Category Archives: Beaufort’s Best

Gullah Kinfolk Christmas Wish… Freedom Coming

Partake of the Spirit of the Season with the Gullah People of the Sea Islands

Enjoy a Weekend of Original Musical Theater, Storytelling and Great Food

Friday, December 1 at 7 p.m.

University of South Carolina-Beaufort Performing Arts Center

801 Carteret Street, Beaufort, SC

 

Artwork by Diane Britton-Dunham Griffin

A Taste of Gullah

Saturday, December 2 from Noon to 5 p.m.

Tabernacle Baptist Church

907 Craven Street, Beaufort, SC

 

Aunt Pearlie Sue and the Gullah Kinfolk will perform their foot-stomping, soul-stirring musical, Gullah Kinfolk Christmas Wish… Freedom Comin’ on Friday, December 1, at 7 p.m. at the University of South Carolina-Beaufort’s Performing Arts Center, 801 Carteret St., Beaufort, S.C.

The show is set on a South Carolina plantation in 1860 just before the start of the Civil War shortly after South Carolina succeeded from the union and on the eve of reconstruction.  There is excitement in the air as the anticipation of war and liberation penetrates the “Quarters” and “Big House.” The expectation of freedom is joyfully expressed through story-telling and song. The production is intended for people of all ages and races.

The historically-based performance was created by Anita Singleton Prather, who stars as story teller and singer Aunt Pearlie Sue. The powerful voices of the Gullah Kinfolk – a 20-member choral group – generate a jubilant celebration of song, dance and audience participation demonstrating the hopeful expectation of the time and the deep faith of the Gullah people.

Prather is a retired school teacher, ordained minister and nationally-acclaimed storyteller and writer. She has appeared on SCETV and other television networks. She also produced and starred in the film, My Man Done Me Wrong, which was screened at film festivals around the nation. Prather and the Gullah Kinfolk were featured in the made-for-television film Circle Unbroken… From Africa to America, which was also written by Prather. She also performed before the United Nations in 2016.

The Gullah Kinfolk specialize in the hymns, spirituals, dances and traditions of the Gullah people. Many cast members are known individually for their vocal gifts and performance skills. Aunt Pearlie Sue and the Gullah Kinfolk are scheduled to tour California next year for a series of performances and will appear at the World Bank in Washington, D.C, and Villanova University of Philadelphia and at shows in Virginia, New Jersey, Alabama and North Carolina.

Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door. Admission is $10 for those aged 7 to 17. Advance reservations may be made by called the Beaufort County Black Chamber of Commerce at (843) 986-1102 ext. 2.  Information for out of town visitors regarding hotel and meal packages is also available.

A Taste of Gullah will be enjoyed Saturday, Dec. 2 from noon until 5 p.m. at the historic Tabernacle Baptist Church, 907 Craven Street, Beaufort. It will offer a feast of soul food dishes, a Gullah art exhibit and marketplace and live entertainment. Menu prices vary. For more information call the Beaufort County Black Chamber of Commerce.

Prather said this first weekend in December promises a great opportunity to indulge in the gifts of the rich Gullah culture and the heritage of the Sea Islands of South Carolina. “We delight in sharing our history, music, stories and wonderful food with visitors and residents, family and friends of all backgrounds. To God be all the glory for the great things he has done,” she said.

The events complement other annual yuletide activities in Beaufort, including the popular Night on the Town, Light up the Night and the annual Christmas parade. For more information on these events, contact www.downtownbeaufort.com.

Dale Dye to Receive Inaugural Pat Conroy Lifetime Achievement Award

The Beaufort Film Society is pleased to announce that Dale Dye will be presented the inaugural Pat Conroy Lifetime Achievement Award at the 12th annual Beaufort International Film Festival. The festival dates are February 21-25, 2018 with the Red Carpet Reception and Awards Gala taking place on Sunday, February 25th at the University of South Carolina, Beaufort, Center for the Arts.

“ If you look at his body of work in the film industry over the past three decades, read the stories from the directors he has worked with like Robert Zemeckis, Steven Spielberg, and Oliver Stone, you’ll see why we’re so very honored to present the first Pat Conroy Lifetime Achievement Award to Hollywood Legend Dale Dye,” stated Beaufort Film Society President Ron Tucker.

The award is named for Best Selling Author and Academy Award nominated Screenwriter Pat Conroy who was a long time resident of Beaufort, SC before his death of pancreatic cancer in March 2016. “It is with the blessing of the Conroy family that we have named our most prestigious honor in the name of Pat Conroy. Beaufort’s long film history began with Pat when his novel The Great Santini was made into a feature film and shot right here in Beaufort,” stated Rebecca Tucker, Co-Director of the Beaufort International Film Festival. Dale Dye was the Military Advisor on three productions shot in the Beaufort area – Forrest Gump, Rules of Engagement, and the television pilot Semper Fi.

Dale Dye is one of the most recognized and respected players in the movie and TV industry. His work has had a huge effect both behind and before the cameras, particularly in projects with a military theme. He has been credited with single-handedly changing the way Hollywood makes war movies.

The work of Dale Dye in Hollywood has ranged from technical adviser to acting roles in war movies, many of which earned acclaim such as “Platoon,” “Casualties of War,” “Saving Private Ryan” and “Band of Brothers” and he hosted History Channel’s documentary series, “The Conquerors.”

Dale is a native of Southeast Missouri. In 1962, he graduated as a cadet officer from Missouri Military Academy with hopes of attending the U.S. Naval Academy. When that failed and there was no money available for college, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and reported to boot camp in January 1964. He served in Vietnam in 1965 and 1967 through 1970 surviving 31 major combat operations.

He emerged from Southeast Asia highly decorated including the Bronze Star with V for Valor and three Purple Hearts for wounds suffered in combat. He spent 13 years as an enlisted Marine, rising to the rank of Master Sergeant before he was chosen to attend Officer Candidate School. Appointed a Warrant Officer in 1976, he later converted his commission and was a Captain when he was sent to Beirut with the Multinational Peacekeeping Force in 1982-83. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland with a Major in English.

As a lifelong movie buff with a special penchant for war movies, Dale decided to head for Hollywood when he retired from active duty in 1984. His idea was to see if he could help make war movies more realistic and improve screen portrayals of military men and women. He founded Warriors, Inc., a business with the stated agenda of shining some long-overdue positive light on the people who serve and sacrifice in American military uniform past, present and future. Over the years, Dale built his business into the premier military consultancy to motion pictures and television employing his well- respected, rugged and realistic method of fully immersing actors in a boot camp-style training program before the cameras roll. To date his firm has worked on more than fifty movies and TV shows including several Academy Award and Emmy winning productions. To further his agenda, Dale also founded Warriors Publishing Group which publishes a premium slate of military-themed books written by veteran authors.

Dale Dye is a published novelist, screenwriter and director as well as a consummate character actor with critically-acclaimed appearances in many films and television productions.

He is currently in pre-production with what will be his feature film directorial debut in the World War II themed film “No Better Place to Die.”

The Pat Conroy Lifetime Achievement Award is sponsored by The Thorne Foundation, courtesy of Leslie and Landon Thorne.

For more information about the 12th Annual Beaufort International Film Festival, visit beaufortfilmfestival.com. The festival is produced by the Beaufort Film Society.

The Beaufort Film Society is a nonprofit, 501 (c) 3, member-supported organization, dedicated to providing the highest levels of entertainment and education to the public from all areas of the film industry.

History Lecture Revisits The Battle of Port Royal Sound

Key Civil War Event Marks 156th Anniversary

Beaufort History Museum, in partnership with the Beaufort County Library, announces this season’s second program in its local history lecture series, The Battle of Port Royal Sound.  The event is planned for Tuesday, November 7, at 2:00 pm at the Beaufort Branch Library, 211 Scott Street, Beaufort, SC.

The Battle of Port Royal Sound was one of the earliest naval operations of the Civil War.  On November 7, 1861, a massive U. S. Naval fleet and U. S. Army expeditionary force sailed into Port Royal Sound and captured Fort Walker on Hilton Head and Fort Beauregard on St. Helena Island.  At the time, it was the largest armada ever launched by the United States.

Beaufort was among the first southern towns to fall into Union hands. The Federal occupation changed the course of Beaufort District history and led to the most misunderstood period of American history, the Reconstruction Era.

Berkeley County Museum and Heritage Center Executive Director and historian Michael D. Coker will bring this important battle, and the events surrounding it, to life.  He will share stories from his book,The Battle of Port Royal Sound, about this pivotal  point of the Civil War.

Admission is   free. A donation of $5 is suggested and reservations are required. To sign up visit the BHM website: www.beauforthistorymuseum.com Please print out the ticket and bring to the event. Registration opens October 25. (Lectures sell out. Those with tickets admitted first.) Funds collected will be used to support ongoing Museum programs, which are open to all.

Beaufort History Museum, located in the historic Arsenal on Craven Street, has   evolved to focus specifically on the history of the Beaufort District. It strives to manage and display artifacts and documents held by the City of Beaufort, telling the compelling stories of this area from the early 16th Century until modern times.  The Museum’s hours of operation are 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM Monday – Saturday.

Beaufort History Museum Panel Tells the History of Chambers Park

Reservations for October 17 Lecture Now Available

Beaufort area residents and visitors enjoy the beautiful setting and myriad recreational opportunities at Henry C. Chambers Riverfront Park, but it was not always so.  What is now a 7-acre waterfront promenade with a playground, pavilion, marina, paths for strolling and plenty of benches for simply relaxing and taking in the stunning views, was at one time a decaying and shabby wharf that mirrored a failed mid-20th Century economy.

 

At a lecture, presented by Beaufort History Museum in partnership with the Beaufort Public Library, there will be the chance to learn the fascinating history of the waterfront’s revival.   Spearheading the project was one of Beaufort’s most effective and beloved mayors, Henry C. Chambers, who envisioned the renovation and led it to completion after his election in 1969.

 

Titled Politics, Pilings and Playgrounds–Henry C Chambers Riverfront Park”, the lecture will feature a panel discussion moderated by Edie Rodgers:

 

  • Panelists: Henry C. Chambers, Ed Duryea, Harry Chakides, and Duncan Fordham discuss the trials and tribulations of creating Beaufort’s signature waterfront community space.

 

  • Date:  Tuesday, October 17

 

  • Time: 2 – 3:30 pm

 

  • Location:   First Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, Corner of North and Church Streets, Beaufort, SC 29902

 

  • Admission:    Free  (A donation of $5 is suggested. Funds collected will be used to support ongoing programs which are open to all.)

Reservations are required. To sign up visit the BHM website: www.beauforthistorymuseum.com Please print out the ticket and bring to the event.  (Lectures sell out. Those with tickets admitted first.)

  • Next Lecture in History Series – Tuesday, November 7

“The Battle of Port Royal Sound”  (Check website for more information)

Beaufort History Museum, located in the historic Arsenal on Craven Street, has evolved to focus specifically on the history of the Beaufort District. It strives to manage and display artifacts and documents held by the City of Beaufort, telling the compelling stories of this area from the early 16th Century until modern times.  The Museum’s hours of operation are 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM Monday – Saturday.

 

Shorts at High Noon

The Beaufort Film Society will present some of the best short, animation, and student films from their vast collection of Beaufort International Film Festival Finalists Selections from 2007 to present.  
 
Screenings begin Wednesday, October 4 and continue through November 29at the Plaza Stadium Theatre in Beaufort, SC with admission FREE to the general public.  Check in time is 11:30 am with the screenings beginning at Noon and ending by 1 PM.  
Modeled after he Beaufort County Library Program, “Books Sandwiched In” the Beaufort Film Society wants to expand its offerings and showcase the benefits of Film Society membership and serve as an introduction to the quality of the films presented annually at the Beaufort International Film Festival. 
 
A complete schedule of the screening selections and information related to the Beaufort Film Society and the Beaufort International Film Festival  are located at beaufortfilmfestival.com

Friends of the Beaufort Library Fall BOOK SALE Announced

The 2017 Friends of the Beaufort Library Fall Book Sale is right around the corner, with thousands of boxes of donated books plus audio-visual materials (books, music, and movies) available at give-away prices for the annual fundraiser.

As in years past, the beautiful Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park in downtown Beaufort will be the site of the sale, which begins Friday September 22 and runs thru Sunday September 24th.  On Friday a two-hour preview for all members of The Friends will be held from 10 am to Noon. If you aren’t already a member, you can sign up before or during the preview at the membership table for $15.   The sale then opens to the public from Noon thru 6 pm, and will reopen on Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm.  On Sunday Noon to 4pm, everything is half off, including rare and collectible books.

The popular Silent Auction will again be conducted during this year’s book sale, with bids being accepted between 10 am on Friday and 3 pm on Saturday, when bidding closes.   Included in this year’s Silent Auction are a number of signed Pat Conroy books, a selection of Natural History books on birds, gardens, freshwater fish, tropical plans, wildflowers and aquarium fish. Many similar books will also be found in the Rare & Collectible section, as well as on the Natural History, Gardening and other tables.

“This year’s Silent Auction is going to be bigger and better than ever,” according to Book Sale Chairman Kinsey Baker.  “We’re getting donations daily so it’s a good idea to look at our website for more announcements about items that will be included in the auction.”

“We also have a small but charming collection of Vintage Christmas books that came in as well as a large reference library on Astrology,” he said. “With more coming in every day, who knows what else might turn up between now and the end of September.”

The book sale spokesman said donations of books throughout the year have been strong and he expects to bring more than 40,000 books, CD’s and DVD’s to this sale.  As always, there will be a good supply of children’s books from the greatly expanded Children’s section in the Friends’ Book Store located at the downtown Beaufort library on Scott Street, which is open year-round during library hours, with fresh stock being added regularly.

Donations of books, CDs and DVDs are needed more than ever, especially with the recent expansion of the Friends Book Store and its increased activity.

The Book Sale is the main fundraising event held by the Friends with all proceeds benefitting the Beaufort County Public Library branches in Beaufort, Lobeco and St. Helena Island.

For more information, email FriendsBeaufort@gmail.com or visit the Friends website – friendsofthebeaufortlibrary.com.

 

Spanish Artifact Revealed

The Marine Corps Recruit Depot – Parris Island,  South Carolina, near Beaufort, released a conservation report describing a ceramic Spanish artifact believed to be hundreds of years old. A local commercial fisherman, operating under a state permit, made the discovery in the shallow waters off Parris Island. At the direction of Parris Island, and with the assistance of the fisherman and the Santa Elena History Center, the artifact was delivered to the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology (SCIAA) for assessment and conservation.

The earthen vessel is believed to be an olive jar left behind from the Colonial settlement of the Port Royal region. The storage container is a Middle Style olive jar that would hold 15 liters and were produced in large quantity by Spain from 1580 to 1780. The Spanish olive jar was the primary container used for shipping commodities from Spain to the colonies across the Atlantic during the 16th through 18th-centuries. As large containers, olive jars transported a variety of contents, including bullets, capers, beans, chick peas, lard, tar, honey, wine, olives in brine and olive oil. Such vessels were commonly used by settlers at Santa Elena, the 16th Century Spanish town established in 1566 on present-day Parris Island.

The processed artifact is now stabilized, preserved and available for study.

“The discovery is now part of the Parris Island archaeological collection. The Parris Island Museum hopes to place the olive jar on public display,” said Kim Zawacki, archaeologist for the Parris Island Recruit Depot.

Dr. Andy Beall, chairman of the Santa Elena Foundation commented, “How wonderful that the largely untold story of early European exploration and settlements in our community continues to emerge. This exciting discovery adds to what is known about our local history. Everyone is very grateful to the Marine Corps for caring for this significant artifact.”

With regard to jurisdiction and ownership, the waters surrounding Parris Island are unusual. By virtue of a Presidential roclamation in 1918, the river bottom belongs to the federal government out to the channel, in both the Beaufort and Broad Rivers. Consequently, the commanding general is responsible for ensuring cultural resources on and around Parris Island are appropriately protected, preserved, and shared with the public. Parris Island works cooperatively with state agencies to manage the natural and cultural resources within those boundaries.

To learn more about the Parris Island Museum, visit www.parrisislandmuseum.com and for more about the Santa Elena History Center, please visit http://santa-elena.org.

Beaufort Branch Library Announces Two Solar Eclipse Events

On August 21, 2017, millions of people across the United States will see nature’s most wondrous spectacle — a total eclipse of the Sun. Viewers in Beaufort will have the opportunity to witness up to 98 percent coverage of the sun – a partial solar eclipse.

Visit the Beaufort Branch library to celebrate and learn about this astronomical event. All program attendees will receive complimentary viewing glasses designed to protect your eyes while observing the eclipse. Eclipse glasses will also be available while supplies last from August 17th-August 21st during normal operating hours.

Event Name:  Solar Eclipse 101

Short Description of the event: Join us for an overview of the eclipse including why they happen and how you can be safe and get the most out of your eclipse viewing experience. For adults and families.

Time and Date of the Event:  Wednesday, July 26th at 5:30pm

Location of Event: Beaufort Branch Library 311 Scott St. Beaufort, SC 29902

Price of the Event: Free

Contact Information: 843-255-6458

Website: beaufortcountylibrary.org

Event Name:  Dramatic Essay Reading: Annie Dillard’s “Total Eclipse”

Short Description of the event:  In anticipation of the eclipse, please join us on Wednesday, August 16th for a dramatic reading of Pulitzer – prize-winning author Annie Dillard’s essay “Total Eclipse” as performed by professional actress Maggie Worsdale of the Traveling Literacy Theater.

Time and Date of the Event:  Wednesday, August 16th at 2:00pm

Location of Event: Beaufort Branch Library 311 Scott St. Beaufort, SC 29902

Price of the Event: Free

Contact Information: 843-255-6458

Website: beaufortcountylibrary.org

Writer Annie Dillard viewed on February 26, 1979, a total eclipse from the Yakima Valley in central Washington State. She described her impressions of the eclipse in an essay, “Total Eclipse.” In this piece Dillard describes a nearly overwhelming emotional experience as suggested in this quotation: “It materialized out of thin air – black, and flat, and sliding, outlined in flame. The heart screeched. The meaning of the sight overwhelmed its fascination. It obliterated meaning itself.” This essay was selected for inclusion in The Best American Essays of the 20th Century. (2000) 

Professional actress and producer of Traveling Literary Theater, Maggie Worsdale, will dramatically read Annie Dillard’s essay. Maggie is a native of New Jersey and has recently moved to the Charleston area. She has been professionally acting, singing, and producing for over 25 years. 

Lowcountry Fair and Marsh Tacky Races in Beaufort in November 2017

Mark your calendars for a unique community event on a local plantation this fall as the Santa Elena Foundation presents “A Lowcountry Fair with Historical Flair.”

The fun-filled day will include Marsh Tacky Horse Races, Horse Fun Shows, Living History Re-enactments, Weapons Demonstrations, music and special performances, children’s petting zoo and activities, festive refreshments, and much more on the private grounds of Cotton Hall Plantation in Northern Beaufort County on November 18, 2017 from 10 am-4 pm.

“The Lowcountry Fair will be a stand-out event for the community to enjoy and experience early local heritage mixed in with plenty of good fun, food, and friendship,” remarks Megan Meyer, Executive Director of the Santa Elena History Center. “This furthers the promotion of our efforts to highlight Beaufort County’s unique history and collaborate with many organizations and individuals throughout the community.”

Headlining the event are the Marsh Tacky Horses, whose races will provide an exciting show for the crowd. Led by the Carolina Marsh Tacky Association, the races will showcase horses from all parts of the southeast and bring awareness to the special breed originally introduced by the Spanish explorers of the 16th century. The Marsh Tacky is the South Carolina state heritage horse and one of the most endangered breeds in the world. They once roamed freely by the hundreds through the South Carolina Sea Islands and Lowcountry but their numbers neared extinction as tractors, trucks, and development took the place of horsepower. Today, only around 400 Marsh Tacky Horses remain.

“We are excited to bring the Marsh Tacky Race back to the Lowcountry – as we strive to save the breed, it’s important to celebrate their historical significance,” says Jackie McFadden, secretary of the Carolina Marsh Tacky Association. “By partnering with the Santa Elena Foundation the day of racing will be even more enjoyable with a myriad of other activities on the grounds of such a special place.”

Tickets will be available for purchase in advance (online) and at the gate on the date of the event. Levels include: $20/adult and $10/child (5-15), $50 for families, and $40 for active duty military families. Also available to help the event generate proceeds for the Santa Elena Foundations mission are Patron tickets at $100 and recognized sponsorship levels starting at $500.

The event is weather contingent, and all donations will benefit the Santa Elena Foundation.

To visit the website for Santa Elena’s Lowcountry Fair, visit http://santa-elena.org/lowcountry-fair.

To learn more about the SC Marsh Tacky Association, visit http://marshtacky.info/mt/

Dragonboat Race Day a Huge Success in Beaufort

DragonBoat Beaufort hosted the 5thannual Dragonboat Race Day in Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park June 24, 2017. Twenty-three teams competed for medals during the daylong event with over 3000 spectators throughout the day. Race Directors Andrew Nicholls and Greg Rawls were pleased to announce that over $70,000 was raised, all of which will go to fund DragonBoat Beaufort’s OUTREACH program, which assists Beaufort County cancer patients.

Awards:

Best Tee Shirt Design – Beaufort Believers
Best Tent Decoration – Tidal Creek Turtles
Best Team Spirit – Swamp Dragons
Best Dressed Drummer – Tidal Creek Turtles
Most Money Raised by a Drummer on Race Day – Thunderstruck II
Fastest Overall Team – Organized Chaos
Fastest Local Team – Single Marine Program
Top Fund Raising Teams:
1. Dragon Slayers
2. We Have the Advantage
3. Swamp Dragons
Top Fund Raising Individuals:
1. Barbara Westcott
2. Connie Stewart
3. Sophia Schade
Heartbeat of the County Cup (awarded to the fastest healthcare-related team) – BMH Spittin’ Fireballs
Hallelujah Cup (awarded to the fastest church-sponsored team) – Tidal Creek Turtles

Medals were awarded for:

DIVISION C:
BRONZE           Weichert Warriors
SILVER             Tidal Creek Turtles
GOLD               Pinnacle Plastic Surgery


DIVISION B:
BRONZE           Rack Attack                        
SILVER             BMH Spittin’ Fireballs
GOLD               Braun and Bling                         

DIVISION A:
BRONZE           Charlotte Fury                          
SILVER             Charleston Fire Breathers
GOLD               Organized Chaos

CANCER SURVIVOR DIVISION:
BRONZE           Swamp Dragons                       
SILVER             Beaufort Believers
GOLD               DBC Dannie’s Dragons

Dragonboat Beaufort is a non-profit organization located in Beaufort, SC. DragonBoat Beaufort’s mission is to provide cancer survivors the opportunity to heal and regain physical and psychological strength and wellness through the camaraderie and competition of dragonboat paddling and racing. In addition, DragonBoat Beaufort supports those impacted by cancer through their OUTREACH program which gives grants to local cancer patients to assist with needs they are unable to afford or for which they lack coverage; and through support and counseling for cancer patients in treatment and in remission, including support for their caregivers.

For more information, please visit www.dragonboat-raceday.com.