McGregor Tourism Newsletter June 2019
Greetings to you all,
The hills are alive with the sound of ………activity in McGregor!
We have had a marvelous month of May in magical McGregor and we hope you have been able to join us for one event or another. There is never a dull moment in our small village, so sometimes it is hard to keep up with the latest happenings. The best way I can suggest is to keep your eye on the various social media platforms (McGregor Tourism’s Facebook page; follow us on Instagram (@mcgregortourism) and be sure to like the We Love McGregor page). Talking about Instagram…… I am the man of the moment there at present as a competition has been launched inviting folk to pop in and have their photo taken with me. This could be in the Tourism Office or (better still, wink wink!) you could take me on an outing and take a few snaps there. All that has to be done is tag McGregor Tourism and you stand a chance of winning a great prize at the end of the month.
The month of June is Wacky Wine Festival time so do remember that McGregor is very much part of this busy weekend. We are very accessible being only 20km from Robertson and we have great events taking place right in our village. Take a moment to browse the full programme but in particular look for Tanagra Wine and Guest Farm; McGregor Wines; Bemind and Lord’s Wines.
Talking of Lord’s Wines – I had a late night there this week at The Sundowner’s Market. This was a pop-up mid-week end-of-month night market brim-filled with FABULOUS food, wine, locally made products and so much more. Keep a look out for the next one and do join us!
The month of June is also the month when we spoil and honour all the dad’s out there so make your McGregor Bookings for Father’s Day Weekend soon. McGregor Tourism has an online Google Calendar so you are welcome to give that a regular click to see what’s happening in our village.
McGregor Tourism will be hosting another “Happy Hour” on Tuesday 4th June at 5pm in the Tourism office. This event is open to anyone who would like to join us for a glass of wine or cooldrink and a bit of a chin-wag! Do pop in and join us.
An exciting moment this week was seeing the trucks arriving with the next load of bicycles for our village. 200 branded McGregor Young Warriors BMX bikes were delivered to the Community Centre where the MYW have assembled them. These will be handed to members of the local community this Saturday the 1st of June at 2pm. This project is managed by Max Warhead Menzies.
During the bike hand-over in April, 20 bikes (donated by Cape Winelands District Municipality) were given to 20 lucky ladies in our village. We were honoured to have Minister Alan Winde, the newly elected Premier of the Western Cape attend this event and enjoyed a bike ride through the streets of McGregor.
Part of the McGregor buzz is the number of different festivals that take place in our village and we are thrilled to have one of our festivals featured in the June edition of the Country Life magazine. Do buy yourself a copy to read all about us!
The Poetry in McGregor Festival has an interesting history: A POETRY Festival? In McGregor? Are you CRAZY???? This was the reaction when plans started for the first poetry weekend back in 2013. Billy Kennedy is the visionary behind this very successful event as highlighted in the following press release:
The “Poetry in McGregor” Festival is the vision of Billy Kennedy, owner of the very well-known Temenos Retreat which has been the hub of McGregor for over 20 years. Billy had a life-long dream to put together an event specifically to honour poets and poetry and so, together with a small group of friends who shared his passion, this dream became a reality in 2013. A bilingual poetry festival was organised taking place in the quaint village of McGregor in the Western Cape of South Africa. The goal was to arrange an event where poets could share their talent in an informal, intimate manner with fellow lovers of the arts and members of the public; to provide well-known and novice poets with a platform to perform their work; to host a series of cultural events that could be enjoyed by the local community and visitors (which would boost tourism in the region) and to promote poetry as an art form.
Every year there is a different logo and theme which adds great interest and variation to the event. The theme in 2013 was “Passion and Imagination” and the first logo came from a sketch out of dear Lies’ sketchbook. This proved to be quite controversial and created many lively discussions as to ‘what’ the logo represented!
For the next five years, the inspiration and design of the logo came from our very talented artist Edna Fourie: The word ‘poeTRY’ is visually divided into two in order to play with the word – as poets tend to do. The ‘try’ part has two meanings. The first refers to the way one pronounces it as ‘TREE’ when saying ‘poetry’. This is a Poetry tree which bares the letters for the words with which poems are created. The second meaning of ‘TRY’ refers to the wonderful contribution made by ‘budding young’ poets participating in the Poetry in McGregor Festival.
Every year Edna has been inspired to adapt the basic tree design according to the different themes. The poster imparted information as well as conveyed the essence of poetry and the ethos of the Poetry in McGregor Festival. Full details on the inspiration and ideas behind the designs can be found on www.poetryinmcgregor.co.za
This year it is the intention of the organisers to celebrate and deepen the Poetry in McGregor experience and some changes are being made. The poster photo beautifully portrays the theme of “The Heart of the Moon” and was taken by talented Daniele, owner of the stunning gallery, La Galleria.
Poetry in McGregor Festival weekend takes place from the 23rd to the 25th of August this year and already most accommodation establishments are fully booked. Any local wishing to offer their private guestroom as a ‘homestay’ option is welcome to contact Jennifer Johnson, the festival co-ordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org). Programme details and ticket sales will open soon so do keep an eye on www.poetryinmcgregor.co.za for the latest updates. A great opportunity for all accommplished and wanna-be poets like me is the annual poetry competition. There are GREAT prizes to be won so do submit your entry soon.
When this peak weekend of poetry is over, please keep your seatbelts fastened because hot on the heels will be the Run2Nowhere Weekend (31st August and 1st September); the Ride2Nowhere Weekend (6th to 8th September) and then the McGregor Magic Open Gardens / Heritage weekend (20th to 23rd September).
Some other links / contact details that may be of use to folk who like to plan ahead:
Where to stay – accommodation options
Wahnfried programme of films and live cultural events
Temenos Retreat – for retreats, workshops etc
McGregor Wine Meander – for information of wineries in and around the village
Arts and Crafts – art galleries, pottery studios and so much more
Mind and Body – yoga, massages, Qi-gong, retreats, hiking clubs, walking
Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve for walks, bird hides (wheelchair friendly boardwalk), braille trail
at the courtyard musical events
Poetry in McGregor Festival Weekend (23 to 25 August 2019)
McGregor Magic Open Gardens Festival Weekend (21 to 23 September 2019)
Millstone Pottery high-temperature wood-firing jamboree (18 to 20 October 2019)
Have a great month of June everyone!