River Festival raises money and awareness

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Photo above: Aunt Pearlie Sue (Anita Prather) gives a week-by-week narrative and song in authentic Gullah of what it might have been like to be an African that was captured, put on a slave ship, sold at auction in Charleston and taken to one of several plantations on the Sea Islands during the 18th century.

By Bob Sofaly

It was weekend of music, songs, folklore and exhibits and a lot of great food as the 11th annual Lands End Woodland River Festival took place Saturday and Sunday on St. Helena Island.

Hundreds of people gathered to have fun and help out a worthy cause. Rosyln Browne, event coordinator said they have simply been “following the efforts of our parents and grandparents to raise revenue for maintenance and property taxes” on the 320-acre plot on St. Helena Island along the Beaufort River on which the festival is held.

Brown said the festival serves “as an example of how family members can work together to obtain clear title to their property and use the land to generate revenue.”

From left: Aunt Pearlie Sue (Anita Prather) signs a Gullah song; Rose Holmes refills a cooler with drinks to be sold with fried fish lunches; the Rev. Henry Chisholm, left, makes up shrimp burgers while Lyndon Washington batter fish to fry; Kennedi Watts blows on her french fries to cool them off before eating the delicious side; Turkesra Epps, left, grabs some of the fresh smoked pork ribs as pit master Benjamin Major, Jr. looks on.