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TO RECOGNIZE AND HONOR THE SIGNIFICANT IMPACT OF THE ORIGINAL GULLAH FESTIVAL OF SOUTH CAROLINA AND TO EXPRESS APPRECIATION FOR ITS MEANINGFUL INFLUENCE IN PRESERVING THE HISTORIC GULLAH CULTURE AND FOR ITS ECONOMIC CONTRIBUTION TO THE STATE'S VITAL TOURISM INDUSTRY.
Whereas, the members of the South Carolina House of Representatives are pleased to learn that the 2022 Original Gullah Festival of South Carolina will be held from May 27 through May 29 at the Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park, located on Bay Street in the heart of Beaufort; and
Whereas, for thirty-three years, the goal of the Original Gullah Festival of South Carolina has been to reclaim the lilting beauty of the Gullah dialect and the intriguing mystery of the disappearing Gullah culture for future generations, a rich culture with a mixture of West African legacy, as well as Native American and African American heritage; and
Whereas, the festival also fosters arts in education by providing scholarships to worthy students, and the organizers seek to engender a deeper awareness of, and appreciation for, the Gullah culture; and
Whereas, first held in 1986 by natives of Beaufort, the festival is a three-day celebration of the historically significant Sea Island heritage and focuses on education and cultural preservation of the African American Gullah heritage of the Lowcountry; and
Whereas, highlights include a plethora of consumer, educational, and historical workshops; a fine arts exhibit; demonstrations; and a wide range of music and food, something to please everyone; and
Whereas, a nonalcoholic festival taking place every Memorial Day weekend, the Original Gullah Festival has remained family oriented and provides an excellent venue for a variety of reunion activities and friendly gatherings, which reflect an evocative component of Gullah culture; and
Whereas, from its humble beginnings of about thirty-five attendees, tourists numbering in the tens of thousands now attend the festival annually from forty-two states and from such foreign countries as Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Canada, Australia, England, Germany, and Guadeloupe; and
Whereas, the South Carolina House of Representatives is grateful for the profound influence the Original Gullah Festival of South Carolina has had on retaining the benefits of Gullah culture for posterity and for the dedicated work of its enthusiastic organizers in producing a quality event for visitors from around the world to the Lowcountry. Now, therefore,
Be it resolved by the House of Representatives:
That the members of the South Carolina House of Representatives, by this resolution, recognize and honor the significant impact of the Original Gullah Festival of South Carolina and express appreciation for its meaningful influence in preserving the historic Gullah culture and for its economic contribution to the state's vital tourism industry.
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