Beach lovers and lovers of the body beautiful are in for a treat at Umhlanga Tourism’s Winter Festival, which starts on Thursday, 4 July.
Among the highlights is the Miss Umhlanga pageant, which will be held at the Millennium stage at Main Beach from noon on Friday. Competitors, age 14 and up, should bring their A-game, beachwear and heels and be sure to register before 11.30am.
The winner takes home a cash prize of R3000 and the runners-up, R2000 and R1000 respectively.
Kevin Ellis, event coordinator for the past 12 years, predicted a “fantastic turnout”.
“It’s really huge every year because of the prizes,” he said.
But apart from a shipshape figure, what would the judges be looking for?
“Girls with confidence, girls that will be able to attend functions for the Umhlanga tourism board. It’s not really about height: a strong girl, great body,.able to communicate and… walk with confidence,” said Ellis.
There are also prizes for Miss Personality, Queen of the Day, Miss Most Potential and Miss Photogenic.
The entry fee is R150, which goes to Umhlanga Tourism’s charity of choice, Boys and Girls Town.
A packed programme has been planned for the festival with the whole family in mind.
Ellis, a veteran designer-dancer-choreographer and the reigning solo and double Europe and the World Dance Masters Association champion, will be doing demonstrations on the beach and teaching children line dance.
The festival, which continues until 8 July, includes a host of family events from 10am to 2pm daily. These include musical chairs, tug o’ war, a talent section, line dance, morning stretch, a hula-hoop competition, egg and spoon, a mini-Olympics, a treasure hunt, beach soccer, spot prizes, and a swinging DJ.
Complementing all the energy and non-stop entertainment will be plenty of colour, with stylist Gareth Greaves, of X Factor SA fame, bringing his unique face-painting to the festival.
“We are expecting a full beach, with top security, life guards and non-stop action for the whole family,” said Ellis.