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SC’s Atlantic Beach is back with pride

A local festival billed as a “generation-to-generation” event in South Carolina’s Atlantic Beach has recently undergone changes that officials say brings back a time and place that was once enjoyed by generations gone by.

Atlantic Beach Reunion, a brand new event, has been joined with the Gullah Geechee Festival, now in its eighth year.  Together they’re being held Saturday and Sunday, September 4 and 5.

The Atlantic Beach Town Manager William Booker says they are ready to show off their community.

We just want to invite people back to the beach to see some of the changes that have occured. We’re going to recreate some of the things that existed back in its heyday.  We’re going to have some food vendors and some entertainment for the kids, and of course, we have the beach!

Booker says they’re working hard to position Atlantic Beach as a Gullah Geechee site.

The U.S. Congress has designated that area from Jacksonville, Florida, to Jacksonville, North Carolina, as a Gullah Heritage Trail, and plans are to place various heritage sites along that path.  And the hope is that Atlantic Beach can be selected as one of those sites.

When some people think of good times at the beach, dancing comes to mind. Booker says that they’ll be celebrating the re-creation of what was once a local institution of Atlantic Beach:  Punk’s Patio.

Punk’s Patio is basically a dance floor with color, where people in the day, back in the day, used to go. There were several patios. Punk’s Patio. And it’s really basically a dance hall.

Booker says there’s a lot to see and do during the weekend celebration.

For those who used to come to Atlantic Beach, they’re all invited back. For those who never came because they weren’t here, because of the social environment in the day when Atlantic Beach was in its heyday, you’re also invited. So everyone’s invited.  Bring the family. We got the beach, we got activities on the beach, activites on the town, we’re looking to have a good time.

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