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Local News Coverage of the 2022 North Carolina Rice Festival

March 4-5, 2022



The 2022 Gullah Geechee Heritage Dinner




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2022 Gala Dinner Performers Ron & Natalie Daise


Leland Cultural Arts Center

The North Carolina Rice Festival's annual Gullah Geechee Heritage Dinner Gala signaled a much-anticipated return to in-person cultural celebrations in Brunswick County.* 

On Friday, March 4th, the NC Rice Festival organizers were delighted to re-ignite once again the interest of diverse audiences in the intertwining agricultural, cultural, and historical forces that made our local area one of the richest rice-growing regions of coastal North Carolina and the Gullah Geechee Heritage Corridor.

Featuring a Cash Bar, exciting Live Entertainment, sumptuous Gullah Geechee-inspired Fare by award-winning Catch Restaurant Chef/Owner and Festival Culinarian Keith Rhodes, and a Silent Auction — the evening was packed with enjoyment and activities providing our guests with "Education Through Celebration" — the Festival's overarching theme. The dinner also premiered another of the Festival organizers' exciting and informative short video presentations about the area's unique rice-growing history and culture.

The 2022 Festival

View the Full Schedule Here


This year’s long-awaited Festival, held at the Leland Cultural Arts Center on Saturday, March 5th, featured a whole lot of “edu-tainment” and entertainment!

Indoors starting at 9:00 a.m, Festival goers were treated to a variety of lively, eye-opening demonstrations, videos, and exhibits presented by local residents and experts. They also helped themselves to lots of free information and displays detailing Brunswick County’s important history of rice cultivation and North Carolina’s distinctive Gullah Geechee culture and foodways.

Our Featured Indoor Presenters: 

Outdoors, on the newly named NC Rice Festival "Come Hear NC Stage" from 11:30 am to “dark-thirty” (5:30pm), live-and-jumpin’ entertainment and heart-pounding music stirred the soul and lifted attendees' spirits in true, Gullah Geechee style, including performances by:

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Outdoor Performers:

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The Geechee Gullah Ring Shouters

This nationally acclaimed group actively preserves the culture of the direct descendants of the enslaved persons from Central and West Africa

who were brought to the United States during the

height of the rice, indigo and cotton trades.

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Blues DeVille 

Blues DeVille is a seasoned group of musicians--Mario Paparozzi, Mike Hargell, Larry Johnson, Tom Robbins, and Carey Paterson--who love to play the Blues and music that will make you want to dance and move.

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"Aunt Pearly Sue": Anita Singleton-Prather 

As "Aunt Pearlie Sue," this multitalented master storyteller, actress, educator, and historian, has, for over 20 years, entertained audiences from the schoolhouse to the White House with Gullah-flavored folktales. 

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"Funky" Leroy Harper & His All Starz

A former sideman with The Godfather of Soul, James Brown, saxophonist Leroy Harper is an incredible musician with a kicking band. He has also performed with Stevie Wonder, Millie Jackson, Nappy Brown and James Levi of Herbie Hancock’s HeadHunters. 

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Tina Smith

Real-life experiences are a source of inspiration for this instinctive singer/songwriter, who, through her music, shares the world as she sees it, emphasizing the common threads that run through all our lives.

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Ian Daviz

Not-to-be-missed Leland soul singer Ian Daviz has been featured on  "Showtime at the Apollo" and has toured the US and Australia performing alongside The Temp-tations, The Dells, and Kenny Lattimore. 

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