Annual Manual Calendar 2009 


Autozone Liberty Bowl Football Classic Don't miss the 50th annual battle for football supremacy as the Conference USA champ challenges the best of the Mountain West. Prior to the game, leave room in your schedule to attend pregame festivities like a president’s gala, rodeo, and all-star high school football game. Game time is 4 p.m. on January 2nd. (795-7700,

Elvis Presley Birthday Week Only a king deserves a weeklong birthday celebration. Celebrate at the annual dance party, the scavenger hunt at Graceland, or Elvis bingo at the Heartbreak Hotel. January 8th-11th. (332-3322,

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Holiday Honor the birthday of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. with various local events sponsored by the National Civil Rights Museum. In 2009, the national holiday will be observed January 19th. (521-9699)


Black History Month Celebrate the history and achievements of African Americans at various sites around the city: National Civil Rights Museum (521-9699), University of Memphis (678-2135), Memphis Brooks Museum of Art (544-6200), and the Memphis/Shelby County Public Library (415-2700).

International Blues Talent Competition The blues may have originated in the Mississippi Delta, but the sound has spread all over the world. Hear everything from Midwest blues to Middle Eastern blues at this annual international showdown on Beale with the finale at the Orpheum. February 4th-7th. (527-2583,

Mardi Gras Parade and Pub Crawl Mardi Gras in New Orleans may be eight hours away, but Memphians love any excuse for a party. This new event includes a parade down Beale and multiple parties in the entertainment district’s bars. Second weekend in February. (529-0999)

Regions Morgan Keegan Tennis Championship This annual tournament features the best in men’s and women’s tennis at the Racquet Club of Memphis. February 13th-22nd. (765-4400,

Beale Street Zydeco Music Festival More than 20 zydeco bands perform during this two-day tribute to Cajun music. February 27th-28th. (529-0999)

March 2009

Southern Women’s Show Leave the men at home, ladies. It’s time for a girl’s day out with the annual traveling expo of all things female. See the latest fashions, shop from hundreds of vendors, and learn beauty tips and relaxation techniques. Agricenter International. March 13th-15th. (800-849-0248,

St. Patrick’s Day Drink green beer and pretend you’re a leprechaun this St. Paddy’s Day with various parties at local clubs and restaurants. Don’t miss the annual Raising of the Goat at Silky O’Sullivan’s on Beale. March 17th. (522-9596)

APRIL 2009

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial March Dr. King’s dream lives on as members of the AFSCME AFL-CIO union march through downtown. Early April. (525-2458)

Africa In April Cultural Awareness Festival In its 23rd year, Africa In April offers Memphians a chance to sample native foods, hear African music, shop for imported goods, and learn all about this year’s honored country. The main event takes place in downtown’s Robert R. Church Park. April 16th-19th. (947-2133,

May 2009

Memphis in May International Festival Rockers, foodies, and culture lovers unite for this annual monthlong celebration of music, barbecue, and an honored country. Catch plenty of live music at the Beale Street Music Festival. Get to know all about Chile, this year’s honored country. Nosh on pulled pork at the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest. And chill out to the soothing sounds of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra at the Sunset Symphony. Events take place at Tom Lee Park all month long. (525-4611,

Blues Music Awards The 30th annual Blues Foundation awards show is like the Grammy’s of the blues world. Cook Convention Center. May 7th. (527-2583,

Memphis Greek Festival Celebrate the culture of the Mediterranean with Greek food, dancing, music, and more at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church. May 8th-9th. (327-8177,

Memphis Italian Festival Stroll through the wine and cheese garden while you send the kids to play in Luigiland. This annual festival at Marquette Park celebrates Italian culture with plenty of food, a grape-stomping session, a pizza-tossing contest, and more. May 28th-30th. (767-6949,

Carnival Memphis Memphis was once the cotton capital of the South and this annual festival honors that heritage with a parade, “krewe” coronations, and the grand finale, a Crown and Scepter Ball. May 29th. (458-2500,

June 2009

Stanford St. Jude Championship Veteran golfers compete in this PGA event benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at the Tournament Players Club at Southwind. June 8th-14th. (748-0534,

Germantown Charity Horse Show Equestrians and their horses have been gathering in Germantown for this multibreed show since 1948. Held at the show grounds next to Germantown High School. Early June. (754-0009,

Juneteenth The oldest-known celebration of the end of slavery is held at Douglass Park. Enjoy live music by local hip-hop and blues acts and see educators honored for their work with African-American youth. June 19th-21st. (385-4943,

The Orpheum Classic Movie Series The Orpheum isn’t just for Broadway shows and concerts. At this annual summer series, the performance hall becomes a vintage movie theater, screening favorites such as “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” “Gone with the Wind,” and even “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” June through August. (525-7800,

Live at the Garden Concert Series Commune with nature while catching shows by classic touring rock and pop acts. Last year’s performers included Jewel, Huey Lewis & the News, and the B-52’s. Pack a picnic and lounge on a blanket throughout the show. June through September. (685-1566,

JULY 2009

Red, While, & Blues Star Spangled Celebration Celebrate America’s independence with a massive fireworks show, live bands, and activities for the whole family. Tom Lee Park. July 4. (529-0999)

August 2009

Elvis Week ’09 Elvis fans from the world over descend on Memphis for this annual tribute to the King of Rock-and-Roll. The celebration includes the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist contest as well as plenty of parties, film screenings, and concerts. August 8th-16th. Candlelight vigil at Graceland, August 15th. (332-3322,

Memphis Music and Heritage Festival Who says nothing good comes for free? At this annual musical extravaganza, bands perform blues, rock, rap, and more on indoor and outdoor stages, and it’s all completely free. Also don’t miss the arts and crafts and food samplings from local restaurants. 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Labor Day Weekend. (525-3655)


WLOK Stone Soul Picnic Pack your picnic basket and head to Tom Lee Park for this 34th annual event where the best of Memphis gospel music meets the Mississippi River. 1-10 p.m. September 5th. (527-9565)

Delta Fair & Music Festival Ten days of rides, food, live music, and more during this annual festival and fair. September 4-13. (

Germantown Festival For over 30 years, families celebrate two days of entertainment at this annual festival. Don’t miss the Race of the Weenies, where dachshunds compete to see whose little legs can go the fastest. September 12th-13th. (757-9212)

Central Gardens Home Tour This annual tour of one of Memphis’ most prestigious neighborhoods takes visitors through several graciously appointed mansions. Early September. (

Southern Heritage Classic Jackson State University takes on Tennessee State University once again in this 19th annual football showdown at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. Wake up early on game day for a morning tailgate party, a fashion show, and a high school battle of the bands. Game time is 6 p.m. on September 12th. (398-6655,

International Goat Days Family Festival At this annual event in Millington, revelers celebrate our four-legged friend with goat barrel races, goat-inspired food items, goat chariot races, and milking contests. Mid-September. (872-4559)

Cooper-Young Festival Head to the hippest intersection in Midtown for this 21st annual festival. Over 300 artisans peddle their wares, local bands jam on outdoor stages, and vendors sell fair food and beer. 9 a.m.-7 p.m. September 19th. (276-7222,

Zoo Rendezvous Sample cuisine from local restaurants and check out live bands at the zoo’s biggest fund-raising party of the year. September 12th. (333-6757,

Downtown Alive Concert Series Shed those mid-workweek blues at this fall concert series sponsored by the Center City Commission. Each Wednesday, local and regional musicians play in a different downtown location. All performances are free. Mid-September through mid-October. (575-0540)

Clanjamfry Don a kilt and dust off those bagpipes for the 10th annual Clanjamfry Scottish Festival. Held on the grounds of Evergreen Presbyterian Church, this event boasts traditional Scottish music, a Highland dance competition, and native foods. There’s even a border collie who spends the day doing what that breed does best — herding sheep. Mid-September. (274-3740,

Mid-South Fair The Mid-South Fair moves to its new location in Tunica, Mississippi, near the Convention & Visitors Bureau. Expect thrill rides, carnival games, educational and cultural exhibits, free concerts, and plenty of greasy funnel cakes. September 18th-27th. (

The Blues Ball For the past two years, this annual gala has taken place in two blocks of downtown Memphis, including the area around the Gibson Guitar Factory, Ground Zero Blues Club, and the Westin Hotel. Late September. (527-5683)


Memphis Grizzlies Basketball Sure, the Grizzlies have had a few rotten years. But with draft pick O.J. Mayo, they just might bounce back (pardon the pun) in the 2009-2010 season, which begins in October and lasts through April. (tickets, 888-HOOP)

Pink Palace Crafts Fair Shop for goods from artisans at the 36th annual Pink Palace Crafts Fair. The fair draws about 30,000 people every year, so arrive early. Don't forget to bring the kids; there’ll be plenty of games and crafts. October 1st-4th. (320-6408,

Indie Memphis Film Festival Since 1987, this annual festival has celebrated the soul of Southern film. Screen local and regional independent films, participate in workshops, and learn about the filmmaking process. October 8th-15th. (246-7086,

Ghandi King Conference on Peacemaking Follow in the tradition of peacemakers Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. at this annual conference on nonviolence where national and local peace leaders head workshops and lectures. The conference takes place at Christian Brothers University. Mid-October. (

Southeastern Indian Heritage Festival Get in touch with your Native American heritage. At this annual festival, American Indian communities gather to celebrate through dance, music, food, spiritual activities, and something called stick-ball. See for yourself at the Chucalissa Museum. Late October. (785-3160)

Annual Freedom Awards For nearly 20 years, the National Civil Rights Museum has been honoring individuals from around the globe whose accomplishments embody the ideals of the civil rights movement. October 27th. (521-9699)

NASCAR Nationwide Series 250 Rev your engines and head to the Memphis Motorsports Park for the NASCAR Busch Series race. It’s the only NASCAR event benefiting an international charity: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Don’t miss the meet-and-greet with NASCAR stars. October 23rd-24th. (866-40-SPEED,

Halloween Dressing up isn’t just for kids anymore. Dig out that old pirate costume and set sail for one of many of Midtown’s and downtown’s spooky soirées: P&H Café (726-0906); Memphis Zoo’s annual “Zoo Boo” costume party (726-WILD); Zinnie’s East (274-7101).


C.O.G.I.C. Convention Though former Bishop G.E. Patterson passed away, the Church of God in Christ hasn’t forgotten its Memphis roots. COGIC members will celebrate their 102nd Holy Convocation in the Bluff City. November 2nd-9th. (866-522-1331)

W.C. Handy Birthday CelebrationHonor W.C. Handy as the “Father of the Blues” with a parade down Beale Street on November 15 and the annual W.C. Handy Heritage Awards on November 15th. (527-3427)

Enchanted Forest Delve into a winter wonderland at the Le Bonheur Children’s Medical Center’s annual Enchanted Forest holiday show. See specially decorated trees, a large-scale gingerbread house, and holiday characters. Runs from late November to late December. (287-6308)

Memphis Holiday Parade Get into the holiday spirit with a sneak peek at Santa and his elves at this annual parade through downtown. Late November. (575-0540)


Holiday Parties The season wouldn’t be the same without a calendar filled with social affairs. Book your plans in advance for the Peabody’s annual Jingle Bell Ball (early December) and Ballet Memphis’ “Nutcracker” (early December).

Subsidium’s Annual Carrousel of Shoppes Now you can shop without the guilt. At this annual event, a weekend of shopping provides a lifetime of hearing, as proceeds from your purchases benefit the Memphis Oral School for the Deaf. Held at the Agricenter. Early December. (448-8490)

New Year’s Eve Celebration You can spend the last night of 2009 in style at one of many local New Year’s Eve bashes, like the New Year’s countdown on Beale or the glitzy galas at the Peabody and the Madison Hotel.

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