This year’s Texas Potjie Festival in Houston in the USA was once again a huge success with approximately 600 people attending the event.

This annual South African festival was started 19 years ago when Fred and Yvonne Reinhardt invited over a few friends for Thanksgiving. A need developed among South Africans to get together annually and now the festival is so big that people socialise for an entire weekend. It takes place every year during the last weekend of August.

The festival was this year held at Lake Conroe in Houston and arranged by Gerhard and Charlotte Retief, Elna Reinach, Jaco Steynberg and Jaco van Zyl. They do it voluntarily and are of the opinion that it is important to have such a festival where South Africans can socialise with their friends and family members while at the same time celebrating their heritage.

Worldwide, an initiative of AfriForum, sponsored the festival and invited the artist Adam Tas along to provide entertainment.

The biggest attraction of the festival is without a doubt the Afrikaner culture. Afrikaans flourished at the festival and even the American spouses of South Africans spoke Afrikaans. There is also markedly many children that were born abroad but proudly speak Afrikaans.

Worldwide is proud to be part of the festival seeing as it is one way of keeping Afrikaans alive. At the same time South Africans living abroad formally get the opportunity to celebrate their Afrikaner character and shared heritage. These foreigners are considered ambassadors that provide a valuable contribution.

The festivities continued over at the Kalahari Kraal camp where Jaco Steynberg, Jaco (Syla) van Zyl, Jaco du Plessis and Pieter Cilliers were in control of matters. This initiative was started to create an opportunity where Afrikaners in Texas can get to know each other better in a family friendly environment. “South Africans usually set foot on land here without any support network,” says Cilliers.

Real boer delicacies such as biltong, droëwors, boerewors and koeksisters, to name only a few, were dished up during the boer bazaar that was held over the weekend. Even boeresport with a treasure hunt in which the children could participate was arranged, while the “sokkie” that was held the Saturday evening was one of the highlights of the festival. Young and old shuffled on the dance floor until midnight to the beat of boeremusiek and other Afrikaans music hits.

A church service was held the Sunday morning by the Afrikaanse Kerk Texas. Apart from real South African hospitality, the appearance by Adam Tas on the Sunday evening was a highlight. He thoroughly captivated the audience and the last song didn’t stay the last song. Ichnus Wait, Manager of the Buffelsfontein brand, concluded the incredible concert and charmed the audience with his version of traditional Afrikaans songs.

Worldwide is looking forward to once again being part of the Texas Potjie Festival next year!

This post is also available in: Afrikaans

Sue-Ann de Wet
Sue-Ann de Wet
Sue-Ann de Wet is die bestuurder van Suid-Afrikaanse Diaspora, Wêreldwyd en Vriende van AfriForum by AfriForum.

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