20th Annual Gullah Celebration!


February brings the 20TH ANNUAL GULLAH CELEBRATION to Hilton Head!

Recognized by the Southeast Tourism Society as one of the Top 20 Events in the Southeast, events all through the month offer an excellent opportunity for visitors to delve into Hilton Head Island’s history and a unique aspect of our local culture.

The Gullah are a distinctive group of African Americans whose origins lie along the coasts of South Carolina and Georgia, as well as the adjacent sea islands.  Because of a period of relative isolation in rural areas, the Gullah have been able to preserve more of their African cultural heritage than any other group of African Americans.  Experience the delicious food, uplifting music, and one-of-a-kind arts and crafts of this rich cultural heritage.  Here are some highlights:

OL’ FASHIONED GULLAH BREAKFAST – Sat Feb 6, 8am – noon, Historic Cherry Hill School

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. $12 at the door.

ARTS, CRAFT & FOOD EXPO – Sat Feb 20 & Sun Feb 21, 11am – 5pm, Coastal Discovery Museum

An all-access experience to Gullah culture! The annual Arts, Crafts and Food Expo offers cultural demonstrations, authentic Gullah and African crafts and food for sale, as well as an offering of traditional storytelling and music entertainment. An event to be shared with family and friends or for you to make new friends!

sweetgrass basket making

TASTE OF GULLAH – Sat Feb 13, 11am – 3pm, Arts Center of Coastal Carolina

This one-of-kind event is an afternoon of food and music:  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.

GULLAH MUSIC SERIES – Each Friday night of the month, different location & line-up each show

A wonderful variety of gospel music, traditional and modern favorites, and acclaimed gospel ensembles that offer soul-stirring and hand-clapping performances!  Celebrate and honor the spiritual thread that binds the African ancestors and the Gullah of today.

gullah celebration

These are just a few of the events that take place all through February, so check out the Gullah Celebration Events Guide for more information.