As momentum builds for the 2019 Durban Botanic Gardens Trail of Lights, synonymous with the spirit of giving and a charity and family focus element, we’d like to introduce you to the passionate people who are working behind the scenes to make the event a cosmic success.
Daniel Sheldon, Entertainment Co-ordinator
Glenwood resident and owner of Beat-Route, Daniel Sheldon, is the event’s entertainment co-ordinator and loves the event because of its popularity with families and that it provides a great platform for young artists.
Beat-Route is one of KZN’s longest standing swing jazz acts. Having been involved with the Trail of Lights since it started in 2016, Daniel and his team have been improving the event’s stage and musical elements. “This year we’ll have various students playing a commercial mix of songs alongside the band with feature spots on different nights to showcase the young stars,” he says. He adds it will be a lot of fun with a bigger stage presence and pop up percussionist elements on certain days.
The artist lineup includes Tom Hare (Westville), Micale Leon (Bluff), dynamic husband and wife duo David Langley and Kerry Cherry-Langley (upper Highway area), Nosihe Zulu (Glenwood), Jose Chemane Moz (Durban Central) and China. The Brass Bra’s Brass Quartet and The Inkazimulo Brothers from Kwa Mashu will also play.
Why he loves the Trail of Lights, Daniel says: “Its a great platform for the arts. We are using it to give youngsters a taste of a live performance situation with proper sound and a large audience. It’s also a fun-filled wholesome family event which brings people out from behind their screens and into the freedom that nature gives us.”
Mandy Wilson, Charity Co-ordinator
Active citizen and Glenwood resident Mandy Wilson has always had a heart for charity work which makes her the perfect candidate as the event’s Charity Co-ordinator.
Mandy, who has been involved with the Trail of Lights since inception, has always been involved with charity work and personally volunteers her time with animal, marine, environmental and Cancer-related non-profit organisations. She also undertook a drive to deliver 54000 tons of water to drought stricken Cape Town which was distributed to animal shelters.
“During the event’s first year we brought on board several charities as we felt Christmas is also about giving back, for reflecting and giving support. The public absolutely loved this concept and embraced the opportunity to engage with them,” she enthuses.
This year sees a stellar lineup of organisations working for good including: Trulife, The Guide Dogs Association South Africa, Feeding the Furballs, Action against Abuse, Stray Cat Carers, The Legion South Africa and SAAMBR. Some charities will engage directly with the public through onsite activations while others will benefit from funds raised through vendors. For the first time Reach for a Dream will host two families at the event.
“ This is a ‘feel good’ event,” says Mandy, “where friends and family, young and old unite and together share a beautiful evening under the glittering lights. What better platform could we ask for to showcase worthy causes and get the public involved in sharing the magic through their support?”
About the 2019 Durban Botanic Gardens Trail of Lights
The Trail of Lights takes place from 12 to 30 December 2019, excluding Christmas Day. A VIP preview evening will take place on 12 December. Visitors can look forward to nightly entertainment, kids holiday activities, charity activations, new displays, a food garden and a longer trail. Also new to the event is the Festive Market showcasing local and authentic gifting and décor.
Early bird tickets are available from www.webtickets.co.za or Pick ‘n Pay for R50 per person from 1 October to 30 November. From 1 December tickets will cost R65 per person. There are limited tickets for R80 per person available at the door. VIP Preview Evening tickets for 12 December are R120 per person. Children under two go free.
For more information please contact [email protected]