I Feel Good: Augusta, Georgia Turns It up for James Brown’s 90th Birthday Celebration

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If you can’t help but stomp your feet and sing along as soon as that iconic tune “I feel good…” comes on, you’re not alone! Musical legends do that to people, making an impact so epic they’re remembered many years after they are gone. 

Get Up Offa That Thing: Augusta’s Birthday Bash for James Brown

James Brown mural
Photo Credit: Augusta Convention & Visitors Bureau.

In this case, Mr. James Brown, aka the Godfather of Soul, did that for the world in many ways. James Brown would have celebrated his 90th birthday this year on May 3rd, and this hometown is throwing a major birthday bash!

As the world celebrates this musical legend through his catchy tunes and powerful messages, his hometown of Augusta, Georgia, proudly celebrates what would have been his 90th birthday.

The James Brown Birthday Get Down

James Brown statue - MSN
Photo Credit: Augusta Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The free concert will be hosted on Saturday, May 6, 2023, featuring legendary James Brown trombonist Fred Wesley & The New JB’s with special guest J.A.M.P. Band (James Brown Academy of Musik Pupils) and local funk jam band Funk You plus special guest D.J.’s. 

In addition to the music, enjoy food trucks, beer, concessions, art installations, and kids’ activities. The James Brown Birthday Get Down will take place in the Augusta Museum of History parking lot, which houses the James Brown exhibition that celebrates the man, his music, and his legacy.

The Hardest Working Town in Showbiz: Augusta’s Year-Round Tributes

James Brown outfit - MSN
Photo Credit: Augusta Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Even when it is not a big birthday, Augusta finds ways to celebrate Mr. Brown throughout the community.

Brown grew up in Augusta during the Great Depression and World War II. He overcame poverty and segregation to become an international music icon. Throughout his life, he made many civic, educational, and philanthropic contributions that provided hope and opportunity to those in need. Despite his passing, the musical pioneer lives on through the music industry and in the community where he left his permanent footprint, Augusta, GA. 

Here are some additional ways that the city celebrates his lasting legacy.

Strutting Through History: The James Brown Journey

James Brown journey - MSN
Photo Credit: Augusta Convention & Visitors Bureau.

As you journey through our funky sidewalks, you will walk where Mr. Brown walked and stand where he stood. We hope you enjoy this soul-city journey and feel THE groove of Augusta’s most famous son. On this interactive point-of-interest tour, you will visit a list of historic locations from the life of the Godfather of Soul.

The Family’s Tour: The James Brown Family Historical Tour

James Brown museum - MSN
Photo Credit: Augusta Convention & Visitors Bureau.

By far the most authentic experience you can have, The James Brown Family Historical Tours run once a week on Saturdays from 11 a.m. until 12:45 p.m. 

The tour begins at the Augusta Museum of History. Along with a guide, the bus tour visits sites significant to the history of James Brown growing up and living in Augusta. 

Highlights include such sites as the elementary school that James Brown attended, the home where he lived as a child, businesses he owned, The James Brown Statue, The James Brown Arena, and much more! 

Following the tour, patrons can also see the largest exhibit of his memorabilia at The Augusta Museum of History.

The Ultimate Show and Tell: James Brown Exhibit at the Augusta Museum of History

James Brown exhibit outfits 1 - MSN
Photo Credit: Augusta Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The museum houses the first and most comprehensive major exhibition dedicated to The Godfather of Soul. The museum director Nancy Glaser and Mr. Brown’s daughter, Deanna Brown Thomas, worked together to tell the story of The Man, The Music, and The Legacy of Mr. James Brown through an interactive, visual, and musically driven Exhibit.

A Funky Selfie Spot: The James Brown Statue in Downtown Augusta

Photo with James Brown Statue
Photo Credit: Augusta Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Located on Broad Street, between James Brown Blvd and 8th Street, the life-size bronze statue of Mr. Brown contains the world’s only James Brown CAM. It will take your photo and send it to your cell phone within minutes. Of course, you can always snap your own selfie with the Godfather of Soul.

Groove Central: The Soul Bar

James Brown soul bar 2- MSN
Photo Credit: Augusta Convention & Visitors Bureau.

This downtown nightspot celebrates the rhythm and soul of the larger-than-life singer and other musical inspirations. Not only do they feature artists who cover Brown’s songs and tributes to the late and great artist, but the walls are filled with décor celebrating the Godfather of Soul.

A Canvas of Soul: Street and Local Art

James Brown art the box - MSN
Photo Credit: Augusta Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Visitors to the city will notice murals and photos located throughout the streets, restaurants, and local businesses honoring the artist’s life. One local art program, “art the box” was launched to add beauty to the eyesore electricity boxes throughout downtown. Many locals took the opportunity to paint visuals of the artist for onlookers to enjoy.

Taste the Funk: Local Food and Drinks Inspired by James Brown

James Brown soul bar - MSN
Photo Credit: Augusta Convention & Visitors Bureau.

A wide range of restaurants throughout the city offer food and drinks that pay homage to their hometown hero. From soul food to specialty cocktails, there’s no shortage of ways to savor the flavors of James Brown’s legacy in Augusta.

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Information and images for this article were supplied by the Augusta Convention & Visitors Bureau and produced and syndicated by Our Woven Journey.

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Karee Blunt is a nationally syndicated travel journalist, focused on discovering destinations and experiences that captivate and inspire others through her writing. She is also the founder of Our Woven Journey, a travel site focused on inspiring others to create memory-making adventures with their loved ones. Karee is passionate about encouraging others to step out of their comfort zone and live the life they dream of. She is the mother of six kids, including four through adoption, and lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest. You can learn more about Karee on her about me page.