ANNUAL ROYAL ASCOT GOAT RACES CONFIRMED FOR SEPTEMBER 01
What started at the Kampala Rugby Club way back in 1993 as a small fundraising event, providing some family fun watching the goats to be egged on to race around a small circle, with onlookers nevertheless dressed as if indeed they had come to see Royal Ascot for real, the event is now one of Ugandas biggest social weekends.
Long moved to the grounds of the sprawling lake side resort of Munyonyo, the annual goat races now attract huge numbers of visitors, from the region and beyond too, and corporate hospitality tents give those with the magic badge access to the open bars, finger food and at times full meals, while those without the badges can frequent the many stalls where meat is being roasted and drinks served to still hunger and thirst.
From an initial afternoon event the races have evolved into a full day programme, since 1999 held in Munyonyo, and attendance grew from an initial 400 odd Kampaleans to over 10.000 last we looked while charitable collections now stand in the double digit million Uganda Shillings range, benefitting a number of pre-selected organizations in need of financial support.
The Entebbe Sailing Club, the original hosts and owners of the brand, smartly formed a limited liability company in 2004 but upon realizing that unpaid volunteer work to make this huge event happen could no longer be sustained, sold the entire shares to new owners who now have staff from their other hospitality businesses prepare for and manage the event.
(The Super Chipmunk seen here at a ribbon cut trial at the Kajjansi airfield outside Kampala)
One of the main attractions this year is the expected appearance in the skies above Munyonyo of aerial dare-devil Capt. Howard Davenport, of the Kampala Aero Club, who will perform his acrobatics above the crowds, smoke trail included, before aiming the De Havilland Super Chipmunk he plans to use this year for another ribbon cut, expertly performed as often seen before. Sadly, this correspondent will be out of country while reporting from the CAF Assembly in the Seychelles, but that should not prevent anyone from not going there and for those who can only see the event via cyberspace, there will be official and visitor generated YouTube uploads on the day and information available via www.thegoatraces.com. Enjoy #VisitUganda