Paris-themed garden party raising funds for Downey Symphony

DOWNEY -- Paris comes to Downey on Sept. 18, and you don’t even have to leave town.  

The Downey Symphonic Society’s annual garden party on the theme “An Afternoon in Paris” begins at 3 p.m. in the Rio Hondo Event Center. Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served on the patio, followed by a dinner.  

Entertainment will be provided by Alison Bjorkedal, a Grammy Award-winning harpist. Also performing are local singer Abigail Hernandez with piano player Vahan Bznuni. Symphony-goers will remember Bjorkedal’s performance of music by the great French composer Debussy in an earlier season.  

Live and silent auction items will be available, including Paris-inspired baskets of wine and treats, Symphony tickets, gift cards, jewelry, theater tickets, fine works by local artists, dinner with Music Director Sharon Lavery before an orchestra rehearsal, and more.  

Pat Gil, the Symphony Board member in charge of organizing the event, remarked, “The Garden Party just keeps getting better every year. It’s a great afternoon with enchanting music, a delicious meal, and a chance to meet and chat with supporters of the Downey Symphony.”  

She encourages everyone to “get into the spirit — dress in French-inspired colors, be chic in Chanel or Dior, wear your French beret, or simply come dressed for an afternoon in Paris.”

Tickets are $75 per person, and proceeds benefit the Downey Symphony and its Music in the Schools program.  For tickets, contact Pat Gil at