By PRUDENCE MINI
As the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions ease, locals are seeking out travel options closer to home.
Makana Tourism in association with the Graham Hotel provided just the right entertainment for them in time for Halloween with Makhanda’s Creepy Pub Crawl last Saturday. Townsfolk and visitors from students to pensioners joined in on the fun of walking around Makhanda’s historic 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 said.
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 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 decor.
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 decor 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 the effects of the Covid-19 to the Graham Hotel 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 event and it gave her something to do with her in-laws that were visiting Makahanda.
“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,” Nel said. “A fabulous evening with great stories and something that definitely should become a yearly event!”
She added that the highlight of her night 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 required to follow safety protocols.
Makana Tourism would like to thank Hi-tech security for sponsoring dedicated security service during the haunt and history walk.
Thanks also goes out to participating establishments, namely the Graham Hotel, Pothole and Donkey, The Rat and Parrot and Slipstream Sports Bar which added loads of fun to the occasion!
- Prudence Mini is the marketing officer at Makana Tourism.