GRAAFF-REINET is gearing up for a jam- packed weekend of Afrikaans music, sheep- shearing demonstrations and boerekos.
The Karoo-Lus festival, in its third year, will take place between Friday and Monday, and is expected to draw large crowds to the historic Karoo town.
Karoo-Lus was introduced to Graaff-Reinet in 2010. It was initially organised by a group of local businesspeople but due to its popularity and growth, a professional events company in Pretoria has taken over the organisation. This year it is expected to be bigger and better.
Organiser Ludwich Marx, from Hilltop Live, said more than 7000 people were expected to attend the festivities.
Union High School will also be hosting the annual Cape Schools' Cricket Festival at the weekend, and according to Marx, this is expected to draw larger crowds than before.
"We have also arranged the programme so there is enough supervised entertainment and things to do for the pupils attending the sports festival," he said.
"Their parents and other supporters can kick back in the evenings with some quality music and entertainment, and good food.
"I think a festival of this magnitude is very important for our small towns and it really brings people together."
The bumper weekend of fun kicks off with a chilli-eating competition on Friday afternoon, followed by a night of entertainment from singers Bianca, a former Idols contestant, and Gretha Pers.
There will be a sheep-shearing and wool- classification session on Saturday morning, followed by a veteran motorcycle parade, and a sheepdog demonstration in the afternoon.
Popular Afrikaans singers Jay Band, Wicus van der Merwe and Kurt Darren are expected to rock the stage on Saturday evening.
There will be an array of stalls set up at the town's botanical sports field with interactive demonstrations on how to make traditional foods like roosterbrood and vetkoek, and even on how to spit braai. There will also be a beer tent.
Then there will be a hunting competition, a talent show, and a Mr and Miss Karoo and baby pageants.
Guesthouses in the small town say they are already fully booked, with visitors coming from as far as Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Tickets cost R40 for Friday and R60 for Saturday and can be purchased through www.ticketbreak.co.za