Friends of Grand Rapids Parks to host Green Gala picnic

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Community members have until Aug. 10 to reserve a picnic basket filled with a locally crafted gourmet dinner to be enjoyed at the Green Gala riverside picnic. Courtesy Friends of Grand Rapids Parks

A nonprofit that focuses on stewarding local parks is converting its annual indoor gala into an outdoor, family-friendly picnic.

Friends of Grand Rapids Parks will host its ninth annual fundraiser, Green Gala: Picnic Edition, on Aug. 13.

Green Gala: Picnic Edition has been designed to make social distancing easy. To maintain safe crowd sizes, Friends of Grand Rapids Parks will host two back-to-back picnics at Ah-Nab-Awen Park, 220 Front Ave. NW, on Aug. 13: a 5:30 p.m. and an 8 p.m. picnic, each with a limit of 100 guests.

“We wanted to create an event that would provide a fun and safe opportunity for families to get out of the house and enjoy our green spaces,” said Stephanie Adams, Friends’ executive director. “Though we may not be able to gather and mingle, we can still come together to celebrate and support our city’s amazing parks.”

Community members have until Aug. 10 to reserve a picnic basket filled with a locally crafted gourmet dinner to be enjoyed at the Green Gala riverside picnic. Baskets feature food and drink from Steadfast Supper Club, Daddy’s Dough, Farmhaus Cider Co., Brewery Vivant, Proper Soda and Boxed Water.

Live entertainment will be provided at the event by Drew Behringer, members of The Diatribe, Jordan Hamilton, J. Rob and Bedrock: The Foundation, Dancespire and emcee A.B.

Every attendee will receive a face mask and hand sanitizer in their basket, and Friends of Grand Rapids Parks will predetermine and mark socially distanced “picnic spots” throughout the park for individual households to safely eat their meal.

A pick-up option also is available for those who would like to support the organization but are not yet comfortable with outdoor gatherings. When reserving a picnic basket on Friends’ website, guests can indicate which picnic time they prefer or if they will pick up the basket to take home.

Founded in 2008, Friends of Grand Rapids Parks is an independent, citizen-led nonprofit enterprise with a mission to empower people to cultivate vibrant parks, green spaces and trees in Grand Rapids. More information is available at friendsofgrparks.org.

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