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Saturday festival to celebrate Sumter's Millican, former NFL player to speak

BY SHELBIE GOULDING shelbie@theitem.com
Posted 2/12/20

To celebrate the 100th birthday of Sumter native, renowned author, poet and educator Arthenia Bates Millican, Eutawville will host its ninth-annual South Carolina Heritage and Humanities Festival on Saturday, Feb. 15.

Millican was an American …

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Saturday festival to celebrate Sumter's Millican, former NFL player to speak

Posted

To celebrate the 100th birthday of Sumter native, renowned author, poet and educator Arthenia Bates Millican, Eutawville will host its ninth-annual South Carolina Heritage and Humanities Festival on Saturday, Feb. 15.

Millican was an American poet, short-story writer and essayist whose published writings include the books Hills and Bottoms: Virginia Tales, Seeds Beneath the Snow, The Deity Nodded and Such Things from the Valley.

The festival will consist of singing, cultural dances, student presentations, speakers, vendor participation and theatrical performances.

The theme for this year's festival is Vision 2020: Focusing on Unity through Self-Reflection and Personal Growth.

With this theme in mind, Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell will offer opening remarks on the county level.

"Given the high level of crimes occurring in Eutawville, what was once a peaceful, congenial and quiet family oriented town, Sheriff Ravenell will offer hope to restore Eutawville back to its pleasant and graceful image while encouraging others statewide to not take the law into their own hands but consult authorities in times of conflict," Byron Brown, the festival founder and organizer, said.

Brown said this year's keynote speaker will be former NFL football player Edward Simms, who played for the Philadelphia Eagles for five seasons.

"Not every day do we get a chance to sit up close in the presence of a football celebrity and acquire inspiration from their successful paths in life and listen to incredible stories that changed their lives around in positive fashions. Attendees at the Heritage and Humanities Festival will no doubt leave inspired by Ed Simms' humble, humorous and tenacious spirit as he imparts wisdom to all," Brown said.

Millican's nephew and publicist, Rick Jones, from Portland, Oregon, will be in attendance, as well as Melanie Colclough, director of the Sumter County Cultural Center, to archive the historical event.

"Through the many diverse vendors, actors, presenters, singers and speakers, I believe that the festival will meet its goal and celebrate its motto, which is simply 'to inspire all for a better life,'" Brown said.

The festival will take place at 1 p.m. on Saturday at the Eutawville Community Center, 409 Porcher Ave., Eutawville.

For more information, contact Brown at mrbyronbrown@hotmail.com or call (202) 294-4735.