COVID-19 has stripped many of us away from our normalcy. But as March turns to June and the sunshine starts to creep into the shades we have kept closed, many of us will choose to head outside for a picnic.
Traditional picnics, with the family together in the park eating a lunch made that morning, have now transformed into luxurious outings — often with cake, champagne, pillows, and fancy attire. If you’re looking for a luxurious event, Gettysburg Picnics can provide what you are looking for.
The business, managed and created by Phillip and Tessa Walter, opened in December 2020 as part of the family LLC, The Walter Years, which opened in 2019.
“I can remember many, many trips to the park to feed the ducks and ‘picnics,’ which consisted of nothing more than PB & J sandwiches and blankets,” said Tessa.
These memories and the influence of the pandemic helped to create Gettysburg Picnics. “While a plaid blanket and PB&J are lovely, our picnics are definitely not your basic basket,” said Tessa.
Tessa creates her upscale picnics with provisions from local suppliers, picking up food at local establishments and providing centerpieces, candles, pillows, and more.
The cost of a basic picnic – two people for two hours – is $200. Additional guests, up to a maximum of six, are $20 per person. Additional hours will cost $50, with a maximum of four hours. Most clients have an idea for their perfect outing and will work with Tessa to make their dreams come true. If not, Tessa can offer a surplus of ideas.
When it comes to deciding a location, the venue can either be in your backyard or in a public venue. If the site is more than 20 miles away from Gettysburg, $25 will be added to travel fees.
Additional add-ons such as fresh flowers ($30-40), personalized signs ($10-50, depending on size), massages, outdoor Mega-Jenga ($10), and photography are also available. Additionally, if you are planning to bring along your furry friend (and your venue allows it), a “Pooch Perfect Essentials Pack” ($25) is offered. In terms of food and drink, a grazing box ($30-80) option is available, made by a local friend who owns a charcuterie business. Tessa will also pick up food for clients at local establishments, but this is limited due to COVID.
She hopes to be able to provide alcohol by 2022.
Tessa balances her work with the picnics with her family life. Mother to a five-month-old, she explained working and having a newborn as, “Interesting to say the least. What I strive for more than balance is presence. When I am with my son, which is the majority of my day, I try my best to be present. It’s very easy to drift off into the picnic world’ and be thinking of all the things I could or should be doing for our business.”
Gettysburg Picnics will be offering its first 2021 picnics in April. Tessa puts up and takes down all picnics on her own and recommends booking 2-3 weeks ahead of time.
Contact Gettysburg Picnics at www.thewalteryears.com/gettysburg-picnics, @gettysburgpicnics on Instagram, or email them at email@example.com.
The Walter Years offers a wide range of services, including career and financial coaching, freelance writing, and tech support in addition to Gettysburg Picnics.
Maya is a Gettysburg College freshman who has not yet declared a major. She is a graduate of Benjamin N. Cardozo High School in Queens NY where she edited the school magazine, The Mercury. Maya is a member of the Arista honor society and the Red Cross, and has held jobs working with emotionally-disturbed children and adults and with service horses.