Calendar 2008 


Elvis Presley Birthday Week

Only a king deserves a weeklong birthday celebration. Celebrate at the annual dance party, the scavenger hunt at Graceland, or play Elvis Bingo at the Heartbreak Hotel. January 5-8. (332-3322)

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Holiday

Celebrate the birthday of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. with various local events sponsored by the National Civil Rights Museum. (521-9699). In 2008, the civic holiday will be observed January 21.


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 genre has spread all over the world. Hear everything from Midwest blues to Middle Eastern blues at this annual international showdown on Beale. Bands play in various clubs along Beale Street, including the New Daisy Theatre. Early February. (527-2583)

Beale Street Zydeco Music Festival

More than 20 zydeco bands perform at this two-day tribute to Cajun music, during the last weekend in February. (529-0999)

MARCH 2008

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 7-9. (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 17. (522-9596)

APRIL 2008

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 22nd 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 through workshops and forums. The main event takes place in downtown's Robert R. Church Park. Mid-April. (947-2133)

MAY 2008

Memphis in May International Festival

Rockers, foodies, and culture lovers unite for this annual month-long celebration of music, barbecue, and an honored country, which for 2008 is Turkey. Catch plenty of live music at the Beale Street Music Festival. 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)

Handy Awards

The 29th annual Blues Foundation awards show is like the Grammy of the blues world. Early May. (527-2583)

Memphis Greek Festival

Celebrate the culture of the Mediterranean with home-made Greek food, dancing, music, and more at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church. May 9-10. (327-8177)

JUNE 2008

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 2-8. (748-0534)

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. Early June. (767-6949)


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 educating African-American youth. Mid-June. (385-4943)

Carnival Memphis

Memphis was once the cotton king of the South, and this annual festival honors that heritage with a parade, "krewe" coronations, and the grand finale, a Crown and Sceptre Ball. Early June. (278-0243)

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)

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 theatre, screening favorites like "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds," 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 Al Green, Chicago, and Chris Isaac. Pack a picnic and lounge on a blanket throughout the show. June through September. (685-1566)

JULY 2008

Red, White, & 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 2008

Southeastern Indian Heritage Festival

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

Elvis Week '08

Elvis fans from the world over descend on Memphis for this annual tribute to the King of Rock-and-Roll. The celebration includes tours of his childhood apartment at Lauderdale Courts, as well as plenty of parties, lectures, and concerts. Mid-August. Candlelight vigil at Graceland, August 15. (332-3322)


WLOK Stone Soul Picnic

Pack your picnic basket and head to Tom Lee Park for this annual event where the best of Memphis gospel music meets the Mississippi River. Labor Day weekend. (527-9565)

Memphis Music and Heritage Festival

Who says nothing good is free? At this annual musical extravaganza on the downtown Main Street mall, 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. Labor Day weekend. (525-3655)

International Goat Days Family Festival

Shelby County isn't exactly farm country, but we still love our goats. At the annual Goat Days fest in Millington, celebrate our four-legged friend with goat-barrel races, goat-inspired food items, goat-chariot races, and milking contests. Early September. (872-4559)

Germantown Festival

Germantown is more than just an upscale suburb and a nice place to shop. It's a place for family fun. For over 30 years, families flock east to celebrate two days of entertainment at this annual festival. Don't miss the Race of the Weenies, where weenie dogs compete to see whose little legs can go the fastest. Early September. (757-9212)

Cooper-Young Festival

Head to the hippest intersection in Midtown for this annual festival. More than 300 artisans peddle their wares, local bands jam on an outdoor stage, and vendors sell fair food and beer. Mid-September. (276-7222)

Zoo Rendezvous

Sample cuisine from over 60 local restaurants and check out live bands at the zoo's biggest fund-raising party of the year. Mid-September. (333-6757)

Clanjamfry Scottish Festival

Don a kilt and dust off those bagpipes for the 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 herding sheep around the grounds. Late September. (274-3740)

The Blues Ball

Annual fund-raiser featuring live blues performances. Late September/early October. (527-5683)


Pink Palace Crafts Fair

Shop for goods from over 300 artisans at the annual Pink Palace Crafts Fair. The fair draws about 30,000 people every year, so arrive early. Also don't forget to bring the kids; plenty of games and educational crafts demonstrations are available for the whole family. Early October. (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. Late October. (246-7086)

Annual Freedom Awards

For 17 years, the National Civil Rights Museum has been recognizing individuals from around the globe whose accomplishments embody the ideals of the civil rights movement. Late October. (521-9699)


Dressing up isn't just for kids anymore. Dig out that old pirate costume and set sail for one of many Midtown 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). End of October.


C.O.G.I.C. Convention

Church of God in Christ's annual convention. Early November. (866-522-1331)

W.C. Handy Birthday Celebration

Honor W.C. Handy, often regarded as the "father of the blues," with a parade down Beale Street and the annual W.C. Handy Heritage Awards. Mid-November. (527-3427)

Enchanted Forest

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

Subsidium's Annual Carrousel of Shoppes

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 Mid-South Coliseum. Late November. (448-8490)


Bank of America Downtown Holiday Parade

Get into the holiday spirit with a sneak peek at Santa at this annual parade through downtown. Mid-December. (575-0540)

New Year's Eve Celebration

There are hundreds of ways to spend the last night of 2008, but opt to spend it in style at one of many local New Year's Eve bashes, like the New Year's countdown on Beale, the glitzy gala at the Peabody, or a night with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts.

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