Historic Columbia Foundation’s Jubilee: Festival of Heritage Celebrates 35 Years on August 24

COLUMBIA, S.C.—Celebrating the rich cultural heritage and entrepreneurial spirit of one African-American family—who lived and worked on the same property for more than 140 years—Historic Columbia Foundation presents the 35th annual Jubilee: Festival of Heritage. This free, family-friendly event will be held on the grounds of the historic Mann-Simons Site, 1403 Richland Street (at Marion) from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday, August 24.

For 35 years, families and friends have come from across the state to celebrate African American heritage at Jubilee.  When the festival started in 1978, it was a small community celebration of African American heritage and history. Over the years, Jubilee has grown into a can’t-miss event that draws attendees from all over the region and state.

“I’m so excited about the Jubilee activities this year,” said Twila Jones, a member of the Jubilee festival committee and volunteer. “I enjoy volunteer opportunities that promote the historical attractions in and around Columbia, and I can’t wait to put my artistry to work as a face painting volunteer!”

More than 3,000 guests attended the festival in 2012, which features a variety of activities including hands-on demonstrations, an array of musical entertainment, and vendors with African-influenced and traditional merchandise. This year, multi-generational crowds will enjoy the following:

Live entertainment from local sensation Terence Young and the Terence Young Experience, Horizon Band, the Benedict College Concert Choir, the Jubilee Choirs, Ibile Afrikan Drummers and Dancers, Rize Cole, Annointed Praise, Pastor Stephen Masolwa, and Gullah storyteller Aunt Pearlie Sue.

Hands-on demonstrations and craft tents from some of the region’s most skilled artists and craftsmen, including textile artist Arianne King-Comer. Other demonstration artists include the mesmerizing storyteller Kitty Wilson-Evans, as well as printmaking demos with Pat Kabore, Gullah quilting with Dorothy Montgomery, broom-making with Peter Werner, sweetgrass basket weaving with Mary Graham-Grant, and horsemanship with the Black Cowboys.

Free and Discounted Tours!

Tour the Mann-Simons Site ($1 admission), take the celebrated bus tour, “Home places, work places, resting places: African-American Heritage Sites Tour” ($2), and tour the Modjeska Monteith Simkins House (free).  This free tour will offer a behind-the-scenes look at the one-story Columbia cottage, once home to Modjeska Monteith Simkins, considered “the matriarch of Civil Rights activists of South Carolina,” including an exhibit of civil rights photography with Columbia SC 63.

Enjoy the Mann-Simons Outdoor Museum with five ghost structures and new interactive interpretive signage

The Mann-Simons Site once housed a legendary lunch counter, grocery store and rental residences in addition to the cottage currently at the site. The Mann-Simons Outdoor Museum, featuring “Ghost Structures” or metal frames of buildings that once stood on the site and interactive interpretive signage, installed in March 2013.

Street Fair

An assortment of exhibitors, vendors and purveyors of tasty food and drink will be on hand, and Marion Street between Richland and Calhoun will be blocked off for this vibrant fair! HCF is accepting applications for vendors until August 9 (applications can be found at historiccolumbia.org).

Open Mic

New this year, Jubilee will feature an open mic stage! Festival attendees can take the stage and show off their talents.

Jubilee: Festival of Heritage is sponsored by Publix Super Markets Charities; The LINKS, Inc.; Johnson, Toal & Battiste; AT&T; AARP of South Carolina; Friends of Jim Clyburn; McDonald’s; State Farm – The Isaac Agency; The Big DM and Hot 103.9; SC Black News; Palmetto Party Rental; BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina; City of Columbia; Richland County; and the Cultural Council of Richland and Lexington.

Historic Columbia Foundation will hold the 35th annual Jubilee: Festival of Heritage from 11 am to 5 pm on Saturday, August 24 at the Mann-Simons Site. For more information on the 2013 Jubilee: Festival of Heritage, please visit historiccolumbia.org or call 803.252.1770, ext. 26.