The wait is over … it’s showtime as the Rand Show 2014 opens with a bang
The countdown to South Africa’s biggest consumer show is over. In front of crowds of visitors, the Rand Show 2014 kicked off 11 days of top family-friendly entertainment with a spectacular opening ceremony in the main arena.
The Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Ms N. N. Mapisa Ngakula, officially opened the Rand Show this morning, at an action-filled opening ceremony that showed off the SANDF’s might.
Hawk fighter jets and the Silver Falcons aerobatics team roared across the skies above the Johannesburg Expo Centre showgrounds, while in the arena, the SANDF pulled out all the stops in an impressive display of its capabilities, keeping the opening-day crowds spellbound with simulated terrorist situations, explosions, and Oryx and Agusta A109 helicopters involved in daring air rescues.
The Minister told Rand Show visitors that the SANDF was delighted to be participating in the Rand Show, as its major exhibitor. “Our occupation of over 5 000 m2 of exhibition space bears testimony to the importance we attach to our partnership with the Johannesburg Expo Centre, which organises and hosts this vast consumer show,” said Ms Mapisa Ngakula. “We are proud that the military has been associated with the Rand Show for the past 100 years, and that this relationship continues today.”
2014 marks a special year for South Africa as it celebrates 20 years of democracy and freedom, and 20 years of the existence of the SANDF. “The Rand Show provides a great platform for the SANDF to interface with the public and reinforce its oneness with the people,” said Ms Mapisa Ngakula.
The SANDF has a magnificent offering lined up for Rand Show visitors this year, including capability and air displays in the arena, and static exhibits of everything from fleets of military vehicles and tanks, to missile simulators, signalling equipment, dive tanks, field hospitals, and even a 250-man cooking unit to give the public a taste of army food.
Also launching with a bang today was the Naked Scientist, who returns to the Rand Show with his new and explosive science show entitled “Blow Your Mind”.
Adding to the adrenaline rush brought on by the big guns of the SANDF, was the Pit Bull International Xtreme Motor Show, a stunt show featuring incredible driving and two-wheel ramping by top international stunt drivers. Another top new adrenaline act that kicked off today was the XDL SA Street Jam, a streetbike stunt show that showcases one of the world’s biggest breakout extreme sports.
Opening day visitors were also the first to experience the exhilaration of the ski slopes at the Rand Show’s SNOW Time exhibit, which boasts the longest solid-ice toboggan slide ever built in Africa. After shrieking their way down the 50-metre-long slide, visitors could warm up at the KwaZulu-Natal Beach Extravaganza’s 3 500 m2 beach, complete with sand, beach umbrellas and beach entertainment activities.
The SA Chefs Theatre was in full swing with various culinary demonstrations, while in the Animal Kingdom, visitors were kept entertained with bird and snake shows and sheepdog demonstrations.
Dr Victor opened the Showtime Stage, the first in a line-up of top performers and bands who’ll be appearing over the two show weekends. Visitors will also be able to catch Theuns Jordaan and Dozi, Swing City, Dr Victor, DENIM, Tokyo Groove and Emo Adams.
And that was just some of the action going on at the Rand Show 2014 today. Tomorrow, it starts all over again, as the Rand Show prepares to welcome the next flood of visitors.
THE RAND SHOW 2014
DATES: From Friday 18 April to Monday 28 April, 2014.
SHOW HOURS: Gates open daily at 9 a.m. Ticketing booths into the showgrounds close at 6 p.m., although the show closes at 7 p.m.
VENUE: Johannesburg Expo Centre, Rand Show Road, Nasrec. (GPS – S26°14.810’ E27°68.695’)