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2008-06-17: Snow falls on Mary Fitzgerald Square for one day

THE City of Johannesburg is expecting snowfall this winter and the Weather Bureau is not even aware of it! Joburg residents can look forward to a day of fun in the snow on Sunday 22nd June when Nando's, in partnership with the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA), opens the gates to the first Snow in the City family day event at the Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown.

An absolute first in the Johannesburg CBD, Snow in the City will be one day of ice-skating, snow-ball fights, slope skiing and all the other winter wonders South Africans only see on TV. It is also a challenge to families living in Gauteng suburbs to come into this internationally renowned city and to enjoy it. Additionally, a skatepark will be erected on the entire iconic Nelson Mandela Bridge to host a variety of skateboarding activities for seasoned and aspiring skateboarders. Members of the public are encouraged to dust of their skateboards and flock to this unique lifetime experience.

"Some Joburgers might have the impression that the Inner City no longer has anything to offer. We want to bring people back to the city and show them all the amazing work that has been done to rejuvenate it. Not only is it fast becoming a bustling world-class city, but the Joburg Inner City is looking better than ever!" says JDA CEO, Lael Bethlehem.

The concept is part of a campaign by the JDA to highlight inner-city regeneration. Nando's' involvement, as a favourite South African food brand that operates six restaurants within the city, was only natural.

"When the opportunity to stage an event in the Newtown precinct arose, we seized the opportunity," explains Nando's SA Managing Director, Kevin Utian. "But being who we are, it could not be any ordinary event. Nando's has a reputation for doing things differently and going against the grain and we wanted to do something that had never been done before. The idea of an ice rink, snow and a ski slope on Mary Fitzgerald Square in the middle of winter seemed like the most unconventional one and thus Snow in the City!"

In addition to the novel idea of winter being brought to our doorstep, the event will also support a great cause. Operation Snowball is an annual charity drive aimed at helping the most destitute members of our community by providing them with basic clothing items to get through the cold winter months. A ticket to the Snow in the City theme park will automatically entitle guests to a blanket which they can use while in the park. Upon departure, they can choose to donate their blanket to Operation Snowball who will distribute to the needy accordingly.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Gautengers to experience Joburg City, and winter, like never before. To skate on the iconic Nelson Mandela Bridge. And if we are going to have to endure the winter chill, then we may as well do it Peri-Peri style with Nando's famous flame-grilled chicken to warm the soul!

Tickets are retailing at R15 per person and can be purchased from Computicket box offices or at the gate on the day. Ample parking will be clearly demarcated through visible signage on the day.