The history of growing cherry trees in South Africa began in 1905, when the first cherry trees brought to Africa by German missionaries were planted by Harry Pickston on the farm Platkop in the Clocolan district. A year later, five hectares of trees were brought here to be planted on the farm. Some of these trees are still growing on the farm. Over the years, the area has become the center of cherry growing in South Africa.
The first ever Cherry Festival took place in Ficksburg in 1968. The event was launched by the local Junior Chamber (Jaycees). It featured a street parade that marched through the entire town, a Cherry Ball, and the festive crowning of the Cherry Queen. Over the years, the festival has grown into one of the region’s most important events. It’s important for the town’s economy because it creates employment and attracts tourists.
The program of the festival features various events and activities for attendees of all ages including tastings, street parades and performances, contests and competitions, talent shows and live music, workshops, wine and chocolate pairings, cooking masterclasses and demonstrations, sporting events such as the road cycle race and fun run, scavenger hunts, and more. With an impressive array of activities on offer, every visitor is bound to have a wonderful time and a great experience. One of the festival’s main attractions is the crowning of Miss Cherry Blossom and Mr Cherry Pip.
The Ficksburg Cherry Festival is the longest-running agricultural festival in South Africa. It allows visitors to not only sample delicious cherries grown in the Ficksburg area but the taste of life in this corner of South Africa. Ficksburg is often referred to as the “cherry capital for the world”, and the festival proves that the town really deserves this nickname.