Plant Riverside Savannah Grand Opening set for November 18-20

Plant Riverside District – Savannah, Georgia’s newest 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,” Richard C. Kessler, Chairman and CEO of The Kessler Collection said,. “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.”

The 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.

Lobby atrium at JW Marriott Plant Riverside District Savannah, GA.
Lobby atrium at JW Marriott Plant Riverside District Savannah, GA. Photo courtesy Plant Riverside District.

Plant Riverside Savannah Grand Opening Weekend

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. 

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


Plant Riverside District, located at 400 W. River Street, is a vibrant entertainment destination and Savannah’s Entertainment District. From incredible dining and high-end shopping to live music and spectacular performances, Plant Riverside District creates elegantly curated experiences, stripping away the unnecessary to reveal the exceptional. Once an iconic power plant in Georgia, Plant Riverside District now represents the beauty of progress.

Complete your experience with numerous dining options, rooftop bars, a concert venue, art gallery, riverfront park and even natural science exhibits to spark your imagination.

For more information, please visit and follow @plantriversidedistrict on Facebook and Instagram.


The Kessler Collection‘s portfolio of passionately created and artistically inspired boutique hotels boasts chic design, luxurious accommodations, enriching ambiance and intuitive service. Whether visiting properties in Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina or South Carolina, each hotel’s exquisite art, music and cultural influences are deliberately approachable. Designed to inspire mystique and to encourage unforgettable experiences, Kessler guests are immersed in redefined Bohemian luxury, from an 1888 historic hotel and a cutting-edge downtown icon to a premier luxury lodge, high-design Southern mansion and elite ski lodge.

The Kessler Collection was the founding member of the Marriott Autograph Collection, introduced with seven Autograph Collection branded hotels. Each property is a bold, original hotel carefully created with style and the individualist traveler in mind. For more information about The Kessler Collection, please visit or call 888.472.6312.

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