The cultural scene in Columbia County is always a cause for celebration, but the new Yuchikiokee Festival will specifically highlight the county’s art, music, dance and heritage.
“We wanted to have an art festival that primarily celebrated Columbia County arts,” says Virginia Atkins, the county community events specialist. “It shines a spotlight on what Columbia County arts really are.”
But where in the world did the name come from? Although it may be a bit tricky to pronounce at first, the festival name comes from two Native American tribes, the Yuchis (also spelled Ugee, Uchee or Euchee) and the Kiokees, which once made a home here. Two local creeks that wind through the county and join into the Savannah River also have been named for the tribes — Euchee and Kiokee creeks.
The two-day festival will get underway Saturday, March 21 with live entertainment at 11 a.m. and an opening ceremony at noon. A 7 p.m. concert will round out the first day of activities. In between, the event will include plenty of entertainment with vendors and artisans from the Southeast, a sidewalk chalk competition, performances by Columbia County arts organizations, zorbing, light painting and a juried fine art competition.
Live performances from Journey Church will kick off the festivities on Sunday, March 22 at 10 a.m., and the festival will close with excerpts from Columbia County Ballet’s Roar of Love beginning at 5 p.m.
A variety of food vendors will be on hand as well, so no one will go hungry.
– Katlin Carter