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JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside District Opening

JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside District to Host Grand Opening Celebration November 18-20, Featuring Live Music, Magic Shows, Cirque Performances, Fireworks and More

Plant Riverside District – Savannah, Ga.’s newest and most exciting destination for dining, shopping and live entertainment – will host a special Grand Opening Celebration from Thursday, November 18 through Saturday, November 20 along Savannah’s historic riverfront at 400 W. River St. All events, which are free and open to the public, will celebrate the official opening of the JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside District.

Known as Savannah’s Entertainment District, Plant Riverside District stands apart as a vibrant entertainment destination, offering incredible dining, high-end shopping, live music and spectacular performances year-round. Located on the site of a former power plant, Plant Riverside District offers elegantly curated experiences for local residents and visitors from around the world. With the recent opening of the new Atlantic Building, the second and final phase of this ambitious, award-winning redevelopment project is now complete.

“With the creation of Plant Riverside District, my desire was to do something special with a landmark building in Savannah and to create exciting new indoor and outdoor spaces that are truly built for fun,” said Richard C. Kessler, Chairman and CEO of The Kessler Collection. “We transformed an abandoned 1912 power plant with 1,100 linear feet overlooking the Savannah River into an exceptional asset for local residents and visitors, offering live music, inspiring art, international cuisine and incredible entertainment throughout the year. I’m thrilled that Plant Riverside District has become a symbol of hospitality in Savannah.”

The free three-day grand opening celebration at JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside District will offer live music by a wide range of artists, performances by Cirque Divina, informative lectures, live artist painting demonstrations, fountain shows, fireworks, laser light shows as well as food and drink options for all ages. Free family-friendly entertainment will include live magic by David Jowers, mini-golf and dinosaur-themed adventures.

“We invite local residents and visitors from across the country to join us at Plant Riverside District for a fun-filled celebration focusing upon three major themes: water, beauty and the natural sciences,” said Kessler. “Plant Riverside District is truly a dream come true, and the response we’ve received from the public has been absolutely incredible. This three-day grand opening celebration is our way of giving back to everyone who has supported our vision for Savannah’s Entertainment District.”

The three-day celebration will kick-off on Thursday, November 18 at noon with the grand opening of Georgia Southern University’s new “That Great Gretsch Sound!” exhibit at District Live. Presented through a special partnership between the Fred and Dinah Gretsch School of Music at Georgia Southern University and The Kessler Collection, this permanent display of drums, guitars and music memorabilia highlighting 135 years of Gretsch instruments is featured in District Live’s lobby and performance space in the Atlantic Building. Starting at noon, Georgia Southern University’s marching band and cheerleaders will perform live in Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, followed by Georgia Southern University musicians showcasing their talents on the state-of-the-art District Live stage from noon to 1 p.m.

Free live music, mini-golf and family-friendly entertainment will continue throughout the afternoon and into the evening on Thursday, November 18, culminating in fountain shows at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park at 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. That evening, District Live will present The Johnny Mercer Experience, a dazzling cabaret-style show that will take place on Savannah native and famed songwriter Johnny Mercer’s 112th birthday, free of charge.  

On Friday, November 19, The Kessler Collection’s Chairman and CEO Richard C. Kessler and Plant Riverside District architect Christian Sottile will lead a free lecture about the creation of Plant Riverside District at 11 a.m. From 2:15 to 3:30 p.m., Savannah artist Amiri Geuka Farris will create an action painting on the Pavilion Stage with the finished work being sold at the upcoming Savannah Christmas Market Plant Riverside District and proceeds benefiting a local children’s fund to provide holiday gifts.

A special performance by the Christian Tamburr Trio will take place on Beethoven’s Terrace at 5 p.m., followed by a magic show by David Jowers at 6 p.m. At 7:30 p.m., former Georgia Power CEO Paul Bowers will ceremoniously light the Electric Moon Towers alongside Kessler and discuss the early years of power in Savannah as well as its evolution throughout the state. The special evening will culminate with a free concert by the Equinox Orchestra in Martin Luther King, Jr. Park at 8 p.m. and a high-energy performance by Cirque Divina at 9:30 p.m.

On Saturday, November 20, the celebration will continue with Plant Riverside District Passport to Discovery, a free family-friendly adventure exploring the dinosaurs and geodes hidden throughout Plant Riverside District. Participants will later join a free lecture by paleontologist Dave Trexler, who will discuss the newest dinosaur in Savannah and why dinosaurs are still important in today’s world. From 1 to 4 p.m., Grand Bohemian Gallery artists will participate in a Plein Air Paint Out at Myrtle & Rose. Artist Mariyah Sultan will also entertain guests with a live performance painting with violin accompaniment by Marta Richardson on the Pavilion Stage.

The three-day grand opening celebration will culminate on November 20 with a live concert by The Legacy Band at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park at 8:30 p.m. and a fireworks display over the river at 9:40 p.m.

“Plant Riverside District is a very special destination that has been warmly embraced by Savannah residents as well as guests,” said Mark Castriota, Managing Director at JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside District. “We invite everyone to celebrate with us as we host a lively three-day, family-friendly celebration along the riverfront.”

Throughout the weekend, 14 exceptional restaurants at Plant Riverside District will also offer a wide range of food and drink specials.

Since the first phase of JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside District officially opened in July 2020, this ambitious redevelopment project has received a number of awards, including the Congress for the New Urbanism’s 2021 International Charter Awards Grand Prize, the Urban Land Institute’s 2021 Americas Awards for Excellence, the Urban Land Institute’s 2021 Global Awards for Excellence, a 2021 Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation Award for Excellence in Rehabilitation, a Historic Savannah Foundation Preservation Award and the Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS) Development of the Year Award.

For more information about the Grand Opening Celebration at Plant Riverside District or to view a complete entertainment schedule, please visit www.plantriversidedistrict.com.