You don’t want to miss Original Gullah Festival in Beaufort. Here’s what you can expect
Organizers of the Original Gullah Festival urge everyone to come join in this unique cultural experience in Beaufort this weekend. This event is expected to attract more than 35,000 attendees to the three-day celebration.
The event runs Friday through Sunday at Waterfront Park and other locations, featuring African drumming and dancing, live music, teen pageant, family activities, face painting, bounce houses, storytelling, educational forums, native American heritage displays, vendors, arts and crafts and food. There are also quilt making, Gullah Shekere musical instrument and percussion (drum making) workshops throughout the weekend.
Organizers describe the three-day event as a family-friendly cultural experience for local, national and international attendees, with some 35,000 people expected to attend over the three days of the festival.
The Original Gullah Festival was established to honor and recreate the atmosphere of a celebration called Decoration Day, which is now called Memorial Day.
Decoration Day was first celebrated by African Americans in 1865, after the end of the Civil War. This celebration honored the newly liberated enslaved people and those Blacks who served and perished in the Civil War.
Each year during the festival weekend, there is a Decoration Day play to commemorate the historic event.
Aunt Pearlie Sue (Anita Prather) will present her Decoration Day play at USCB Center for the Arts at 3 p.m. Saturday.
The Hour of Power Worship Service is at 9 a.m. Sunday on the waterfront.
“This worship experience on the waterfront is one that you do not want to miss,” organizers say.
Check www.originalgullahfestival.org/gullahfestival2023 for a full schedule of events.
Hours are noon to 8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.
According to the organizer’s website:
“Prohibited items: No drugs or alcoholic beverages are permitted at this event. You cannot bring any type of weapon or fireworks. (Neither) pets nor tents are allowed at this event as well.
What can you bring? Chairs, blankets and umbrellas are allowed. You may also bring coolers. Please understand that they will be searched for alcoholic beverages before entry. Bring your friends, sunscreen and good vibes.”
You will be able to purchase tickets on site. Tickets for Gullah Tours and the Decoration Day play will also be available at the front gate.