The Knysna Oyster Festival kicked off in this scenic coastal town on Friday, with the aim of attracting more tourists from home and abroad.
Thousands of tourists flocked to the small city despite a warning that a cold front was coming. Local officials said the number could swelled as the festival went on.
Knysna, about 600 kilometers east of Cape Town, is known for its scenic views.
Luis Scott, a 35-year-old tourist from Australia, said he came especially for the event. "I'm an oyster lover. I can eat to my heart's content."
The festival is one of the most popular annual events in the Western Cape. It is also something of a celebration of the good life and sport and has taken place every year since 1983, where it began as the Knysna Winter Festival - a combination of sport that drew people to Knysna during the quiet winter season.
The event generated 70 million rand (about 6.6 million US dollars) for the local economy last year and brought in 60,000 visitors to the Garden Route.
The festival will last until July 13.