When devastating floods hit parts of South Africa earlier this year, the spark that keeps so many communities (like that of Stanford) going, had almost been washed out. It was a time to band together like never before. Now, their Christmas market stands as a testament to the spark that couldn’t be put out:
Stanford, South Africa (28 November 2023) — While South Africans anticipated a weather change as we transitioned into spring, many communities were met with a far fiercer force of nature.
Floods in several parts of the country devastated communities as cars became sinking ships and homes became water-locked.
One of the worst-impacted villages was that of Stanford in the Western Cape, which, at the time required floating stretchers and many hands on deck from helpers like the NSRI just to get to safety.
From roads to homes, the community’s very livelihood was caught in the eye of the storm. The recovery from an event like that takes a village.
Their spark might have been dulled, but it certainly wasn’t out. People clung onto each other during the floods and long after the aftermath. Residents in nearby towns like Hermanus have shared their admiration for the people of Stanford, and very quickly, the news of their Christmas Market became not just another event, but a symbol of a spark that couldn’t be put out.
The first Starry Night and Stanford Sunset Market happened on 24 November. If overcoming adversity was a picture, it was all those dazzling lights and the smiles of people who knew this was not about music or good food or even a good Friday night out, but about a community that had overcome.
The second market on 15 December will no doubt share the same spectacle that not even loadshedding can dull.
As we gear up for more festive marvels and appreciate everyone who has gone the extra mile to make the season magic, we’re reminded that every bright light and message of encouragement holds a promise of togetherness, of overcoming and of celebrating the sparks that didn’t go out.