Gullah Celebration

Gullah celebration logoJanuary 31, 2020 to February 28, 2020

Today, the descendants of West Africans that were brought to the coastal islands of South Carolina and Georgia in bondage are striving to preserve a way of life. Gullah is more than simply the language and name of a people. It encompasses the essence of struggle, spirituality, perseverance and tradition. The Native Island Gullah People adhere to the custom of their ancestors through the sewing of sweet grass baskets, the weaving of casting nets and preparation of traditional Gullah food.

NIBCAA has hosted the Hilton Head Island Gullah Celebration, since 1996, which showcases the rich cultural heritage of the Gullah people and their history on Hilton Head Island. This year’s Celebration events include the “Arts Ob We People Annual Art Exhibition and Sale”, “Taste of Gullah”, Arts, Crafts and Food Expo, Gullah Gospel Music Series, the Sweetheart Ball with Deas Guyz and more! We invite you to come and celebrate Gullah where your soul will be transformed by the spirit of the Gullah Culture.

24th Gullah Celebration full calendar of events

A group of women dancing in traditional Gullah clothing

2020 Hilton Head Island Gullah Celebration – Opening Party

January 30, 2020

The Opening Party is the first opportunity for patrons and friends to see the display of original work by emerging and leading artists at the Arts Ob We People: Winter Exhibition and Sale.
 

Learn More

gullah

Arts OB We People: Winter Exhibition and Sale

January 31, 2020

February 28, 2020

The Arts Ob We People: Winter Exhibition and Sale is a display of original work by emerging and leading artists that represents the life of Gullah people on Hilton Head Island and the surrounding community. Artists will be onsite at various times throughout the exhibit, check for exact schedules at gullahcelebration.com. Private group tours are available by request.

Learn more

gullah

Gullah Heritage Music Series - Opening Night

January 31, 2020

Celebrate and honor the spiritual thread that binds the African ancestors and the Gullah of today. This kickoff to the Gullah Celebration’s annual music series features the Gospel Choirs of Mt. Calvary Mass Choir, Queen Chapel AME Church Gospel Choir and First African Gospel Choir.

Learn More

gullah

Ol' Fashioned Gullah Breakfast 

February 01, 2020

Home cooking that shows some, and reminds others of, a traditional Gullah breakfast: featuring your choice of stewed oysters, shrimp in a savory lowcountry gravy, fried fresh catch fish paired with hot butter grits and fresh biscuits. Meals are prepared by people of the local Gullah community coordinated by Ooman Chef Louise Cohen. All proceeds will benefit the Hilton Head Island Gullah Museum.

Learn More

gullah

Freedom Day

February 01, 2020

National Freedom Day was established in 1948 by President Harry Truman in remembrance of February 1, 1865 - the day President Lincoln signed the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which outlawed slavery. This year we will take a journey through historic Mitchelville. On this tour you will learn more about what the people of Mitchelville were busy creating in 1862 before the Emancipation Proclamation was signed and how those citizens would create guidepost for generations to follow.

Cost Free Will Offering

Learn More

gullah

Family and Friends Day

February 04, 2020

Join historic First African Baptist Church for Family Night Program. The program will focus on the Traditional and Contemporary Gullah songs followed by a reception with samples of authentic Gullah food.

Learn More

gullah

Gullah Heritage Music Series Featuring Male Quartets

February 07, 2020

Celebrate and honor the spiritual thread that binds the African ancestors and the Gullah of today. This installment to the Gullah Celebration’s annual music series features the Male Choruses from Campbell AME Church, First African Baptist Church, Mt. Calvary Baptist Church and St. James Baptist Church.

Cost Free Will Offering

Learn More

gullah

Taste of Gullah

February 8, 2020

This one-of-kind event is afternoon filled with authentic Gullah dishes such as Okra Gumbo, Conch Stew, fried shrimp dusted in traditional Gullah seasonings and classic barbecue favorites like char-grilled chicken and ribs. While you eat you can enjoy the entertainment of several local artists including traditional dancers, musicians and storytellers.

Learn More

gullah

Hilton Head Island Back In The Day: Through Eyes of Gullah Elders

February 8, 2020

A feature-length documentary featuring Gullah elders, the descendants of freedmen, based on the historic Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. They share their personal stories about their communities, farming, fishing, upbringing, church, education, Northern Migration, food ways, language and the development that came with the construction of the bridge in 1956 and how it greatly impacted their lives.

Learn More

gullah

Paint and Sip

February 13, 2020

Join us for a two-hour session and create memories that will last a lifetime. Exhibiting artists in the annual Arts Ob We People Exhibit and Sale will guide you with stroke-by-stroke instructions to ensure you paint your own unique masterpiece.

Learn More

gullah

Gullah Heritage Music Series Featuring Gospel Classic

February 14, 2020

Celebrate and honor the spiritual thread that binds the African ancestors and the Gullah of today. This installment to the Gullah Celebration’s annual music series features the Central Oak Grove Choir and First Zion Gospel Choir.

Cost: Free Will Offering

Learn More

gullah

Gullah Institute Presents

February 15, 2020

Come hear from historians, authors and artists including a fireside chat. Plus, a special presentation of culture and community awards for outstanding leaders and supporters!

Cost: FREE

Learn More

gullah

The Gullah Market & Block Party: An Arts, Crafts and Food Expo

February 15, 2020

An all access experience to Gullah culture! The annual two-day Gullah Market offers cultural demonstrations, authentic Gullah and African crafts and food for sale, as well as an offering of traditional storytelling, music entertainment and the Celebration of African American Authors. An event to be shared with family and friends or for you to make new friends! Featured performances by the Gullah Geechee Ring Shouters, Wona Womalan West African Drum and Dance Ensemble, Gullah Ooman Louise Cohen, Gullah Rappers, and more! A celebration of local African-American authors will be held under the Mary Ann Peeples Pavilion during day two of The Gullah Market. Events will proceed rain or shine.

FREE for Youth (4-under)

Learn More

gullah

Gullah Heritage Music Series Featuring The Voices of El Shaddai

February 21, 2020

Celebrate and honor the spiritual thread that binds the African ancestors and the Gullah of today. This installment to the Gullah Celebration’s annual music series features the renowned Voice of El Shaddai.

Cost Free Will Offering

Learn More

gullah

Paint and Sip

February 27, 2020

Join us for a two-hour session and create memories that will last a lifetime. Exhibiting artists in the annual Arts Ob We People Exhibit and Sale will guide you with stroke-by-stroke instructions to ensure you paint your own unique masterpiece.

Learn More

gullah

Gullah Heritage Music Series - Closing Night

February 28, 2020

Celebrate and honor the spiritual thread that binds the African ancestors and the Gullah of today. This installation in the Gullah Celebration’s annual music series features St. James Baptist Church Choir and Time 4 Two.

Cost: Free Will Offering

Learn More

Find Your Island Time

Hilton Head is America’s favorite island, offering 12 miles of pristine beaches and everything you need for the ultimate retreat. Enjoy easy days relaxing in the sun, sand and surf on some of the best beaches in the country.
Inspiration Starts Here
Destination Vacation Planners

Start Planning

Request a free copy of the Hilton Head Island Vacation Planner and learn about all the attractions, activities, unique history and places to stay on Hilton Head Island. 

Hilton Head Island Compass App Logo

Download Our App

Plan and Navigate your getaway on Hilton Head Island with our Island Compass app. Search for activities, restaurants, and attractions, get travel deals, view trip ideas, and create your own personalized itinerary.