Published on July 25th, 2014 | by Millennium Magazine Staff0
Historic Columbia’s Jubilee: Festival of Heritage Celebrates 36 Years
COLUMBIA, S.C.— Celebrating the rich cultural heritage and entrepreneurial spirit of one African American family—who lived and worked on the same property in downtown Columbia, S.C. for more than 140 years—Historic Columbia presents the 36th annual Jubilee: Festival of Heritage. This free, family-friendly event will be held at the Mann-Simons Site at 1403 Richland Street from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, August 23.
For 36 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 state and region.
This year’s Jubilee celebrates the legacies of the Mann-Simons family as well as Modjeska Monteith Simkins. The expanded, two-block festival will span the 1900 and 2000 blocks of Marion Street, stretching from the Mann-Simons Site at the corner of Richland and Marion streets to the Modjeska Simkins House at the corner of Marion and Elmwood streets. Both sites serve as tangible links between early 19th-century African American life and the civil rights and social justice movements that arose from these roots.
More than 3,000 guests attended the festival in 2013 to celebrate the remarkable life of Celia Mann and her descendants with 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:
Demonstrations and Crafts!
Hands-on demonstrations and craft tents from some of the region’s most skilled artists and craftsmen, including:
- The Black Cowboys
- Arianne King-Comer, batik artist
- Pat Kabore, printmaker
- Kitty Wilson-Evans, storyteller
- Mary Graham-Grant, sweetgrass basket weaver
- 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment
Tours and Exhibits!
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 view the new exhibit at Modjeska Monteith Simkins House ($1), exploring the life of Modjeska Monteith Simkins, considered “the matriarch of Civil Rights activists of South Carolina.” The new exhibit and accompanying outdoor interpretive signage broadens audiences’ understanding of the past, present and future through disciplines of history, archeology, African American and southern studies.
An assortment of exhibitors, vendors and purveyors of tasty food and drink will be on hand, and Marion Street between Richland and Elmwood will be blocked off for this vibrant fair! Historic Columbia is accepting applications for vendors until August 8 (applications can be found at historiccolumbia.org).
Friends of Jubilee
Are you interested in supporting this free community festival? Become a Friend of Jubilee! With your donation to Jubilee, you will receive recognition at the festival, free tour passes and more. Visit historiccolumbia.org to learn more and make a donation.
Jubilee: Festival of Heritage is sponsored by Publix Super Markets Charities; Millennium Magazine; The LINKS, Inc.; Johnson, Toal & Battiste; AT&T; McDonald’s; AARP of South Carolina; The Office of Jim Clyburn; Elam Financial Group; Palmer Memorial Chapel; South State Bank; Vista Smiles; Party Reflections; Ahern Rentals; City of Columbia; Richland County; and the Cultural Council of Richland and Lexington.
For more information on the 36th annual Jubilee: Festival of Heritage, please visit historiccolumbia.org or call 803.252.1770 ext. 23.
About Historic Columbia:
In November 1961, a small group of individuals intent on saving the Ainsley Hall House from demolition officially incorporated as the Historic Columbia Foundation. Over the next five decades the organization, which was founded on the premise of preservation and education, would take on the stewardship of seven historic properties in Richland County. Today, the organization serves as a model for local preservation efforts and interpretation of local history. Visit historiccolumbia.org or find us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram orYouTube for more details.