Once a year, in spring, the gardens at the entrance to Leisure Isle are the venue for a weekend of fun and pleasure for Islanders and visitors. This year, it is held on November 1 & 2. Yes, this weekend!
The two-day event was initially started in 2002 as Art & Craft on The Isle with the objective of giving local artists, crafters and hobbyists an opportunity to display their self-produced works and offer them for sale, and in doing so to help enhance the community spirit of residents both of Leisure Isle and Knysna.
In later years this initial activity has been expanded to include a plant stall, book stall, produce stalls as well as a host of Kiddies activities, resulting in the festival occupying both sides of the entrance gardens under the title of THE LEISURE ISLE FESTIVAL.
Lorr Scalen, Leisure Isle Festival committee chairperson confirmed this. “The arts component in particular is being revived and there will be improved crafts, better food, a proper beer garden, delicious teas, good music, and lots of kiddies activities, all of which will create a whole new ambience for the festival,” she explained. “It’s the festival we all love, but just so much better.”
All proceeds from this event are donated to a variety of local charities and non-profit organizations that assume the responsibility of organizing their specific activity so as to benefit from the proceeds. The wonderful support from the community and the growth in the number of participants has resulted in substantial increases in our annual contribution to local charities. In recent years amounts in excess of R100 000 have been raised.
Enjoyment begins as one is greeted by the colour, fun and buzz at the entrance gardens, and a stroll through the park reveals a wide variety of talent and enterprise. The items on display vary from year to year, and have included works by renowned local artists as well as talented amateurs. Pottery, oil and watercolour paintings, toys, wooden items, a variety of gifts and Christmas-related goodies are featured.