Cape Town Minstrel Carnival (Cape Town Central)

Cape Minstrel Carnival or Kaapse Klopse accommodation in City Bowl

The Kaapse Klopse is a minstrel festival that takes place annually on the 2nd of January in Cape Town's CBD. Up to 13,000 minstrels take to the streets dressed in bright colours, either carrying multi-coloured parasols or playing an array of musical instruments.

People consider the festival a right of renewal that has been shaped by the Cape's history. The events that are associated with Klopse in the festive season include competitions for the Christmas Choirs, Cape Malay Choirs and Cape minstrel choirs.

This yearly parade goes back to the 1800's when the slaves in Cape Town were given one day off in the year (2 January). To celebrate, groups would dress up as minstrels, waving parasols, making merry with music, dance and a parade from the District Six area through to Cape Town's CBD. Many of the songs still sung today date back to the mid-19th century. Aside from honouring these classic songs, repertoires are also laden with versions of contemporary pop songs to keep all ages interested.

The procession usually starts at the iconic Grand Parade, with entertainers getting the crowds warmed up from about 10am until the formal programme starts at 12pm and runs until late. Cape Town is always packed for the festival so it's best to get there early, many Cape Town residents sleep in tents to make sure they get the best views.

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