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The 18th annual Sweetgrass Festival in Charleston, SC

Photo by ZACHARY STAINES on Unsplash

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The 18th annual Sweetgrass Festival is back tomorrow, July 23. Beginning in 2005, the Mount Pleasant festival has been a celebration of the Gullah Geechee people’s history, culture, and traditions (especially sweetgrass basket arts).

Here’s what to expect at this year’s event — be sure to keep an eye on the Facebook page for updates.

About sweetgrass basket weaving

Sweetgrass basket weaving is integral to the culture of Mount Pleasant, which is known as the home of the Original Sweetgrass Basket Makers.

What began as a tool for rice production, the sweetgrass basket has transformed into a decorative art and honors a tradition of artistry dating back to the 1700s. DYK a portion of Highway 17 has been coined the Sweetgrass Basket Makers Highway?

The Sweetgrass Festival provides an opportunity for local artists to showcase + sell their sweetgrass goods.

The details

This year’s festival is on Sat., July 23 and runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Memorial Waterfront Park (99 Harry Hallman Jr. Blvd., Mount Pleasant). Admission to the festival is free.

The stage schedule features performances from local musical group The Plantation Singers and the Wona Womalan West African Drum & Dance Ensemble, plus various programs including demonstrations, discussions, and storytelling held at the Cooper River Room. In short: There’s something for everyone at the event.

Be sure to swing by the Sweetgrass Basket & Craft Show to explore unique, handmade Lowcountry creations including basketry, arts, crafts, and jewelry.

A Taste of Sweetgrass Culture Dinner Experience

Can’t wait for the festival? This evening, celebrate Gullah culture with food and drinks with the African American Settlement Community. In attendance will be guest speaker Reggie Love, personal aide to former President Barack Obama. All-inclusive tickets are $60 each.