MURRELLS INLET, S.C. (WBTW) — Brookgreen Gardens is preparing for hundreds of people to make their way to the Lowcountry grounds for a big celebration this weekend.

The 6th annual Gullah Geechee Junkanoo Festival is a celebration centered around cultural heritage and connections that showcase a rich history tracing back to the Lowcountry.

“It’s alive today because of the descendants who keep that culture, the community, the history, the education, vibrant,” said Natalie Jones, vice president of the creative education department at Brookgreen Gardens.

Vibrancy is key, and it’s a lot of what festival-goers can expect to see on Saturday, Jones said. There will be live music from an Afro-Brazilian band, food-tasting, elaborate costumes, live screen printing, African drumming and dancing, and, of course, the parade of masks to end the celebration.

“Essentially, we say Gullah Geeche culture, we refer to the trans-Atlantic slave trade when people were brought over from west Africa, and so a lot of the rice culture, the spirituality, the arts really came over with people who settled here in this area and a lot of the Lowcountry,” Jones said.

This particular area of the Lowcountry holds a rich history, Jones said.

“I think this is a great place to have this festival and talk about the importance of the Gullah Geechee culture and the Junkanoo since we are at Brookgreen Gardens. There is a rich history of African-American presence, enslavement.

This year’s Junkanoo theme is life, freedom and community, all things Jones wants to educate people about.

“Historically, what Junkanoo was was a celebration of enslaved people,” Jones said. “After they finished their duties, it was a way for them to celebrate and be festive, talk about community, spirituality after the work is done.”

Admission to the festival is complimentary with a membership or admission ticket to Brookgreen Gardens. It will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.