Hermann Park Celebrates With Gala

By Jennifer Roosth    Photography by Priscilla Dickson

THE SETTING: Due to Covid-19 safety measures, this year’s Evening in The Park for the Hermann Park Conservancy looked a little different than in the past. But this year’s event made up for lost time due to 2020’s gala cancellation. Instead of dinner, dancing, and the program under one big tent, the event was socially distanced and progressive. Dinner was served in tented “pods” placed along the Mary Gibbs and Jesse H. Jones Reflection Pool.

THE STYLE: Guests started with welcome cocktails and photographs in Lindsey Plaza. Then, to add an element of fun, many guests opted to take the Hermann Park Railroad from Lindsey Plaza to the Molly Ann Smith Plaza passing through the beautiful native plants and grounds of the upcoming Commons site. At Molly Ann Smith Plaza, guests heard from Kristy Bradshaw, Conservancy Board Chair, who shared about the organization’s endeavors, including play spaces, natural habitats and plantings, public art installations, gathering areas, and the McWilliams Dog Park, which was the focus of this year’s gala celebration and one of the most requested features by the community. Next was dinner, when each party headed to their respective “pod” to enjoy a meal from City Kitchen. Afterward, tunes were provided by DJ Mav at the Pioneer Obelisk, as guests indulged themselves with a bit of spirited dancing to celebrate an event that was two years in the making.

THE PURPOSE: The event’s co-chairs, Jo and Jim Furr, and Roslyn Bazzelle Mitchell and Derrick Mitchell, worked tirelessly to ensure guests had a fun and safe night. This year’s event surpassed its goal and raised $650,000 for the care and improvement of Hermann Park. That was in addition to the generous $1 million gift toward the Dog Park’s capital campaign from Laura and Brad McWilliams, this year’s honorees. Marley Lott, the honoree of 2020’s canceled Evening in the Park, was also in attendance and recognized.