Makhanda dishes out a Halloween treat for locals

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Monday, 2nd November 2020

As Covid-19 lockdown restrictions ease, locals are feeling the cabin fever and are seeking out travel options closer to home.

Makana Tourism in association with the Graham Hotel provided just the right entertainment in time for Halloween with Makhanda's Creepy Pub Crawl on Saturday. Townsfolk and visitors of varied ages joined in on the fun and explored Makhanda’s historical locations.

Makana Tourism Director, Sue Waugh said the haunt and history walk had successfully given townsfolk an opportunity to get out of their homes for a safe and fun way to experience their own backyard.

"It was great to see everybody coming out and having a good time," she added.

The occasion also featured goodie bags, stops to popular waterholes and live music. Four best dressed pub crawlers also walked away with awesome hampers.

Local ghost story enthusiast Brian Jackson showed off Makhanda's iconic buildings and shared spooky tales during the walk which was from High Street to New Street and past the Church Square before arriving at the Pothole and Donkey for a food and cocktail tasting experience. This popular restaurant, which was also hosting a Halloween themed night, was the finale to the walk.

Pub crawlers were treated to a delicious journey of the restaurant's signature food and cocktails. They also had fun with selfies using the venue's impressively creepy Halloween décor.

Graham Hotel Managing Director Eugene Repinz said the Halloween theme evening at the Pothole and Donkey was a great success with many customers turning out in Halloween costumes and being treated to delicious meals and cocktails. “Our team did a fantastic job with the décor and kids were treated to trick-or-treat bags and a scary Halloween menu.”

He added: “Combining the Creepy Pub Crawl by Makana Tourism and the themed evening in the restaurant was a fantastic initiative to showcase what Grahamstown/Makhanda has to offer locals and visitors.”

Talking on how the Graham Hotel was affected by the lockdown he said occupancy levels remain extremely low and the industry will take at least two years to recover. “There are positive signs, however, in that South Africans are resilient and accustomed to be self-reliant, so despite the lack of foreign travel, locals are creating trade internally and also seeking out travel options closer to home”.

“Working together and being a little creative, we can create safe entertainment to get people out again and stimulate growth in our industry,” Repinz said.

Makhanda resident, Robyn Nel said she had a great time at the haunt and history walk and it gave her something different to do with her in-laws that were visiting Makhanda. “It was a spook-tacular experience which I was able to share with my husband, Christo and my in-laws Magda and Pieter Nel who were here from Mpumalanga. A fabulous evening with great stories and something that definitely should become a yearly event!” She added that the highlight to the evening was learning something new about the “different types of ghosts, and the ones which haunt our local establishments in town”.

Due to Covid-19 regulations, the haunt and history walk was kept to a small group of participants who were urged to follow required safety protocols. 

Makana Tourism would like to thank Repinz for his partnership in the event. His keen and committed attitude, helpful staff and creative approach contributed to the success of the event.

Thanks also goes out to Hi-tech security for sponsoring dedicated security service during the haunt and history walk as well as to the participating establishments, namely Pothole and Donkey, The Rat and Parrot and Slipstream Sports Bar which added loads of fun to the occasion!

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