Light Up uMngeni

The Midlands MagazineJanuary 6, 2023

Welcoming the festive season with open arms, spreading joy, fun, food, and creative collaboration that gives back to the community.

Light Up uMngeni is an event that strives to bring the uMngeni community together to celebrate each other and artisanship culture during the festive season. uMngeni Tourism is inspired to create an event that not only showcases the town’s festive spirit but also showcases local talent through cuisine, arts, activities, music and attracts foot traffic to the area. In 202, uMngeni Tourism managed to erect close to 20 kilometres of festive lights of all shapes, colours, and sizes, on 21 trees surrounding the Howick Falls area. This year we expect to triple the number of trees decorated and lights erected.


A New Location

Light Up uMngeni Festive Fair will be hosted at The Nelson Mandela Capture Site on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 December 2022. In 2021 the event was hosted at The Howick Falls site, but this year for various reasons the event location has changed. The main reason is that the exciting upgrades of Howick falls are planned to commence in late 2022 making the site unavailable for this year’s event. The other is the cultural significance of the 60th anniversary of the capture of Nelson Mandela at the Capture Site and bringing attention to this important part of our local history.

Weekend Line-Up

The Capture Site property will be transformed into a festive family location over the weekend. With Saturday’s focus on local food and drink vendors opening their doors from 5 pm until 9 pm, moving into the evening with a lineup of live music and cultural acts as well as an activity park for kids. “There is something very exciting lined up for the Light Up uMngeni (LUU) 2022 event, we have requested the presence of our Honourable Mayor, Chris Pappas. He will be there in true community spirit to attend the  ‘Mayors Walk’ with other invited Municipal workers. They will take a walk with the community to visit each sponsored tree and pay tribute to the local heroes. The second day of the event will cover artisan crafts, confectionaries, music, curated food, drinks, and activities for kids.


A Season of Giving

As the festive season is all about giving, uMngeni Tourism is working with Creative Collection and Von Lea Advertising to create a campaign linked to the event. The Bring Your Own Box Drive (BYOB) is an outreach campaign to bring schools and communities together. Where Local Heroes will step up and put together giving boxes for surrounding disadvantaged schools.

The Drive aims to connect the community through a Bring Your Own Box inter-school and business competition. We call on surrounding schools and businesses to assist with this Drive, and uMngeni Tourism has excitedly agreed to gift prize tickets to school classes that collect the most boxes to give back. These boxes will be gifted by uMngeni Tourism and the Honourable Mayor, pre-event during ‘Giving Week’. To get involved contact Victoria on 079 890 6386,, Cele Tabb on 063 538 8367, or


A Call to Local Foodies and Creatives

The event is aimed at bringing people together within and outside our community, to highlight the amazing skills and talents of our local artists. It will be a beautiful showcase of South African Creatives, Makers, Designers, Producers, Bakers, Artists, and Foodies. There will be more lights, food, stalls, and loads to see for everyone attending.

For those of you that are creative, whatever your art may be, from chili-sauce makers, Christmas Bakers, and toy creators, we need you. Whatever your talents and gifts may be, we would love to showcase artisanal culture at the inaugural festive fair. To register as a vendor email


Shed Light on Your Business – Sponsor a Tree

The whole community will be working together to ensure we host the biggest and best Light Up uMngeni (LUU) Festival ever. Appeals are being made to local businesses to back the project with sponsorship. uMngeni Tourism is looking for local businesses to sponsor a tree for the Light Up uMngeni Festival. The cost of a tree varies from R2000 to R7000 depending on the size and location.

Businesses are encouraged to jump on board and sponsor a tree in community comradeship. All those that sponsor a tree will be able to erect signage at the festival, will have their logo featured in an event video and will be featured on the uMngeni Municipality’s ‘Giving Tree’ as well as on the uMngeni Tourism and event social pages.

“Our marketing team will cover interviews on businesses that get involved with sponsorship, in order to highlight some of their incredible services and business offerings. We encourage businesses to jump on this opportunity and register as a sponsor for this year’s community festival.

All proceeds raised will be allocated towards establishing our various tourism nodes throughout the uMngeni region. Investment into our tourism nodes will be vital to the growth and investment needed in our local tourism sector.


Secure Your Spot, Purchase Your Pre-Sold Tickets

Tickets will be available before the event on the uMngeni Tourism website, and on our social media pages, and will also be on sale at the door on the day of the event. More details will be provided on our social media pages so be sure to follow the event build-up, exciting giveaways, and other information shared on this page so don’t miss out.

If you would like to assist in any way, from sponsorship to registering as a vendor, contact uMngeni Tourism Board Chairperson, JP Prinsloo, at or email  or visit our website and social media pages.


Photos: Roaming Media