Celebrate Lands End Woodland River Festival

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The Lands End Woodland, Inc. of St. Helena Island will celebrate the 9th Annual Lands End Woodland River Festival on Labor Day weekend, August 29-30. The festival is a multi-cultural community celebration of the Gullah ancestry and culture of the people of St. Helena Island through music, storytelling, historical presentations, local art, crafts, and a “taste of Gullah” specialty dishes.

2014 S.C. Folk Heritage Award-winner Gullah storyteller Anita “Aunt Pearlie Sue” Prather.
2014 S.C. Folk Heritage Award-winner Gullah storyteller Anita “Aunt Pearlie Sue” Prather.

The River Festival has become a favorite event for families looking to soak up cultural festivities during the last days of summer. Locals and visitors from the Lowcountry and across the region will converge on the historic site of the former Riverside Plantation overlooking the intracoastal waterways of Lands End Beach for this two-day celebration. On Friday evening, the festival will kick off with a good old fashioned fish fry and music on the beach from 5-11 p.m.

On Saturday, August 30, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., center stage will open with a special performance of children’s folktales in Gullah by S.C. Folk Heritage winner “Aunt Pearlie Sue”, Latin folk dancers, the Community Bible Church youth puppet show, gospel choirs, African drummers and dancers, and more. Visitors can sample delicious Lowcountry seafood, Gullah specialties and homemade ice cream at food trucks; then spend the day fishing, and taking tours of historic tabby ruins, nearby Fort Fremont Park and the Penn Center museum. There will also be information on voter registration, the Gullah Farmers Cooperative Association and the Center for Heirs Property Preservation.

The Lands End Woodland, Inc. is proud to announce an historic partnership with the Center for Heirs’ Property’s Sustainable Forestry Program (SFP), funded by a grant from the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, the USDA, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the USDA Forest Service. The center will provide training and resources for 130 African American landowners on valuing and capitalizing on their land assets. This initiative includes large and small landowners in Beaufort, Jasper, Hampton, Colleton, Charleston, and Dorchester counties who own 10 or more acres of forested land.

The SFP is a significant deterrent in stemming the rampant loss of black land in the South, as well as a mechanism to help African Americans accrue wealth through the business of forestry management and investment. Sam Cooke, Director of the Sustainable Forestry Program, will be a presenter at the festival on Saturday, August 30. For more information on the program, go to www.heirsproperty.org

River Festival admission is $3 for adults; children (16 and under) free; free parking. The Woodland beachfront property is located at 100 Lands End Road, six miles south of Penn Center off Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive on St. Helena Island.

For more information, please call 843-263-5261 or email rbrowne@embarqmail.com or visit the website www.landsendwoodland.org.