One of Joburg’s most anticipated cultural food and music events, the Lusito Land Festival, will this year again host a carnival funfair which is guaranteed to amuse toddlers, children and the young-at-heart. The funfair will boast a whole range of rides and entertainment for its expected 80,000 patrons, in addition to the exquisite cuisine and vibrant live music on offer.
The 36th year of this much-loved Portuguese extravaganza is set to kick off on Wednesday the 26th of April and enthral visitors to Monday the 1st of May 2017, at its new venue Cayman Road, Alewynspoort, Johannesburg South. To heighten the carnival atmosphere, the all-inclusive children’s entertainment will be available from Thursday the 27th of April between 1pm and 4pm through to the conclusion of the festival.
‘Crianças’ can look forward to the legendary entertainment firm ‘Miles of Smiles’. With their 19 years of experience both domestically and internationally their offerings of face painting, balloon sculpting, clowns, fairies, dancers, stilt walkers and much more are sure to be a crowd pleaser. “Their versatile team promises entertainment that will captivate all ages. We are delighted to have this as a lively addition to the Lusito Land Festival,” says Noemia Contente, spokesperson from the Lusito Association for the Physically and Mentally Handicapped.For patrons seeking even more thrills, the not to be missed Torre Aerobatics team will fly over the venue demonstrating their remarkable stunts on Thursday, the 27th of April and again on Sunday, the 30th of April. “The flying aces of South Africa will descend onto Lusito Land with their tricks, stunts and aerobatics,” continues Contente.
To ensure everyone has the opportunity to attend the event, festival organisers have added a shuttle service for patrons to the venue. Buses will depart on fixed routes with a maximum ride time of 45 minutes. “This service will enable our visitors to make their own way to the event at a time of their choosing using a transportation mode of their choice.” The shuttle service will be available to patrons from 9.30pm to closing time on the 26th of April, and will be available from 4pm thereafter through to the 30th of April. Tickets and bus stop locations are available from Selecta Shuttle at www.selectashuttle.co.za. In addition, festival tickets can not only be bought online at Computicket but can also be purchased at the venue from the Computicket box office.
Besides entertainment and a celebration of Portuguese culture, the festival serves a greater purpose. The profits made at the festival each year go to the Lusito Association, which manages the Lusito School for the physically and mentally handicapped, a school which caters to more than 80 learners. The cost of caring for special-needs children is typically beyond the capability of families, and with funds raised from the Lusito Land festivals parents need only pay a R1,700 a month while the school subsidises the remainder of the R5, 500 monthly school fee.
“This year represents something of a renaissance for Lusito Land Festival, and to inaugurate our new 2017 venue. It is our intention to refocus on the Portuguese element of the festival and have this return to its status as the highlight of the Portuguese year. We are returning to the core values of the festival the wide variety of entertainment and affordable prices to ensure visitors are given a social event which allows them to spend quality time with family and friends, all the time knowing that they are contributing to a most worthwhile cause,” concludes Contente.
The Lusito Association
The Lusito Association started the first Lusito School under the auspices of the Mental Health Society of the Witwatersrand and has subsequently grown with the school. Its mission is to support the Lusito School in equipping each learner as best as possible for their passage through life.
The Lusito School
The Lusito School, located in the south of Johannesburg, started off as a small day care centre and has developed into a fully-fledged school for the physically and mentally handicapped. Today, the school has more than 80 learners who come from South Africa and other parts of Africa. This school no longer offers its vital service solely to the Portuguese community, but supports physically and mentally handicapped people from all cultures and backgrounds. The school has now been divided into two sections, the stimulation centre and the workshop.
Lusito Land first opened its doors in 1981 as a festival that celebrated the Portuguese tradition and culture. Over the last 36 years, it has evolved into a festival celebrated by the many cultures that make up Johannesburg and Gauteng. The Portuguese tradition has however been sustained in the wonderful traditional flavours of the fine cuisine that is an important facet in the Portuguese heritage.