The Rand Show returns

Monday, March 28, 2011

Johannesburg - Loads of activities have been lined up to keep the whole family entertained at this year's Rand Show, taking place at the Expo Centre at Nasrec from 22 April to 2 May.

The Rand Show, which has been entertaining South Africans for the past 115 years, is targeting 200 000 visitors this year, a 25 000 increase from 2010. 

Although it struggled for a few years, the show's fortunes were revived in 2009 when it was sold to the Johannesburg Expo Centre.

"We reclaimed the show as a family space, bringing in strategically focused, wholesome content aimed at striking a chord with every member of the family," said Craig Newman, the chief executive of Johannesburg Expo Centre. 

"Our new strategy was rolled out in 2010. The clearly defined positioning of the show is of a great day out with the family, with something catering for each member."

This year will be no different, and visitors with different interests will find entertainment to suite them. And after a decade-long absence, the South African National Defence Force is returning to the annual show.

Visitors can expect to see exhibitions by the army, South African Air Force, South African Navy and the South African Military Health Service, which will use advanced technology to explain and demonstrate the services it delivers to the nation.

"For over a century the Rand Show has been making memories for South African families and the participation by the South African National Defence Force with technological exhibits was one of the fondest memories," said Brigadier-General Marthie Visser, the director of corporate communication in the Department of Defence.

For something completely different, there will be a platform for people to show off their talent in the hopes of currying audience favour and winning prizes. Called MiTalent, it is an online and live talent search. 

Aspiring performers need to register on the MiTalent website and upload a three-minute video of their performance, taken either by cell phone or a camera. Then, the public can vote on the videos. Those that get the most votes will be invited to perform live at the Rand Show.

These performances will run throughout the show, from the first day. Once again, the audience needs to vote for their favourites. The finals will be staged on the last day of the Rand Show.

Up for grabs is a grand prize of R50 000; the second runner-up will win R17 500 and the third will get R7 500. Another R5 000 can be won by those who have a talent for spotting talent.

Voters can also follow the show on Twitter and Facebook.

On each day of the Rand Show, there will be a circus and an extreme zone, performed twice. These will be free. And the biggest funfair ever seen in South Africa will be open, where children will be able to watch movies and play, while their parents are busy enjoying themselves too.

Rand Show tickets are available at Computicket and cost R75 each for adults, and R25 each for children between the ages of six and 16. Entrance is free for children under six.