Newsletter March 2012

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Thursday, 1st March 2012

The main events taking place in Somerset East in April will be the Friends of the Museum Country Market on 14th April, and the Bruintjies Marathon on 28th April.

The Country Market, held twice yearly, has become a very popular event. The Museum grounds will be green and attractive after all the rain which fell in March, and the locals will be going there to browse the many stalls selling quality home, farm and garden produce, as well as the work of local crafters. The Friends will be serving tea, coffee, and the Museum Apple Tart, as well as light lunches in the Tea Garden.

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The Bruintjies Marathon, run between Pearston and Somerset East, has been staged for over thirty years. The climb over Bruintjieshoogte has been presenting a challenge since the first oxwagons came that way in 1700's, and still sorts out the serious runners from the not-so-fit. This venerable race is a qualifier for the Comrades Marathon, and attracts athletes from all over the Eastern Cape. Although not a Comrades contender any longer, the unforgettable Frith van der Merwe usually enters the race.

The area was well represented at the Getaway Show in Capetown at the end of March; Kuzuko Lodge and The Angler and Antelope had stands, as well as Blue Crane Tourism. Alan Hobson reported on this - "There were records broken with 17800 people visiting the Cape Town Getaway show this year. There was great interest in the Karoo, specifically for caravanning, camping and self catering from mostly Western Cape visitors, so it will be interesting to see if our area gets an increase in visitors over the winter school holidays from the Western Cape, nevertheless it was a very good awareness trip. Investing time and money in these shows is a long term exercise as one has to constantly be at the forefront of the minds of the holiday makers. In fact we currently have some people from the western Cape here to fly fish. It was an advantage being in Somerset west as we could specifically point out that Somerset East is 850 km away and that seemed to help clarify Blue Crane tourism".

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