By Patrice Smith
The 25th annual Sea Island Cultural Arts Festival, held Saturday October 14th, offered a fun filled day under the oak trees on Johns Island.
The festival showcased many Johns Island artists, including the soulful voice of Mr. Blues, the Moving Star Hall Gospel singers and Soulfully Creative Kids, Haut Gap students lip-syncing Motown hits. There was all kinds of Lowcountry cuisine from okra soup served by Doris Sease whose delicious food is known throughout Johns Island to Beebe’s Homemade Ice Cream that included an adult variety. The Andende African Drummers and Dancers taught traditional dance moves and Carolyn White, a Gullah storyteller, spoke in native tongue.
Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka was a sponsor of this year’s festival. The elixir, made from black tea grown on Johns Island, was a huge hit with the drinking crowd.
Clowns and face painting entertained the children and a plethora of vendors sold jewelry, canned goods and African inspired attire.
The Sea Island Cultural Arts Festival was founded 25 years ago by the Sea Island Revitalization Committee, which was made up of representatives from James, Johns Wadmalaw, Edisto and Yonges islands.
“Through this festival we are trying to acquaint people with the importance of the sea island culture which is being forgotten because of all the growth on the islands. We want those who live the culture and history to celebrate it and newcomers to learn to appreciate it.” says Tumiko Rucker, the CEO of Sea Island Comprehensive Health Care Corporation which has partnered with the revitalization committee to create more emphasis of the cultural arts festival.