A peaceful down town Livingston Alabama before the town becomes a vibrant buzz of culture and activity at the Sucaronochee Folk Life Festival, April 21. Photo by Ellie McKenzie

On April 21 become submerged in the rich culture of the Black Belt region at the Sucaronochee Folk Festival. Indulge in unique food, relax with live music and make personal crafts in Livingston, Alabama on the Courthouse Square.

From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Center for the Study of the Black Belt encourages visitors to dive head first into the area’s hidden culture and become a part of the region’s forgotten traditions. With live demonstrators, art exhibitors, a cooking competition, bouncy house, ghost walks and much more, downtown Livingston is turned into a cultural social hub thriving with energy and history.

A member of the event committee, Dr. Tina Jones said the event is an “educational but fun experience.”
At the event, located at 115 Franklin Street Livingston, Alabama, visitors are encouraged to join in the activities and enjoy home grown produce, handmade crafts and traditional home cooked food.

“There are a number of competitions such as cooking cornbread, fixings such as potato salads, baked beans and canned items like jelly and pickles,” Jones said. There is a small fee entry fee of $5 for the cooking competition, but as Jones said, “The winner will receive bragging rights.”

The day will have guests such as Laura Spencer, a local entrepreneur who advocates creating organic and natural products for her family and customers. Estelle Jackson, a seventh-generation basket weaver offering demonstrations and lesson in basket weaving and musician Danny Buckalew and friends will be providing music and entertainment throughout the day.

Visitors can grab a blanket and bask in the heat of sunny Alabama while they enjoy music, graze on fried Oreos, pork skins and funnel cakes, while experiencing Alabama’s Black Belt firsthand.

University of West Alabama senior Taylor Brackin said, “The event is a really fun way to get students to socialize, enjoy great food and just enjoy being a part of such a unique area.”

Sponsors for the Festival include the University of West Alabama’s Division of Economic Development and Outreach who manages The Center for Study of the Black Belt and the Black Belt Museum, The City of Livingston, UWA Department of Fine Arts, Alabama State Council on the Arts, the Alabama Bicentennial Commission, The Sumter County Record-Journal, The Sumter County Chamber of Commerce and The Sumter County Commission.

For more information on the Sucarnochee Folklife Festival, please call (205) 652-3828, email centerforblackbelt@uwa.edu or grobbins@uwa.edu.

To download Blue Ribbon food contest forms, visit www.centerforblackbelt.org.
By Ellie McKenzie