I’ve been to the Ficksburg Cherry Festival twice. Both times I expected more.
Yes, I realise starting a post like that is already setting up the frame for my disappointment, but where would I be but for my honesty? For years, I’d always wanted to go check out Ficksburg Cherry Festival. Working in tourism, it has always been lauded as an incredible event, not to be missed. In reality though, it’s really rather average and not something I’m rushing back to.
When you think of a cherry festival, I’m sure you’re imagining cherry pies, masses of cherries piled high to buy by weight, food centred around the pitted fruit? Well, that sadly isn’t the case at all. It’s possible to buy fresh cherries, but other than that, the only cherry products you’ll find are sadly bottles and bottles of cherry liqueur.
There’s plenty going on around the festival though. A vintage car display, daredevils on scramblers jumping over people and even a strong man competition, will keep you vaguely entertained. Sadly though, as a foodie, you’ll be disappointed. Even the majority of the market stalls are selling imported plastic junk unrelated to cherries in any capacity.
Gems do exist, like this preserves stall I found for instance, but they are few and far between. The food available at the festival isn’t anything to brag about either, it’s all the roving caravans that frequent festivals around the country including chip ‘n dip and the calamari safari.
What I’m saying essentially is, if you’re in the area (as unlikely as that may be) then pop in if you’re bored. We stayed in Clarens at Lilliput House and honestly, the items we found at the festival were all available in the village at the Purple Onion Deli in any case. I don’t feel that driving down for the purpose of just this festival is the best one.
Have you been to the Ficksburg Cherry Festival? What were your thoughts?