City’s 50th Festive Lights draws 100 000

The City of Cape Town’s signature event, the annual Festive Lights Switch-On, drew thousands of people who camped out from the morning to ensure good spots and lined the city streets to enjoy the star-studded line-up.

The main event, the Switching on of the lights, drew excited and delighted responses from the crowd.

‘This is arguably our biggest free open air event and four months of planning go into making this an evening families and all ages can enjoy. Construction of the lights, the maintenance and the staging of the event has a team of approximately 1505 people,’ said the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.

The family-focussed event kicked off with a banging set from DJ Portia who then introduced the young winner of the City’s Music Challenge – Crazy-J Suave who had the early crowd hopping.

The programme gave special attention to entertainment for the children and youth who thoroughly enjoyed acts by the Zip Zap Circus, Laila Van Der Ross and Queen Angela, the Cape Town Freestylers as well as Ocean View’s The Unknown Dance Crew who danced their way into the crowd’s hearts.

Other crowd favourites included Early B, the Ndlovu Youth Choir and Sho’ Majozi who ended the evening on a high note.

Security and safety were tight this year, with the City’s Safety & Security Services, CCID and the private security’s presence making sure extensive public safety measures were instituted.

‘The City’s enforcement agencies, including a platoon of volunteers, were out in full force to ensure the safety of revelers from managing access control to random searches to check for prohibited items. It is therefore disheartening that despite our best efforts, a few people were out to make the event unpleasant for the thousands who came to enjoy the best of Cape Town. However, we will not tolerate any criminal behaviour,’ said Alderman Smith.

Arrests were made for the possession of dangerous weapons, assault, malicious damage to property and theft.

‘Regardless of our pleas for people not to bring alcohol to the event, officers still confiscated 312 litres which includes 195 beers, 176 ciders, 48 bottles of wine and 49 bottles of spirits. Alcohol is not allowed for a very good reason and our officers will not tolerate such a blatant disregard of the law,’ said Alderman Smith.

In addition to the rocking acts on stage, the video mapping display also had the crowd in awe.

This year’s theme Cape Town: Window to the World reflects the diversity that thrives in the Cape and is reflected in the lights.

‘The Adderley Street lights will stay on until the end of January giving many more residents and visitors the opportunity to enjoy them. I want to encourage as many people as possible to come to the city to see why Cape Town has won so many travel accolades and at the same time, request they do so responsibly. It’s the festive season and everyone should be able to share in the merriment without fearing for their lives,’ added Alderman Smith.

The last leg of the event is the Waste To Art competition expo which Alderman Smith will open on Wednesday, 4 December at 11:00.

The public is welcome to visit the expo at the Civic Centre in Hertzog Boulevard, Cape Town, which will be on display until 21 December 2019.