AROUND WEST AUGUSTINE: Time again to celebrate Gulla Geechee cultural heritage

The 6th annual SEA Rails to Trails Festival returns Dec. 2-3. The Mende Gullah Armstrong tradition continues, celebrating Armstrong at 105 years strong and Gullah Geechee heritage. Activities and entertainment will include cultural arts and crafts, food vendors, Meade film festival/historical films, and heritage corridor discussions. Saturdays entertainment includes Willie Green, Doug Carn and Company, St. Jax Band, Amy Alyssia and Soul Operation, Little Jake and the Soul Searchers and The Geechee Gullah Ring Shouters. Sunday entertainment will feature gospel music. For more information, contact Malinda Peeples at 904-826-3939 or Kathy Taylor at 904-615-4994.

• The First Coast Chapter of the Charmettes will host its Denim & Diamonds Bash on Nov. 25 in support of Breast Cancer Awareness. Tickets are $20 and the event will go from 7:30 p.m. until midnight at the Mark Lance Armory, 190 San Marco Ave. See any member of the Charmettes for tickets.

• The 2017 Scorpio Ball will be held Saturday at American Legion Post No. 194, 1029 Pearl St. Admission is free for all Scorpios age 21 and older with proper ID. Admission is $10. For more details, call 904-829-8189.

• Judge Alexander R. Christine Jr., Adult Drug Court Judge for St. Johns County, will present a public education program on the benefits of drug court on Nov. 29 at 6 p.m. at the Solomon Calhoun Center, 1300 Duval St.

If offenders acknowledge their guilt and their substance abuse problems and go on to successfully complete a treatment program, their sentences may be reduced or charges even dismissed. The talk is sponsored by Compassion in Action, an initiative of Compassionate St. Augustine.

• The inaugural Unity Fest will be held Dec. 9 at American Legion Post No. 194, 1029 Pearl St. The event will be held from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. with a $10 admission. For more information, contact Robert D. Nimmons at 904-545-6452.

Toys for Tots will be held Dec. 16 from 10 a.m. until noon. This event is a toy giveaway for children from newborns to 12 years. Distribution locations include W.E. Harris Community Center, 6150 South Main St. Hastings (point of contact is Kerstin Atkins at 904-209-6156); the Solomon Calhoun Center, 1300 Duval St. (POC is LaShawnda Jones at 904-466-4309); and the Elks Lodge, 1420 A1A South (POC is Dean Cameron at 904-209-6168). For registration information, contact the individual listed for the desired pickup center.

• The West Augustine CRA Culture & Quality of Life Committee presents Praise In The Park on Dec. 17 from 4-7 p.m. at Collier Blocker Puryear Park, 10 North Holmes Blvd. All choirs and gospel are invited to participate and spread the joy of the holiday season within the community. For more information, contact Robert Nimmons at 904-545-6452.

Contributed to the St. Augustine Record by Linda Murray, November 21, 2017