It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the V&A Waterfront with extended shopping hours, choirs singing carols, a visit from Father Christmas and even gift wrapping for charity. The bumper music and entertainment line-up is also something not to be missed.
In keeping with the spirit of this season of giving, Cape Town charities will benefit from the proceeds of four gift wrapping stations, three within the Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre, and one in the new Watershed. The charity options include The Haven Night Shelter in Napier Street, the Home of Hope in Table View, Tears Animal Rescue in Sunnydale, Nazareth House in Vredehoek and Atlantic Hope in Sea Point.
Visitors to the V&A Waterfront can ensure that their favourite charity wins the R5 000 daily prize by simply choosing one of the special wrapping papers designed by Watershed tenants Mingo Lamberti and Essi Letterpress. Once their gift is wrapped and their vote for their charity vote will be entered into the draw.
For little visitors there will be a special visit by Father Christmas himself, as he pops into the Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre’s Centre Court to personally meet with them. Between Thursday 16 and Wednesday 24 they can hop onto Santa’s lap to share their deepest desires. They can also take away a lasting memento of this very important meeting by asking mom or dad to photograph them with Santa.
Regardless of who was naughty or nice this year, there is a gift that’s perfect for them at the V&A Waterfront. And to make shopping even easier, the V&A Waterfront will be extending its trading hours to between 9am and 10pm from Wednesday 10 to Wednesday 24 December.
The Amphitheatre also gets into the cheerful spirit with an array of entertainment for the whole family. To mark the start of the festive season, the Hugo Lambrechts Symphony Orchestra will perform a free Christmas-themed celebration of classical music at the Amphitheatre on Sunday, 7 December between 6pm and 7pm.
From Saturday 20 to Sunday 21 December Carols by Candlelight returns to the Amphitheatre to spread the warmth and spirit of Christmas between 8pm and 9pm. Choirs of heavenly voices will sing well-loved hymns and carols such as Silent Night and Joy to the World. Midway through the show the singers will kick it up a notch with lively renditions of Jingle Bells and other classics. The performance will end with a rousing rock-styled medley sung by none other than Father Christmas himself.
Lovers of big bands will appreciate the Festive Choirs, where the deep, resounding sound of a large brass band will reverberate through the Amphitheatre. The line up over the two day event includes:
Monday 22 December
First up on will be the Omega Brass Ensemble between 6pm and 6.40pm. The voluntary non-profit organisation was first formed in 2004 with the aim of promoting a positive activity amongst youth in Lentergeur. The initiative now draws youngsters from Bridgetown, Kensington and even Woodstock.
Next up will be the Salvation Army Band and Choir between 6.50pm and 7.30pm. The Salvation Army has a proud musical history that extends over 100 years, and locally it has produced many well-known musicians such as Hugh Masekela. Through the use of music, the organisation reaches out to young South Africans to offer them an alternative to community challenges such as drug addiction and poverty.
The Cape Highlanders will combine musical flair with military precision when they take to the stage between 7.40pm and 8.20pm. The Drums and Pipes have been part of the Cape Town Highlanders regiment since its inception in 1885. Bandsmen have been involved in every major Regimental campaign, while in peace time the Band supports the Regiment in its ceremonial and recruitment parades.
Tuesday 23 December
On Tuesday the popular Gugulethu Tenors will regale crowds with a stirring operatic performance between 6pm and 6.40pm. The talented singers will introduce contemporary and subtle African elements into the traditional music form. Their repertoire includes operatic favourites such as O Sole Mio, Nessun Dorma and Nella Fantasia along with popular songs.
Between 6.50pm and 7.30pm the Cape Town Gospel Choir will entertain the audience with a musical range that will appeal to the entire family. The singers and accompanying band from the non-profit organisation, first established in 2005, have been firm favourites at the Amphitheatre for many years.
Finally, the Apostle Choristers will end the evening on a high Christmas note between 7.40pm and 8.20pm. First established in 1995 to promote choral music within the community, the choir is managed by the Ithemba Cultural Society. It is musically directed by well-known Camillo Lombard and is divided into three regions, namely the Cape Metropole, Boland and the Swartland.
Wednesday 24 December
On Christmas Eve, a special musical story of Christmas will be performed at the Amphitheatre. The story of ‘An African Christmas’ is a beautifully told story that combines traditional music performed by vocalists and a choir with the backing of a band.
Thursday 25 December
For a fun Christmas evening with the family, pack a picnic hamper and head for the Galileo Open Air Cinema at the V&A Waterfront to watch a movie under the stars. The festive film Elf will be screened from 8pm on the croquet lawn. To book a ticket visit the Galileo website.