A Jubilee is a celebration, a time for festivities, a season of joy. The third Saturday in April, Southland Jubilee in downtown Greensboro is just that. The annual arts and crafts festival celebrates the town’s rural Georgia heritage as thousands of friends, neighbors and visitors descend on downtown Greensboro for a day of art, music, and old time fun.
Southland Jubilee celebrates the local artist who paints scenes of red dirt roads and faded barns that he remembers from childhood, the care taken in restoring a 1950’s model antique tractor, and the wood turner who still makes tables and chairs the way that his grandfather taught him. The jubilee in Southland Jubilee is the sense of place that is Greensboro. It is the idea that there is still a place where you can come to town and see all of your neighbors.
“Town is full of excitement as Jubilee approaches,” explains downtown manager and festival organizer, Kendrick Ward. “Many people invite out-of-town family and friends, people travel from across the state, and everyone wants to know where along Main Street they’ll be able to find a funnel cake.”
At this year’s festival, arts and crafts vendors lined Main Street, many demonstrating crafts from pottery to basket weaving to small crowds that gathered to watch. The Jubilee Car Show features more than one hundred classic, hot rod, and special interest cars and trucks that stretched for over four blocks. And pony rides and a petting zoo kept even the youngest visitors to Southland Jubilee entertained.
Agricultural exhibits allow visitors to hold a baby chick, learn what it takes to show a cow or help feed a calf. 4-H program students could be seen proudly escorting their show calves throughout the festival by leash!
The Southland Jubilee Main Stage features live entertainment throughout the day. Many of the singers, musicians, and dancers that took the stage were local talent from around the lake area.
Months of work from dozens of volunteers are needed to make the festival happen from year to year. Long time volunteer, Mary Helen Brewer, enjoys working with Southland Jubilee because of sense of community it helps to build.
“Greensboro is my home place. ,” she explains. “I always enjoy giving back to the town that I grew up in. Southland Jubilee is also a place to see old friend you have not seen in a while.”
Since it’s beginning in 1998, Southland Jubilee has been downtown Greensboro’s premier event and has grown to develop a reputation across the region as a quality heritage arts and family festival. The festival brings thousands of people to the historic commercial district each year and remains a key tool in the city’s downtown revitalization toolbox. The festival is produced by Greensboro’s Downtown Development office with the goal of exposing people to downtown in hopes that they will return to dine, shop, and stroll through our wonderful town on a regular basis.