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Nov 29, 2022

Historic Holidays on Hilton Head Island

Barry Kaufman

Photography By

The Heritage Library
This year, the Heritage Library is putting something special under the tree for you.

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Some gifts, like a rare bottle of wine, are meant to be enjoyed with friends. Some gifts, like a family heirloom, are meant to be treasured for a lifetime. With its Historic Holidays on Hilton Head Island, the Heritage Library is giving the island a gift that is both.

During this special one-day event, December 10 from 12-4 p.m. at USCB’s Hilton Head campus, you’ll be able to gather friends together to enjoy some of the Lowcountry’s most inspiring artists and authors. And while you’re there, you’ll gain an insight into our unique culture that will stay with you forever.

“We wanted to offer something that would give people a greater perspective on the island, its history and its culture,” said Barbara Catenaci, Heritage Library’s executive director. “This event is going to be a great way to get folks out and try to teach them about the island with a whole lot of friends around.”

The idea for this delightful holiday event started with a series of afternoon teas at the Heritage Library, showcasing a different author with every session. When each one sold out in record time, it was clear there was an appetite for learning about the island’s culture right from some of its brightest minds. “These were small events, but it really made us ask how we could do something larger,” Catenaci said.

That something larger became a holiday event filled with special presentations and a chance to browse the wares of area creatives. While visiting with this local talent, guests will enjoy afternoon tea fare like finger sandwiches, sweets, tea (both hot and iced), and a cash bar. In between, they can enjoy the chance for one-one-on time with local artists and authors, plus special events like the “Griot’s Corner,” a storytelling space for children.

“A griot was a traveling storyteller in African culture. Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park does this on a regular basis with students, and it’s a great way to tie the event back to the island’s local history and culture,” Catanaci said. She pointed out that guests will also have a chance to visit with a few historic figures including Mitchelville’s namesake General Ormsby Mitchel (played by Rich Thomas) as well as Francis Gage (Kathy Smith) and Clara Barton (Rosemary Staples), among a slew of talented artists and writers.

The Historic Holidays: Authors, Artists and Afternoon Tea event will be held December 10 from 12-4 p.m. at USCB Hilton Head. Tickets are $15 for admission, $35 for admission and afternoon tea; children 12 and under get in free. Register at

Hand made Christmas theme decorated cookies

Who’s Who at Historic Holidays
Scheduled to appear at the Heritage Library’s Historic Holidays on Hilton Head event are local luminaries including:

Jim Alberti
Thomas Barnwell
Emory Campbell
Wendell Churchill
Carolyn Grant
Jonathan Haupt
Beverly Jennings
Miho Kinnas
Pamela Martin Ovens
Donne Greco Paine
Dwayne Pickett
Susan Diamond Riley
Elizabeth Robin
Sallie Ann Robinson
Ron Roth

Helena Appleton
Dino Badger
John Barrett
Binyah Boutique
Thomas Cato
Norma Deal
Full Spectrum Studio
Joy Herman
Susan Rafetto
Janet Scarborough
Michael Smalls
Cindy Strickland
Jamie Wright

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