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Business EVENTS

Aug. 30 - Savannah Philharmonic Unveils Its 2019 Picnic in the Park Theme: Color Your World With Music

Category: Business Events

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

August 30, 2019 - Savannah Philharmonic, along with City of Savannah, presenting sponsor Enmarket, and WTOC will present the annual Picnic in the Park (PIP), an afternoon and evening of music and free family fun for the entire community. Today, the event theme of “Color Your World With Music,” was unveiled to the public.

Set in historic Forsyth Park, this year’s event is slated for 3 – 9 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019. The community-wide event will recognize National Arts and Humanities Month by featuring spectacular pre-concert performances, which will include students from Savannah Chatham Public Schools, featuring Savannah Arts Academy Orchestra, Savannah High School Band and Savannah College of Art & Design’s “Honey Bees.” 

The “Color Your World With Music,” theme will be embraced by attendees who participate in the treasured tradition of “best decorated picnic site” contest on the day of the event.  A social media competition, held in July,invited members of the community to submit theme ideas inspired by the enchanted word kaleidoscope. This year’s theme contest winner, Lucinda Shultz, won a $100 Enmarket gift card for her submission of “Color Your World With Music.” 

“The ‘themed’ picnic competition is truly an exciting part of the activities and is wildly popular with the community!” shares Terri O’Neil, Executive Director for the Savannah Philharmonic. “Whether folks create an elaborate picnic setting fit for competition or simply throw out a blanket, everyone enjoys strolling through the park to see the fantastic displays of decorated picnic sites. We hope everyone decides to share in this year’s dazzling kaleidoscope of color and wonderful musical events. Free and open to the public, this annual tradition is our gift to the citizens of Savannah and the surrounding communities!”  

In the spirit of this fun-filled event, attendees are encouraged to bring their own picnics or take advantage of one of the on-site local food and beverage vendors, then join in the celebration by decorating their picnic sites with their own version of a magical, kaleidoscope of color! The picnic contest always results in many impressive and elaborate smorgasbords, accented by inspiring décor that cleverly reflects the theme. 1st and 2nd place winners will receive valuable gift cards from Enmarket, while 3rd place winners will receive tickets to the Savannah Philharmonic’s Family Holiday Spectacular concert. Anyone interested in entering the “best picnic contest,” should register at the Enmarket tent, in sponsor row, no later than 6:15 p.m. Judging will take place during the first half of the concert and winners announced about 8 p.m.

Thanks to the Savannah Philharmonic’s long-standing partnership with the 3rd Infantry Division, there will once again be a patriotic repertoire featuring the Color Guard, U.S. Army Big Band, as well as the traditional canon fire to Tchaikovsky’s 1812 overture as a dramatic culmination of the evening.  Savannah Philharmonic will take Center Stage at 7 p.m., to perform a variety of musical genres conducted by highly acclaimed guest conductor, Gene Chang, with the grand finale set for approximately 9:00 p.m. The Philharmonic’s performance will be preceded by a video featuring the orchestra’s newly appointed Music & Artistic Director Designate, Keitaro Harada, as he welcomes audiences to Picnic in the Park and introduces Maestro Chang. 

Korean-American conductor Gene Chang is rapidly gaining recognition for a brand of music-making that combines unbridled emotional intensity with probing intellectualism. He has been praised by critics for his "captivating elegance" and "passionate and thoughtful" approach to music and has received rave reviews for his work across the entire repertory, from Bach to Ellington. 

Additionally, as a part of the ongoing collaboration between two Savannah-based musical nonprofit organizations, American Traditions Vocal Competition (ATC) silver medalist and VOICE Festival singer, Emily Yocum Black, will perform with the Savannah Philharmonic during their concert. 

Since its inception over 30 years ago, Picnic in the Park has served as one of Savannah’s most popular and well-attended community events, attracting nearly 20,000 attendees to historic Forsyth Park each October. Free and open to the public, this event is a true collaboration with the City of Savannah, Savannah-Chatham County Public School System, local colleges, and several corporate and community partners, as well as the 3rd ID and veteran groups. This longtime autumn tradition has become the perfect opportunity for Coastal Empire residents to relax with friends, family and colleagues beneath a glimmering southern sky, as the Philharmonic provides beautiful music for all to enjoy. 

“Since 2015 when, in support of our mission, the Savannah Philharmonic proudly adopted the development, production and fulfillment of Picnic in the Park, this dynamic event has given us the opportunity to inform, instruct and enrich the community through orchestral music and to increase community awareness and appreciation for the arts. You definitely won’t want to miss this year’s extravaganza!” said Terri O’Neil. “With the wonderful theme, ‘Color Your World With Music,’ we fully expect to see historic Forsyth Park explode in extraordinary color while the Philharmonic performs splendid classical, pops and movie soundtrack favorites and exciting patriotic pieces!” 

Sponsors for the 2019 Picnic in the Park include: Presenting sponsor Enmarket, WTOC, Georgia Power, Wet Willies, Gulfstream, StageFront, HunterMaclean, Cordasco & Company, P.C., Savannah Coca-Cola, Corona Light, Service Brewery, Perry Lane Hotel, Eichholz Law Firm, Savannah Morning News, Lesley Francis Public Relations, Connect, GPB 91.1, Old Town Trolley Tours. Investment is provided by the City of Savannah.

For more information about Picnic in the Park, call 912-232-6002, visit, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or find the event page posted on the Savannah Philharmonic’s Facebook page.

The mission of Savannah’s Philharmonic is to inform, instruct and enrich the community through orchestral and choral performances, and to promote and increase community knowledge and appreciation of the arts. The nonprofit organization’s vision is to be regarded as an essential musical, educational, cultural, and economic asset to the community.  

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