The organisers of the Riebeek Valley Olive Festival has made a decision to cancel this year’s Olive Festival due to the severe drought the Western Cape is currently facing. The festival is currently in its 18th year and attracts over 12 000 people to the Riebeek Valley over the course of the two days.
Organisers said it would be irresponsible and inappropriate to continue with the festival in light of the extreme water restrictions households, businesses and farms are facing and that this will ultimately compromise the standard of the event experience.
Klaus Piprek, Chairman of Riebeek Valley Tourism said: ‘The water footprint of the anticipated 12 000 visitors for a single weekend event cannot reasonably be justified, whereas we should focus on the longer term sustainable social and economic impacts of the community at large. We feel we should rather put measures in place to ensure that the tourism sector is able to sustain a minimum level of business until the crisis is overcome.”
The event was voted the Best Tourism event by the West Coast Tourism awards. The festival offers a variety of olives and goodies in the picturesque town of Riebeek Valley which is home to some of the country’s top olive producers.
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