On Saturday, December 3, Historic City News subscribers are invited to participate when St Johns County celebrates 450 years of West African influence in the community with the 9th Annual SEA Community Gullah Geechee Heritage Festival, which will take place from noon until 5:00 p.m. at Armstrong Park, 4950 Harvey Avenue in Elkton.
The event will feature performances by the Geechee Gullah Ring Shouters, Nan Nkama Pan-African Drum & Dance Ensemble, and a cooking demonstration by chef.author Matthew Raiford, among other culturally enriching displays and demonstrations,
“The Ring Shout is one of the oldest surviving African American performing traditions in North America,” a Cultural Council spokesperson reported. “It combines counter-clockwise dance, singing, clapping, and drum-like rhythm on a wooden floor. Its influence resonates in music genres including jubilee, gospel, Jazz, and hip-hop.
Admission is free, with proceeds from food and beverage purchases going to the Spuds, Elkton, and Armstrong (SEA) Community Help Resource Center.
“The Geechee Gullah Ring Shouters embrace, preserve, and protect the Gullah Geechee legacy through authentic song and dance as one of the world’s top performing artists of the Gullah Geechee culture.”
Additionally, Andrea Cayetano-Jefferson of Gullah Sweetgrass Baskets will present traditional coiled basket weaving at the Heritage Festival as well as at a workshop the day prior at The Waterworks, 184 San Marco Avenue in St. Augustine, on Friday, December 2nd.