Port Edward was pumping this past weekend as the Estuary Hotel played host the popular annual Portuguese Mariners Food and Wine Family Festival.
South Coasters immersed themselves in Portuguese culture, enjoying two days of authentic cuisine, wine and entertainment.
Traditional Portuguese and Zulu dancers delighted, families had fun during the NSRI Treasure Hunts and festival-goers danced the night away during Saturday’s Shipwreck party.
The festivities continued on Sunday, starting with the unveiling of the upgraded Portuguese Monument.
Father Bernard started off the proceedings with a prayer service and blessing of the Monument, where after Elias De Sousa from the Portuguese Consulate in Durban said a few words.
Dave Watson followed with a fabulous retelling of the saga that was the wreckage of the São João and its importance in local history.
Representatives from Ray Nkonyeni Municipality laid a beautiful wreath at the foot of the monument, the ribbon was cut to officially open the site and a champagne toast was enjoyed by all.
Held every second weekend of July, the festival marks the commemoration of the Sao Joao and the lives lost in this calamitous moment in South Coast history.
The legendary shipwreck sits just off the coast of Port Edward and tells a compelling tale of the dangers faced by sailors of the past.
The 16th Century Portuguese Galleon ran aground off the Port Edward coastline in 1552 and was rumored to be carrying a cargo “worth a million in gold”.
It was the first cargo ship to wreck on the South African coastline.