SBHF Grand Festival Day: Enrichment and Entertainment for the Whole Family

RJ and the Upbeats
RJ and the Upbeats

The 22nd Annual Savannah Black Heritage Festival (SBHF) Grand Festival Day will be held Feb. 12 at the Savannah Civic Center. Presented by Savannah State University (SSU) and the city of Savannah, Grand Festival Day activities are free and open to the public.

The day-long event, which includes food and other vendors, begins with a health fair and ends with a live concert. From 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., festival patrons can attend the interactive health fair for healthy cooking demonstrations, diabetes prevention and management, medical financial aid and more. The fair is presented by the American Diabetes Association and St. Joseph’s/Candler.

Youth and adults can visit the Living and Learning Crafts Village from 1 to 3 p.m. for hands-on workshops in South African history and drums; mask-, basket- and jewelry-making; culinary arts and more. Reservations are required; call (912) 358-3370.

Beginning at 3 p.m., officials from the city of Savannah, SSU and others will lead the annual Grand Festival Day parade and ribbon cutting ceremony, which begins the entertainment segments.

Savannah’s Magic Marc will host opening performances for children, including musical puppetry by RJ and the Upbeats. The show will include guest narrator Ron Daise, who co-starred in the popular children’s television series, “Gullah Gullah Island.”

At 6 p.m. the Soweto Street Beat (SSB) Dance Theater, Inc., the only professional South African dance troupe in the U.S., will take the stage to demonstrate dance and music styles stemming from various South African ethnic groups. Based in Atlanta since 1992, the nonprofit organization began its work in 1989, training at-risk youth in the Soweto Township of Johannesburg, South Africa, to become professional dancers and cultural ambassadors. “Our Culture is Our Journey” is the theme for the 2011 festival, which is the 12th produced by SSU for the city.

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