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Carolina's Greek Picnic makes its debut in the Queen City this weekend

The founder hopes to shine a spotlight on the Carolinas rich history and highlight the significance of NPHC organizations and HBCUs.


Making its debut in the Queen City, Carolina's Greek Picnic marks an exciting first for the community, bringing together the National Pan Hellenic Council and historically black college and university communities in a memorable experience.  

RELATED: The history of Black sororities and fraternities

Having graduated from college less than two weeks before, Rock Hill native Jonah Gilyard Jr., along with two others, organized the first Carolina's Greek Picnic for North Carolina and South Carolina.

The event takes place from May 26 through May 28, 2023. Details can be found here.

The idea originated from Gilyard's own experience at South Carolina State University's Alpha Lambda chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity incorporated. 

After attending a similar event, the 2021 Atlanta Greek Picnic, Gilyard envisioned a gathering that would be closer to home. 

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“I went to the AGP the first year and I loved it, but I just thought about all the people who just may want something closer to home, something a little bit more easily accessible to them,” Gilyard said.

After discussing the idea with co-founder Mustafia Love, Carolina's Greek Picnic was born.

Gilyard expressed his excitement about the event’s first year and the potential impact on the Charlotte community, and the NPHC among the Carolinas. The team has worked tirelessly for over a year and a half, planning this event. 

With over 2500 tickets already sold, the team expects a turnout of around 3500 attendees. 

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Gilyard aims to shine a spotlight on the Carolinas and their rich history, which often takes a backseat to larger cities like Atlanta, or New York. Additionally, the event aims to highlight the significance of NPHC organizations and HBCUs, emphasizing their contributions to education and culture. 

“The Carolinas are really historic, and I feel like this event [will give] the Carolinas more shine because we can kind of be overshadowed by bigger cities like Atlanta and New York and Florida,” Gilyard said.

For Gilyard, this event holds personal importance as a recent graduate of South Carolina State University. Having graduated earlier this month, he believes that the Carolina's Greek Picnic will not only provide a memorable experience for attendees but also establish a legacy that will continue to grow in the coming years. 

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“This started for everybody to have a good time [and] to make history. I can only imagine how big it's going to be three to five years down the road.” Gilyard said.

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