By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Celebrating rice heritage
Geechee Kunda Cultural Heritage Center founder Jim Bacote sits with his cropping tools and shows how rice was processed centuries ago. - photo by Photo by John Deike

Many from the Riceboro community are pooling their efforts and talents to create the first Ricefest celebration.
“Ricefest will be a family oriented festival commemorating the culture and community life created from the harvesting of rice from the 1760s to the early 1900s,” Geechee Kunda founder Jim Bacote said.
The festivities will include a harvest demonstration, discussions focusing on the memories of the rice culture, live music, gospel singing, steppers, rhythmic Darien shouters and activities for children, Bacote said.
There will also be a rice cook-off where anyone from the area will be able to cook and feature their favorite rice dishes and desserts for the celebrants to taste, he added.

During the rice-making demonstration, Bacote will show how Carolina gold rice was harvested by cutting the rice sheafs with a cropping hook, pounding the grains inside a mortar and winnowing them to create the rice, he said.
Riceboro Fire Captain Dennis Fitzgerald unearthed the idea for this festival to commemorate the city’s history, and his idea recently became a reality when the Riceboro City Council came on board.
“We are the only town with the name of Riceboro in the nation,” Fitzgerald said. “Our city was the rice capital during the colonial and enslavement periods, and we want to share our history and pride not only with our neighbors, but also with anyone from the other municipalities of Liberty County.”
Bacote and Fitzgerald believe the camaraderie of their city will make this event a unique time, and they look forward to sharing and exchanging the roots of their pride with those who attend, they said.
“In essence, we are all one big Liberty County family,” Bacote said. “We hope that those who attend can get a taste and feel Riceboro’s past, and vice versa.”
Ricefest is planned for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 3 at the Riceboro Youth Center on South Coastal Highway.

Sign up for our e-newsletters