The Right Blend Blog

Celebrate the Rich History of the Gullah Geechee Culture at Ricefest

We can’t wait for RiceFest, the annual event that happens in Riceboro each year! It began as a way to celebrate the rich history of some of the first people who lived right here in Liberty County – the Gullah Geechee! This year RiceFest will take place on the weekend of November 11-13. We can’t wait to celebrate with y’all, so we wanted to take some time to tell you a little bit about the event. It’s going to be a weekend full of fun! Keep reading to find out more.

Even though it lasts all weekend, the main attraction is on Saturday! See the entertainment schedule below. 👇

Entertainment & Event Schedule

Gullah Geechee Ricefest

📸 The Gullah Geechee Ring Shouters

Friday, November 11th

  • An Evening of Dinner and Dance will have great food, live entertainment, steppin’ and dancing! The doors will open promptly at 6pm, and a live musical performance by N Da Groove will take place! Tickets are $15 if you buy them in advance or $20 at the door. Get your tickets on Eventbrite today!

Saturday, November 12th

  • RiceFest begins at 9am at 4614 S. Coastal Hwy in Riceboro. The annual Rice Cook-Off will be held during the festival. Judging of the array of rice dishes begins at 11am and tasting will immediately follow.

Sunday, November 13th

  • GospelFest featuring Kimberly Burrell, Paul Porter and host Shannon Lecounte. It will be held at Riceboro Youth Center, 5649 S. Coastal Highway in Riceboro. Doors open at 5pm! Buy your ticket at

Things to Know:

  • The Saturday event is free and begins at 9am and goes on until.
  • It’s outdoors and lasts all day. We all know how fall is in south Georgia, so you may want to bring some sunscreen!
  • The City of Riceboro works hard to ensure only the best entertainment for the guests flowing in to attend. Some of them include: The Gullah Geechee Shouters, Klymaxx with Joyce “Fenderalla” Irby, The Voices, Special Formula Band and West Love.
  • Not only will there be awesome entertainment, but there will also be special guests hosting the event! Join Stefanie Batiste and “Comedian” Barbara Carlyle.

A Quick History of the Gullah Geechee People and the Rice Industry in Liberty County

Gullah Geechee Geechee

📸 Ralph Daniel

One staple that holds historical and cultural significance to our coastal community is rice. The low country as a whole has an extensive history related to the rice industry but many may not know how much rice influenced Liberty County!

Tucked away in the marsh grass you will find one of our hidden coastal gems, Riceboro. The oldest existing city in Liberty County, it’s easy to spend an afternoon riding through this quiet community on winding dirt roads with scenic glimpses of coastline. Riceboro is more than what meets the modern eye! It was once a bustling agricultural haven for rice plantations and actually received the name Riceboro due to rice being grown here. You won’t find fields of rice anymore but the heritage influenced by the rice industry is still prominent today and proudly shared!

The early colonists discovered how perfect the coastline was for growing rice, but weren’t sure how to be successful in the industry. When they began searching for workers, they sought out people who already knew how to plant, harvest and process rice. Those people were predominantly from the western coast of Africa, also known as the “Rice Coast,” from Senegal down to Sierra Leone.

The people brought over from those places influenced the native Gullah people who are still prominent in coastal areas of the United States, including our very own Liberty County. The Gullah Geechee have strong ties with their African cultural heritage to include names, a creole language, handicrafts and folktales. In coastal Georgia, the Gullah folks are actually referred to as Geechee and are the people who have the only distinctly African creole language in the United States.

Additional Information:

In 2007 Riceboro hosted the first event created to bring the community together to celebrate, embrace and learn about the history of the area. RiceFest provides education and entertainment honoring the heritage and cultural influence that was formed from the local rice industry and the Gullah people.

Each year there are lots of different things that take place to include a rice cook-off, a gospel fest and a homecoming dance – but the most important take away from the event each year is the celebration of Riceboro and the Gullah Geechee people.

#ExploreLiberty and head over to Riceboro and take part in the RiceFest activities the weekend of November 11-13. For more information, please contact Riceboro City Hall at 912.884.2986. See y’all there!

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