This past weekend was the Inaugural Alabama Greek Picnic (ALGP) in Birmingham. Although the event is not solely for members of Greek organizations, it is an opportunity for members of the National Pan-Hellenic Council to celebrate unity amongst organizations, give to the community, and fellowship amongst one another.
The National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) is a collaborative organization of nine historically African American, international Greek lettered fraternities and sororities: Alpha Phi Alpha, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Omega Psi Phi, Delta Sigma Theta, Kappa Alpha Psi, Sigma Gamma Rho, Zeta Phi Beta, Phi Beta Sigma, and Iota Phi Theta.
Historically, members of NPHC all across the southeast would convene in Atlanta for the biggest greek picnic held in the region. Until Shumaine and TaMarcus Pruitt decided that the state of Alabama should hold its own Greek picnic.
How ALGP Came To Be
TaMarcus and his wife, Shumaine, began planning the picnic last year and decided that Birmingham would be the best location for the first Alabama Greek Picnic. The Pruitts own Shop the Kloset, a Greek paraphernalia store, and they would travel to other greek picnics selling the merchandise.
Shumaine said, “We would always meet other Greeks from Alabama, and we just thought it made sense to host our own picnic in the state.”
About 6 months ago the Pruitts started looking for sponsors and growing their team to help plan the picnic. The team included David Powell, Kris Campbell, VeVe Smith and Richarod Hudson.
When talking to David Powell about why they chose Birmingham, he said, “We have a beautiful city right in front of us, so why go anywhere else?”
Giving Back To The Community
In the process of planning the event, the organizers decided that they wanted the event to have the feel of a family reunion. Instead of just having a day of hanging out in the park and ending the day with step shows, it will be an entire weekend of events and giving back to the community.
Friday was the day to socialize amongst other greek attendees at Magnolia House. Saturday morning there was a community service event at Linn Park to collect essentials for the homeless and supplies for students. The community service event transitioned into the main event, the Greek Picnic. Sunday morning was church service with Rock City Church, followed by a day party at Sleek to end the eventful weekend. Central Park Christian School will be receiving the school supplies.
Birmingham Hosts The Future’s Largest Greek Picnic
Similarly to the Atlanta Greek Picnic, the Alabama Greek Picnic will continue to be held during the summer.
Shumaine mentioned, “We were wanting to make sure it was done during the summer, but before football season started, and not when other greek picnics were happening.”
There were over 700 people who participated in the ALGP activities. Shumaine is hoping to continue to increase that number over time, hoping to make it ones of the largest greek picnics in the nation.
“Next year we want to target a different demographic. We want to have members of greek organizations that are 40 years old and up.”
The Pruitts are very honored and excited to bring this to Alabama, and specifically to Birmingham.