Come July, and there is an air of festivity around Nkonkobe, especially in Hogsback where the municipality hosted its 15th annual Hogsback Country X-mas in July on 25-27 July 2014. This event always attracts a lot of people because of its outdoor entertainment, authentic craft and rural setting.

The Country X-mas in July was launched in 2001, and this year -2014- was its 15th anniversary.  The concept was adopted from the overseas White Christmas by Anleen Louw who’s the founder of the festival. The municipality has been supporting the event since its conception and continues to support the initiative. The event generates a high boost in the local economy, generating major profit for local businesses up the mountain.

Nkonkobe Municipality Mayor Cllr Anele Ntsangani officially opened the event on 25 July in Hogsback. Christmas lights brought a festive cheer amongst those present as festival goers sang Christmas carols. , Entertainment options were sure to satisfy all members of the family for both Saturday and Sunday. These included: Ox wagon rides, live music and entertainment, crafters' stalls, food stalls, port tasting, trail run, interdenominational thanksgiving service and great food.

A great performance from the entertainment group Chulukuluvuyo cultural group, Two Tone band, marimba band and many more left the crowd wanting more.

In all the adventurous things that are done during this event, there is one that a person has to think twice before doing; and that is the chill dip challenge. This is  where participants have to take a brave dive into ice cold waters in freezing temperatures all for a bottle of sherry and a t-shirt.

Next year's event promises to be bigger and better. Make sure you don't miss it.

Written by: Yandiswa Vena