MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – The annual Sweetgrass Festival kicks off this weekend and leaders in the Lowcountry met at the First Taste of Sweetgrass Culture Dinner to kick off the event.

The history culture and tradition of the Gullah Geechee is showcased through this festival for people across the Lowcountry to enjoy.

“The history here and the culture are so important for the region and the state. I spent my summers here,” says Reggie Love, the keynote speaker at the First Taste of Sweetgrass Culture Dinner.

The African American Historic Settlement Community welcomed Love, a Charleston native as the keynote speaker for this year’s dinner. Love is President Barack Obama’s personal aide and is a Duke Blue Devils National Basketball Champion.

He says he has learned so much from the settlement community and it’s important to keep the festival a tradition.

“As much as we get our educational knowledge from our school system, we as a community need to also amplify and reinforce what is left out of the curriculum,” says Love.

Love says seeing people from all ages come together and celebrate the Gullah Geechee culture makes the sweetgrass festival one of a kind.

“The saltwater, food, smell, and even the humidity, I sometimes even miss that. All of those pieces are great and you can’t find them anywhere else in the world,” he says.

The Sweetgrass Festival is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park.