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Celebrate the annual Lands End Woodland River Festival

Photo above: Pablo Lezy Dancers at the 10th annual Lands End Woodland River Festival.

The Land End Woodland, Inc. of St. Helena Island will celebrate the 11th Annual Lands End Woodland River Festival on Labor Day weekend, September 4-5, 2015. The festival is a multicultural community celebration of the Gullah ancestry and history of the people of St. Helena Island, one of the largest Sea Islands at the heart of the Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor.

The River Festival has become an annual favorite for residents and visitors looking to enjoy cultural festivities. On Friday, September 4th join us for Caribbean Night and enjoy savory local crabs, fried fish and reggae music beginning at 5:00 p.m. on the river banks. Be entertained by master storyteller, Aunt Pearlie Sue, author of the hilarious Gullah Folktales. On Saturday, September 5th, the all-day festival will be held from 11:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. featuring center stage performances by Gullah storyteller and singer, Aunt Pearlie Sue & the Gullah Kinfolk, and many more. A live on-air broadcast by the Gullah Peoples Radio (100.7 FM) of Beaufort will invite visitors to share their family stories on “My South Carolina.” Family fun will include cultural exhibits, local arts and crafts, a “taste of Gullah”, and tours of the historic tabby ruins on the former Riverside Plantation, Fort Fremont and the historic Penn Center, Inc.

The Lands End Woodland, Inc. is the oldest African-American landowners association in South Carolina now operated by descendants of formerly enslaved Africans. Members continue to struggle to raise revenue to conserve 320 acres of desirable woodland and waterfront property.

Since 2013, the Lands End Woodland, Inc. has participated in the “Sustainable Forestry African American Land Retention Program”, led by the Center for Heirs Property Preservation and funded by the US Endowment of Forestry and Communities, Inc., USDA/Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and USDA Forest Service. Landowners from six counties received training and technical assistance in sustainable forestry management practices to increase timber sales and forest-owner income, and to avoid selling timber to dishonest companies. Local African American landowners who would like to learn how to make timber harvesting more profitable are invited to attend a free workshop and tour the Lands End Woodland Demonstration Forest on Saturday, September 5 th at 9:00 a.m. For more information, please call (843) 263-5261 or email rbrowne@embarqmail.com.

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