The 17th annual Hilton Head Island Gullah Celebration returns to the coastal island featuring more than a dozen events including musical performances, art exhibitions, food tastings, educational events, youth performances, and more. This year’s events are scheduled weekly throughout the month of February and will feature performances by cultural expert Natalie Daise, artwork featuring Patricia Sabree and the deliciously popular cooking competition De Gullah Men Wha Cook.
“Gullah cultural traditions are a way of life for most native islanders on Hilton Head”, says Charles Young, Executive Director of the Gullah Celebration. “The annual celebration is a showcase for locals and visitors to experience the uniqueness of Gullah crafts, music and food.”
The Hilton Head Island Gullah Celebration (gullahcelebration.com) was established in 1996 to serve as a unique cultural showcase for the Gullah people, their language, food, cultural customs, and crafts. Gullah culture is one of the oldest living and most distinct cultures in the United States, dating back over 300 years and rooted in the culture of West African slaves brought to the coastal islands of the South.
“The Gullah Celebration is a distinctive opportunity for the business community of Hilton Head.” says Everett Miles, Chairman of the Native Island Business and Community Affairs Association Board, the host of the Gullah Celebration. “The Gullah Celebration creates an economic development opportunity, especially for minority business owners, while developing the cultural tourism market here on the Island during the slowest revenue generating month of the year.”
Held primarily throughout the month of February the annual celebration’s dynamic events are scheduled over the four weekends of the month. The largest event is the two-day Arts, Crafts & Food Expo, which is held during President’s Day weekend and features more than 40 food and craft vendors, staged musical performances, cultural demonstrations, and activities for children.