Yes, it's that time of year again to fill the streets of the Cooper-Young district with art, music, and people of all ages for the city's favorite end-of-summer block party.
This year marks the 21st Cooper-Young Festival, which started as a small neighborhood fund-raising event. "The city of Memphis had deemed us a neighborhood in decline," says Tamara Walker, director of the Cooper-Young Business Association. "We started this festival to bring people back into the area."
The strategy worked. These days, the Cooper-Young neighborhood is home to some 1,600 residents, 20 restaurants, and 28 retail shops. The annual festival continues to attract new homeowners and merchants to the area, along with thousands of people from the Mid-South.
This year's event will include 370 artists and vendors selling everything from handmade stoneware, paintings, and sculptures to vintage clothing, jewelry, and soaps. There also will be 17 local bands performing on three stages. Featured entertainers include Eric Gales, Pezz, Energy D, the Warble, the University of Memphis Jazz Band, and the Tennessee Tearjerkers. For the kids, there will be a large children's area hosted by the Civitians, which will offer bounces, balloons, games, and painting lessons.
Expect the streets to overflow with people and good times for all. "It's a big, fun party with 80,000 of your closest friends," Walker says.
Cooper-Young Festival, Cooper-Young District, Saturday, September 13th, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Rain date is Sunday, September 14th.