Jubilee: Festival of Heritage, Historic Columbia Foundation’s annual event, is getting more festive. In its 34th year, Saturday’s Jubilee is adding theater and fashion to its entertainment lineup. The Benedict Gospel Choir, Frankie’s Blues Mission and Dante Lewis are among the day’s performers. There will also be a children’s drum workshop, intermittent house and bus tours and a fashion and hair expo.
The festival runs from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. in the area around the Mann-Simons Site, a residence and its extension of buildings that were owned by a black family from the mid-19th century until around 1970.
The last standing Mann-Simons house is on the corner of Marion and Richland streets. The block between Marion and Calhoun streets will be blocked off for the festival’s marketplace.
Another new festival addition: ghost structures. No, not structures built by ghosts, but rather steel reproductions of buildings that were once on the Mann-Simons property. The five structures include a grocery store, lunch counter and outhouse. The outdoor museum, which can be visited at any time, is one of only a handful of such exhibits produced nationwide, according to Ashley Tucker, Historic Columbia’s marketing coordinator.
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We talked to Tucker about what the festival had to offer.
There’s going to be music, theater and a hair show. Is all this really free? It is free. We do offer optional tours that are $1 or $2. So almost free. And we’ve got a marketplace where people can shop at.
What is the Columbia Marionette Theatre performing? “The World of Anansi the Spider.” It is based on African folktales. We’re trying to bring in some more kid-friendly stuff in the entertainment lineup.
Since Chris Rock’s movie “Good Hair” was released in 2009, more people have been introduced to the topic of natural hair. After winning gold at the Olympics, Gabby Douglas had to defend how she wears hers. Natural Nora is doing a hair demonstration, which is an unusual kind of entertainment. This is something our committee members say is a real hot topic. It will be provide an education aspect for some us.
The ghost structures seems like the coolest thing, but are they eerie? They are very cool. It’s like the skeleton of a house. You get to see what was there. It really just tells the story of the site. It was a very entrepreneurial family for sure.
Can festivalgoers walk through the doors? Yes. It’s a very modern concept. We’re one of the only museums in the country that has done an exhibit like this.