Annual Gullah Festival maybe in jeopardy - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Annual Gullah Festival maybe in jeopardy

(Source: WTOC/file) (Source: WTOC/file)
BEAUFORT, SC (WTOC) -

One of the biggest cultural festivals in the Lowcountry may not take place this year after the organization finds themselves in debt following Tropical Storm Bonnie.

During the month of May, this park sees more than 10,000 people for the annual Gullah Festival. It started in 1986 and will be celebrating its 21st year. But weather problems this time around is jeopardizing the future of the event.

The three-day festival highlights the contributions Africans made to the region through arts and crafts, educational workshops and entertainment.

It costs about $100,000 to put the festival on, which includes renting waterfront park and paying the entertainers.  But because Tropical Storm Bonnie washed out the festival this year, the organization was unable to raise the money for the 2017 festival. 

“Friday was great, the weather was great. The park was full and we were on course. And then when Saturday came in that really was a problem. The entertainers performed anyway with thinking that bringing in some money was better than shutting it down. But we didn’t make enough to pay for those entertainers so now we're having to raise funds to pay those entertainers in start over in the black in the fall,” said Sandra Davis, with the Original Gullah Festival.

To help make sure the show goes on, Golden Corral in Beaufort will be donating 10 percent of its profits Tuesday between 5 and 8 p.m. There is also a GoFundMe account where you can donate, please click here.

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