A year's worth of festivals and fun.

Memphis in may

Memphis in may

AutoZone Liberty Bowl Football Classic

Don't miss the 51st 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 pre-game festivities like a president's gala, rodeo, and an all-star high school football game. Game time is 4:30 p.m. on January 2. (795-7700)

Elvis Presley Birthday Week

Only a king deserves a weeklong birthday celebration. Celebrate at the annual Club Elvis dance party, a birthday cake cutting ceremony at Graceland, or a Memphis Symphony Orchestra performance of Elvis classics. January 7-10. (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. In 2010, the civic holiday will be observed January 18. (521-9699)

International Blues Challenge

Hear everything from Midwest blues to Middle-Eastern blues at this annual international blues showdown on Beale. Bands play in various clubs along Beale Street. January 20-23. (527-2583)

February 2010

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 (678-2054), Memphis Brooks Museum of Art (544-6200), and the Memphis/Shelby County Public Library (415-2700)

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 12-21. (765-4400)

Mardi Gras Parade and Pub Crawl

It may not be as a big (or as raunchy) as the New Orleans shindig, but the Memphis Mardi Gras parade is still loads of fun. Head to Beale Street for this colorful event, followed by multiple parties in the entertainment district's bars. Third weekend in February. (529-0999)

Beale Street Zydeco Music Festival

During most of the year, Beale Street's a far cry from New Orleans' Bourbon Street, but in February, it's a little harder to tell the two apart as more than 20 zydeco bands perform during the two-day tribute to Cajun music. Late February. (529-0999)

March 2010

Southern Women's Show

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 12-14. (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 Street or the pub party at Celtic Crossing in Cooper-Young. March 17. (522-9596)

April 2010

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

Africa in April offers Memphians a chance to sample native African foods, hear traditional 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 2010

Memphis in May International Festival

Rockers, foodies, and culture lovers unite for this annual celebration of music, barbecue, and 2010's honored country, Tunisia. Catch plenty of live music (and plenty of mud) 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)

Memphis Greek Festival

Celebrate the culture of the Mediterranean with homemade Greek food, dancing, music, and more at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church. May 7-8. (327-8177)

Blues Music Awards

This annual Blues Foundation awards show is like the Grammys of the blues world, complete with stunning performances by regional musicians. Cook Convention Center. May 13. (527-2583)

June 2010

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 Scepter Ball. Early June. (278-0243)

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 in East Memphis celebrates Italian culture with plenty of food, a grape-stomping session, a pizza-tossing contest, and more. June 3-5. (767-6949)

St. Jude Classic

Veteran golfers compete in this PGA event benefiting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital at the Tournament Players Club at Southwind. June 7-13 (748-0534)


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 teachers honored for their work educating African-American youth. Mid-June. (385-4943)

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. June 8-12. (754-0009)

The Orpheum Classic Movie Series

The Orpheum isn't all Broadway shows and formal concerts. At this annual summer series, the performance hall becomes a vintage movie theatre, showing favorites like "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and "Gone with the Wind." 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 the Doobie Brothers, Train, and Heart. Pack a picnic and lounge on a blanket throughout the show. June through September. (685-1566)

July 2010

Red, White, & Blues Star Spangled Celebration

Celebrate America's independence with a massive fireworks show, live bands, and activities for the whole family. W.C. Handy. July 4. (529-0999)

August 2010

Elvis Week

Fans make a pilgrimage to Memphis each year on the anniversary of the King's death. Events include a film fest at Studio on the Square, the "Elvis 1969: A Celebration Concert" at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts, an Elvis Tribute Artist contest, a gospel breakfast, the annual candlelight vigil, and more. August 8-16. (

September 2010

Delta Fair and Music Festival

Fair with midway rides, musical acts, livestock exhibits, and more. September 3-12. (435-7150)

WLOK Stone Soul Picnic

Pack your picnic basket and head to Tom Lee Park for this 35th annual event where the best of Memphis gospel music meets the Mississippi River. Early September. (527-9565)

Memphis Music and Heritage Festival

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, storytellers, dance performances, and a cooking stage showcasing regional cooks. 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Labor Day weekend. (525-3655)

Southern Heritage Classic

Jackson State University takes on Tennessee State University once again in this 21st annual football showdown at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. September 9-12. (398-6655)

Zoo Rendezvous

Sample cuisine from over 60 local restaurants and chill out with live bands at the zoo's biggest fund-raising party of the year. 7-10:30 p.m. Mid-September. (333-6500)

Germantown Festival

Nothing is cuter than racing weenie dogs. Catch the miniature four-legged action at the 38th annual Germantown Festival's Race of the Weenies. The festival also features live music, food, car exhibits, and plenty of games for the kiddies. Mid-September. (757-9212)

Central Gardens Home Tour

See the finer side of the city's center in this annual tour of Midtown's most prestigious neighborhood. 1-6 p.m. Mid-September. (672-7630)

Cooper-Young Festival

Head to the hippest intersection in Midtown for this 22nd 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 18. (276-7222)

Annual Freedom Awards

For nearly 20 years, the National Civil Rights Museum has been awarding individuals from around the globe whose accomplishments embody the ideals of the civil rights movement. Late September. (521-9699)


Held on the grounds of Evergreen Presbyterian Church, this annual celebration of Scottish culture boasts traditional 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)

October 2010

Memphis Grizzlies Basketball

Leave it to the professionals: The Grizzlies hit the courts October through April. (Tickets, 888-HOOP)

Pink Palace Crafts Fair

Shop for goods from over 300 artisans at the 37th annual Pink Palace Crafts Fair. The all-volunteer event draws about 30,000 people every year, so arrive early. Also don't forget to bring the kids — there's plenty of games and educational crafts demonstrations 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. Early October. (251-5171)

Gandhi King Conference on Peacemaking

Follow in the tradition of historical peacemakers Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. at this sixth annual conference on nonviolence. National and local peace leaders, such as the Rev. C.T. Vivian, Kathy Kelly, and Michael Nagler, deliver lectures and head up workshops. The conference takes place at Christian Brothers University. Mid-October. (

November 2010

W.C. Handy Heritage Awards

See authentic Beale Street musicians get their due at the annual W.C. Handy Heritage Awards, scheduled on the birthday weekend of the "father of the blues." Mid-November. (527-3427)

Enchanted Forest

Visit this 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. Runs from late November to the end of the year. (287-6308)

December 2010

Subsidium's Annual Carrousel of Shoppes

At this annual event, a weekend of shopping provides a lifetime of sound since proceeds from your purchases benefit the Memphis Oral School for the Deaf. Held at the Agricenter. Early December. (448-8490)

Memphis Holiday Parade

Get into the holiday spirit with a sneak peek at Santa and his elves at this annual parade through the South Main Arts District. 5 p.m. Early December. (575-0540)

Holiday Parties

Let go of some holiday stress and hit the town for these annual holiday shindigs. Book your plans early for the Peabody's annual Jingle Bell Ball (early December) and Ballet Memphis' "Nutcracker" (early December). Also be on the lookout for various other galas throughout the city.

New Year's Eve Celebration

You can spend the last night of 2010 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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