Saturday, September 15, 2007

Block Party

Posted on Sat, Sep 15, 2007 at 4:00 AM

One of Memphis' most successful and most beloved festivals will happen for the 20th time on Saturday, September 15th.

The annual Cooper-Young Festival will take over the streets of that neighborhood with its usual complement of music, arts, and food.

"It's a celebration, an end-of-summer party," says Lyn Patrick Myers, the festival's director. "It's about letting your hair down and just being around other people."

Last year's festival drew an estimated 65,000 people, and Myers expects that Saturday's crowd will be just as large.

The festival's list of vendors reveals the diversity and texture that give the Cooper-Young neighborhood its eclectic personality. Nearly every conceivable art and craft will be for sale, alongside cultural vendors, and representatives from local non-profit groups.

"There's really no stereotyping here," Myers says. "It brings a lot of people together who are never around each other."

Local indie-rockers Lucero headline Cooper-Young's musical line-up. The festival features three stages with music playing all day. Also appearing are the University of Memphis Jazz Band, singer-songwriter Blair Combest, and a number of local favorites such as Vending Machine and Jump Back Jake.

The Cooper-Young Festival begins at 9 a.m. Forecasters are predicting unseasonably cool temperatures in the upper 70s — perfect weather for having fun.

"It's like throwing a party for 65,000 people," Myers says. "I love it."

Cooper-Young Festival, 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday, September 15th. For more info, vist the festival web site, CooperYoungFestival.com.

--Michael Flanagan

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