A Pastoral Picnic in White

Dress in white from head to toe, add a white tablecloth and picnic basket, then grab your friends and head to Millennium Park’s Great Lawn on Saturday, August 12 at 6 PM for the Grant Park Music Festival’s Pastoral Picnic in White.

Everyone is invited, there is no registration fee and anyone can join this free, themed picnic in the Park, taking place before the Grant Park Orchestra takes the stage for an evening of Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov and a world premiere by the Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer, Aaron J. Kernis. Macy’s is the Grant Park Music Festival’s official picnic sponsor.

The Festival’s Pastoral Picnic in White is inspired by the French phenomenon that began in Paris in 1988, when friends gathered at the Bois de Boulogne for a dinner party and dressed in white so they could see each other in the dark. Now, every year, thousands of people gather in Paris, as well as other cities in Europe, Canada and throughout the States for these elegant pop-up dinner parties.

Chantal Forster (right) and a friend

“There's a special magic in people coming together for one night of community joy,” said Chantal Forster, a Festival member who loves sitting on the Great Lawn for concerts. “You'll look out across the grass and see people clinking glasses with a neighbor, sharing appetizers, borrowing a wine opener, or asking — where on earth did you get that fabulous white hat?”

There is no “right way” to participate in the Festival’s Pastoral Picnic in White. It’s all free, set against the backdrop of the Frank Gehry-designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion in the heart of downtown Chicago.

6PM: Picnic Set-Up Begins on Great Lawn
7:30PM: Concert Begins


Grant Park Orchestra
Carlos Kalmar, Conductor
Jonathan Boen, Horn

The Grant Park Orchestra tackles two monumental Russian pieces plus a world premiere by the Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer, Aaron Jay Kernis.

Rimsky-Korsakov: Overture: The Tsar's Bride
Kernis: Horn Concerto (World Premiere)
Tchaikovsky: Manfred Symphony

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