sister city, Leeds; the Jerry Kunene ensemble; marching bands; youth music, jazz bands and Zulu dancing. There will also be performances by many of the schoolís talented young musicians.

Staying in the CBD will be two seasonís highlights - Flavours of Durban and the Float Parade which takes place on September 28 and 29. The streets of Durban will come alive on Saturday morning with 30 decorative floats that will slowly proceed through town. On Friday and Saturday nights in Smith Street alongside the Royal Hotel, there will be a festival of international cuisine with a variety of stalls representing food from around the world.

An event entitled The Healing City on Heritage Day, 24 September, will attract interest from the health-conscious and spiritually-aware. The strong partnership between the traditional allopathic and complimentary healers makes our city the perfect setting for the delivery of true comprehensive primary health care which seeks to marry the different modalities of healing punctuated with praying, dancing and singing. The Health Unit with the newly-developed eThekwini Healing Forum will engage in an integrated drive to pray against the effects of global warming and promote healing in every way Ė physically, mentally and spiritually.

Many of the events for the Celebrate Durban season focus on the communities and suburbs in and around Durban. To this end, a series of events will be held at various wards throughout the city during the Heritage month celebrating cultural diversity and showcasing regional talent especially among the community / developmental / school and amateur participants to develop a sense of community and civic pride.

The city has once again put together a diverse, engaging and participative programme for September to which city residents and visitors are warmly invited to share.

For more information, contact the Department of International and Governance Relations in the eThekwini Municipality on 031 311 1111 or for the whole season visit www.durbanexperience.co.za




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