A reception for artist Cassandra M. Gillens is planned Thursday, and a symposium focusing on those who helped integrate public schools is set for Friday at the 31st Annual Penn Center Heritage Days Celebration.
The York W. Bailey Museum on the Penn Center campus will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. as the event starts Thursday. Opening ceremonies will be from 3 to 5 p.m. on the main stage.
First-day activities also include a new feature, "Taste of the Sea Islands," from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at Darrah Hall. Gillens' art will be featured at a public reception from 8 to 10 p.m. at the museum. One of her paintings, commissioned by event organizers, is included on Heritage Days T-shirts and posters.
Heritage Days celebrates the history and culture of the Sea Islands and "and the various Africanisms that still exist on the islands, including St. Helena Island where the celebration takes place," according to organizers. This year's theme is "Eyes Still on the Prize, Continuing the Legacy of Change" and honors Penn Center's 150th anniversary.
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Friday's symposium, from 3 to 6 p.m. in Darrah Hall, will feature lectures and personal accounts. Participants will include the Rev. John Reynolds, author of "The Fight for Freedom: A Memoir of My Years in the Civil Rights Movement"; storyteller and vocal performer Natalie Daise; and Lynn Markovich Bryant, author of "I'm Black and I'm Proud: Wished the White Girl."
Saturday's festivities include a parade from 9 to 10 a.m. along Sea Island Parkway to Penn Center's campus on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. Food and entertainment will follow. The event concludes Sunday morning with fellowship at local churches.
For ticket prices, a full event schedule and other information, go to penncenter.com or call 843-838-2432.
Roads to close for Heritage Days parade
Sea Island Parkway from St. Helena Elementary School to Martin Luther King Jr. Drive will be closed to all traffic beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday until about 10 a.m., and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive will be closed to all traffic from 9 a.m. to noon for the Heritage Days parade, according to the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office.
Drivers will be directed to an alternate route via Club Bridge Drive, Saxonville Road and Ballpark Road back onto U.S. 21 South.