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LOCAL TIME: 09:51 am | Saturday, 20 July
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The Cherry Festival, Ficksburg

Cherry’s may be more usually associated with Japan, thanks to beautiful images of the the pink cherry blossoms that adorn the country each year, but do not be misled! Ficksburg in the Eastern Free State Highlands is the undisputed Cherry Capital of the World, and the best time to visit Ficksburg to check out that fact is during the Ficksburg Cherry Festival.

The annual Cherry Festival has become much, much more than an harvest event. It draws visitors from all over South Africa and the world, and is as much a festival of local culture, music, arts, crafts, culinary delights, sports events and family fun as it is about cherries. The Festival is an established tourist draw in itself, featuring regularly in National and International travel press.

The Cherry Jazz event at the Ficksburg Showgrounds brings together South Africa’s top jazz artsits; tours are conducted to local attractions and the cherry farms and lots lots more…

There are sports events in the countryside around Ficksburg for the fit and active, cherry pip spitting contests for the silly, and a whole lot of eating, drinking and wallowing in cherriness for everyone.

If you are planning a trip to South Africa in November, South Africa’s Cherry Season, consider putting Ficksburg on your route, and take in the beauty of the Eastern Free State Highlands in early summer, with a main course of local jazz, a side order of asparagus (the other ‘big’ harvest item at this time), deep red cherries and cream, cherry liqueur to wash it all down and all sorts of other cherry products and souvenirs to add to the cheery cherry madness and an experience of South African culture that effortlessly crosses all and any barriers.

See what’s in store at this years Cherry Festival

Getting there: From Johannesburg take the N1 south to Kroonstad and on to Ventersburg. At Ventersburg, take the R70 to Senekal, through Rosendal (and do stop in this tiny hamlet to ‘smell the flowers’ in every sense of the word) and on to Ficksburg just short of the Lesotho border.

When the Festival is over, consider a trip into the beautiful mountain Kingdom of Lesotho (passport will be required), north up through delightful Clarens, toward Ladysmith and on over into the Drakensburg, or south along the Free State Highlands Route, tiny, pretty Highlands Towns Hopping and Art Shopping…

More on the quaint town of Ficksburg More on the Eastern Free State area