A week after the Atlanta Greek Picnic (AGP) made its return, AGP founder TiwaWorks was able to sit back and reflect on the success of the 2021 AGP while also planning for the future of the event as well.

“AGP this year was successful overall,” Tiwa said. “Obviously, coming off of COVID and putting ourselves in the position where we want to make sure attendees are safe and given a safe experience, overall I think we did a really good job.”

The picnic is traditionally held in June, but with the state opening so close to the June timeframe, it was pushed back to July.

“I think we wanted to make sure that we’re still able to do an AGP,” he said. “I always tell people don’t assume AGP can always be in June. It could be in June, July or the first week in August.” 

Tiwa went on to say this year’s AGP was “rushed” so the picnic wouldn’t be lost in 2021. Even with the smaller window, however, the turnout and experience did not seem to suffer. The only aspect that appeared to be affected was the stroll-off, where only three teams participated in the exhibition.

“It was a very short window for people to put together teams and stroll routines,” Tiwa explained. “Typically they have a good 10 months to prepare a good routine, so we expect (it) to come back bigger and better next year.”

The coronavirus made planning this year’s AGP a different challenge. And his team had to work with a much smaller time frame as opposed to the 10-month window that begins in August.

“It was intense,” Tiwa stated. “ We literally had less than two months to pull it off. Luckily, we had a system in place, so it was literally calling all the different departments and vendors and saying hey we need this we need that. Some of them have worked with us since day one, some the last five years, some the last two. So everyone knew exactly what to do and we’re able to pull it off.”

AGP is held at Morris Brown College, which recently regained its accreditation as it aims to reopen its doors to students. President Dr. Kevin James, a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., spoke during AGP and shared his excitement about the school coming back. 

“They look at us as family,” Tiwa said regarding the relationship with Morris Brown. “We were the only active event on campus for almost ten years. Anything we’re looking to do, we have a very good, open line of communication. We talk to them constantly and make sure that anything we’re doing we can make sure that it’s positive for both parties in play.”

Tiwa mentioned how much the college has supported AGP and how the picnic was there during the college’s good and bad times. He also shared how the board of directors “are always eager to stay on Morris Brown’s campus.”

The increased involvement of Morris Brown is not the only change Tiwa envisions. He and his team are looking for more ways to improve the picnic experience.

“We never feel like it’s perfect. We always try to fine-tune the user experience,” he said. “When we get to the point that AGP is predictable, people may stop coming. We just want to make sure people continue to enjoy the experience and we take the experience up a higher notch every single year.”

The first AGP event was held over 17 years ago in 2004, Tiwa let it be known that he appreciated the support and how he wants AGP to last for many more years to come.

“Team AGP, we’re very appreciative of the support,” he exclaimed. “Most black events don’t stand to last this long. I met a gentleman on Saturday, and I jokingly asked ‘how long have you been coming?’ and he replied ‘I’ve been coming since day one.’

“AGP is here to stay,” he continued. “We’re looking at longevity, we’re looking at just continuing to build on what we’ve done and to do bigger things. That’s what’s gonna happen going forward in 2022 and beyond.”

 

Atlanta Greek Picnic Founder TiwaWorks (Photo Credit: Mason Smith)