Fairs + Festivals 2017 Guide 

April

Harbor Town

Crawfish Festival

Harbor Town is an ideal backdrop for one of the season's first festivals. This family-friendly event is a block party-style festival devoted to everyone's favorite freshwater crustacean. There will be live music and pounds upon pounds of crawfish.

110 Harbor Town Square, April 15th, noon-7 p.m. Admission $5 or two canned goods.

Kaleidoscope Food Festival

Binghampton, one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Memphis, is home to residents representing more than 17 nations, making it the perfect home for the Kaleidoscope Festival. The festival will feature multicultural chefs from the Binghampton neighborhood. Children and dogs are welcome. Wiseacre Brewery, 2783 Broad, April 15th, 1- 7 p.m. Free.

The Memphis Flyer's

Bacon and Bourbon

One of the Flyer's signature events, Bacon and Bourbon is a night celebrating the best Southern cuisine has to offer — whiskey and bacon. We're hosting an evening of bourbon and pork tastings, with live music and all kinds of additional fun activities.

Memphis Farmers Market, April 15th, 6-9 p.m. Admission $35.

Africa in April Cultural Awareness Festival

The 31st annual Africa in April Cultural Awareness Festival celebrates the Republic of Togo. This family-friendly festival is four days of food, music, and a diverse cultural marketplace in Robert Church Park downtown. Each day of the festival has a theme showcasing different aspects of the featured country.

Beale Street & Robert Church Park, April 21st-23rd. Admission $5-10.

Memphis Brewfest

Brewers and beer aficionados gather at AutoZone Park to celebrate and sample the best American craft beer and other beer from around the globe. All net proceeds will benefit the Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy.

AutoZone Park, 200 Union, April 22nd, 4-7:30 p.m. Admission $45.

Memphis Veg Fest

This free, all-day festival held on Earth Day celebrates vegetarian and vegan options, and one of its goals is to help eliminate nutritional disparity in Memphis.

Levitt Shell, Overton Park, 1928 Poplar, April 22nd, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Free.

Southern Hotwing Festival Though Memphis is known as a barbecue town, on April 22nd, more than 70 teams of chicken wing-loving cooks will gather downtown to glorify the drummie. It should be a spicy event for the whole family.

Downtown, April 22nd, 11 a.m.- 7 p.m. $15 (online), $20, $125 VIP

V&E ArtWalk

The sixth annual festival will raise money for the community-owned trail that runs through the Vollintine-Evergreen district. Local artists, food vendors, and craft breweries will set up shop in the shade, and there will be live music, a silent auction, and bounce houses for the kids.

V&E Greenline, April 22nd, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Free.

Lucero Family Block Party Alt-country legends and hometown heroes Lucero will block off the area around Minglewood Hall for their annual block party. Son Volt, Sons of Mudboy, and Mighty Souls Brass Band will round out the all-star lineup.

Minglewood Hall, 1555 Madison, April 22nd, 3 p.m. $25-30.

Rajun Cajun Crawfish Festival

The 25th annual festival will feature three stages for live music, crawfish bobbing (that's right), crawfish eating, and crawfish racing. (Do the crawfish race each other? We might have to check this festival out on a fact-finding mission.)

Wagner Place and Riverside Drive, between Union and Beale, April 23rd, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Free.

HEAR 901 Music Festival Planned and produced entirely by students enrolled in the Music Industry program at the University of Memphis, HEAR 901 brings some of the best up-and-coming bands to a stage near you. This year's lineup includes the Band CAMINO, Flirting with Sincerity, and Sonic Pulse.

The Bluff, 535 S. Highland, April 28th, 7-11 p.m. Admission is $5 for advance tickets and $8 at the door.

East Buntyn ArtWalk

This annual outdoor art festival features open-air galleries where regional artists display and sell their artwork. St. James Church, the hub of the art walk, will host local food trucks, a stage for live music, and a silent auction tent.

461 S. Prescott, April 29th. Free.

The Edge Gets Lit Alley Party

This should be a fun one, folks. The art-light installation at Floyd alley in the Edge District gets lit during this party, which also includes food trucks, live music, arts and crafts, and dog olympics (!).

The Edge District at Floyd, April 29th, noon-11 p.m. Free.

Palestine Festival

The second annual Palestine Festival will feature traditional Palestinian music, cuisine, and dancing. There will be a fashion show and vendors.

Overton Park Greensward, April 29th, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Free.

Cajun Festival

This festival features performances by Southern swamp songwriter Marcella Simien and Earl Randle, the legendary Hi Records artist. There will be a gumbo tasting, a competitive gumbo cook-off, and a beer tasting sponsored by High Cotton Brewing Co. Proceeds will benefit Saint Patrick Community Outreach, Inc.

Saint Patrick Community Outreach Center and Courtyard, 277 S. Fourth, April 29th, noon-2 p.m.

Arlington in April

This all-day arts and crafts festival celebrates the town of Arlington. Over 90 vendors will be on site for the family-friendly event.

Historic Depot Square, April 29th, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free.

Beale Street Wine Race

The Beale Street Merchants Association presents the booziest race in town. Fans of the race gather downtown to cheer on their favorite bartenders and servers as they compete in the Olympics of drunken, downtown races.

April 30th, 1 p.m. Free.

May

Memphis in May Beale Street Music Festival

Three days of music on the Mississippi River, BSMF is Memphis' biggest and most diverse music festival and the inaugural event of the month-long Memphis in May celebration. Music fans from across the Mid-South converge on Memphis for a weekend of diverse musical performances on the banks of the Mississippi. Some highlights from this year's lineup include Soundgarden, MGMT, Snoop Dogg, Jimmy Eat World, and Ziggy Marley.

Tom Lee Park, May 5th-7th, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tickets start at $50.

Memphis Greek Festival

The congregation of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church invites Memphians on a getaway to experience Greek culture as the church teams up with the Mid-South Food Bank for the 59th annual Greek Festival. This festival features the music of the Kostas Kastanis Band and dancing by the Athenian Dance Troupe.

Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 573 N. Highland, May 12th-13th, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. $3 or three canned items.

Latino Memphis Festival

This year, Latino Memphis has partnered with Memphis in May to salute the nation of Colombia. The high-energy festival features the Colombian Folkloric Ballet of Houston, the Fiesta 5K, a salsa-making championship, salsa dancing, and a freestyle soccer show.

Overton Park, May 13th, 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. $5 suggested donation.

MidSouth Food Truck Festival

Quite possibly the largest concentration of food trucks in one location, this festival makes me want to do my best impression of Templeton from Charlotte's Web and sing "A Veritable Smorgasbord."

Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, May 13th, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. $5 in advance, $8 at the door.

Dog-A-Roo

This puppy-friendly festival features the Four-legged 4K Fun Run, a talent and costume contest, demonstrations, and a rescue parade.

Outback Off-Leash Dog Park, Shelby Farms Park Conservancy, May 13th, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. $5 in advance, $8 at the door.

GumTree Festival

Art for days in beautiful downtown Tupelo at this annual arts festival featuring work by artists and crafts people from across the United States.

Lee County Courthouse, May 13th-14th

Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest

Every summer, the pulled-pork faithful make their pilgrimage to the Bluff City for the Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest. And every summer, the third weekend of May leaves downtown (and most of Memphis) sunburned, hungover, and gorged on sweet and savory barbecue. Bring on the barbecue!

Tom Lee Park, May 17th-20th, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. $5 donation per vehicle.

901Fest

The celebratory cap on the Memphis in May International Festival, 901Fest glorifies all things Memphis. This year's lineup has yet to be released, but it's sure to feature some Memphis favorites. With the Mississippi as a backdrop, 901Fest is the city's wind-down party after the month-long festivities of MiM.

Tom Lee Park, May 27th, 11 a.m.- 8 p.m.

June

Memphis Punk Fest

In its fifth year, Memphis Punk Fest brings the best punk, hardcore, metal, and ska acts from across the globe to Memphis to play in a diverse array of dive bars, skate parks, record stores, and other venues, both conventional and less so.

Prices and locations vary. June 1st-4th.

Memphis Italian Festival

This family-friendly festival celebrates Italian-American heritage in Marquette Park in East Memphis. The Holy Rosary Parish brings together food, music, and vendors for a weekend-long celebration.

Marquette Park, 4946 Alrose, June 1st-3rd.

A Day of Merrymaking

in Overton Park

The Overton Park Conservancy's annual family-friendly festival in the park will feature music, food trucks, arts and crafts, and water activities to help beat the heat. Hollywood Feed will be on hand (on paw?) to make sure there's plenty of fun for the family's four-legged friends.

Overton Park, June 3rd, 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. Suggested donation $5.

Memphis Juneteenth

Urban Music Festival

Observed across the country on June 19th, Juneteenth is a commemoration of African-American Emancipation Day. Celebrating 25 years in the Bluff City, the Juneteenth Urban Music Festival emphasizes education and achievement. This year's festivities include a concert by the Bar-Kays at the Cannon Center.

Robert R. Church Park, June 16th-18th. Free.

The Memphis Flyer's Margarita Festival

There's no reason to be salty — the Flyer's third annual Margarita Festival offers Memphians the chance to sample margaritas from some of Memphis' hottest restaurants.

Overton Park Greensward, June 17th, 3-6 p.m., $25.

Soulsville Record Swap

Two scions of Memphis music history, Goner Records and the Stax Museum, are teaming up to present their second annual record swap. Dealers from Memphis and from across the U.S. will converge on some of Memphis music's most hallowed ground for a record show that is far from ordinary. There will be DJ sets and food trucks.

Stax Museum of American Soul Music, 926 E. McLemore, June 17th.

Sisterhood Showcase

Tina Birchett founded the Sisterhood Showcase in 1998 with the goal of providing a forum to inspire women of color and their families. Now in its 19th year, the Sisterhood Showcase aims to combine education and entertainment to connect, engage, and empower women.

Agricenter International, 7777 Walnut Grove, June 17th-18th. $15.

July

The Memphis Flyer's

Burger Week

Back for its second year, Burger Week celebrates some of the best burgers the Bluff City has to offer. Participating restaurants will offer specialty burgers for a special price. (I'll be breaking out my stretchy pants and brushing off my Bob's Burgers puns for the occasion.)

Various locations.

Memphis Caribbean

Jerk Festival

Home Run Entertainment presents its second annual family fun day with a variety of jerk and Caribbean food options, musical performances, and a domino tournament.

Tiger Lane, 450 Early Maxwell, July 15th, noon-10 p.m.

WEVL Blues on the Bluff

As everyone who has tuned their dial to 89.9 FM knows, WEVL is an all-volunteer, listener-supported radio station boasting some of the most diverse programming in the nation. And Blues on the Bluff is WEVL's signature shindig. With live music, beer, wine, and food all served on the picturesque grounds of the Metal Museum, WEVL's annual fund-raiser on the Mississippi River is always one of the hottest parties in town. Even better, as a fund-raiser for the repeat winner of the Flyer's Best Radio Station, it's a party for a good cause.

374 Metal Museum Drive, July 22nd, 6 p.m.

Women's Theatre

Festival of Memphis

The festival includes a lineup of plays, workshops, and solo performances. One of the key events of the festival, the Gyneka Awards, honors women who have made outstanding contributions to the field. Dates and locations to be announced.

August

Elvis Week

Marking the 40th anniversary of Elvis' death, this week-long celebration honoring the King of Rock-and-Roll includes highlights from his extensive musical catalogue, his films, performances by tribute artists, and, of course, the Candlelight Vigil at Graceland.

Various locations. August 11th-19th.

Mid-South Renaissance Faire This family-friendly festival takes attendees back to the reign of Queen Elizabeth I and features jousting, crafts, demonstrations, and giant (delicious) turkey legs.

4351 Babe Howard Blvd., Millington, August 19th-20th and 26th-27th. $15 for adults, $8 for children.

FOMOFest

Held in the Levitt Shell in Overton Park, FOMOFest showcases local bands in a one-day festival celebrating independent music. Former FOMOFest performers include Southern Avenue, Marcella and Her Lovers, Ex-Cult, and Jack O. and the Sheiks.

Dates and lineup to be announced.

On Location:

Memphis Film Festival

On Location: Memphis is a nonprofit organization formed in 1999 under the name the Memphis Film Forum. The annual OL:M festival promotes indie film.

Dates and lineup to be announced.

Best Memphis Burger Fest The annual fund-raiser for Memphis Paws, Inc., this family-friendly festival features live music, an official cornhole tournament, and cooking teams competing for the title of reigning burger master.

Dates and lineup to be announced.

Ostrander Awards

The annual awards ceremony honors excellence in the Memphis theater community and celebrates the best work of the previous year's season.

Dates and lineup to be announced

Southern Salsa Festival

Of all the festivals devoted to a specific variety of food, salsa might be the Holy Grail. Salsa is a food to itself, a spicy blend of vegetables with endless possible permutations.

Dates and location to be announced

September

Rock for Love

Founded in 2007, Rock for Love is the annual benefit concert for the Church Health Center. The best of the Memphis music community come together for a weekend of special concerts on different stages across the city. Dates and locations to be announced.

Cooper-Young Festival

Held in Memphis' largest historic district and featuring live music, art vendors, handcrafted goods, and beer vendors on every corner, Cooper-Young Fest is Midtown's darling of festival season. The festivities kick off with the Friday Four-Miler the night before the festival, and the rest of the weekend has something on offer for everyone.

Cooper-Young neighborhood, September 16th, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.

Mid-South Fair

One of the longest-running events in the area, the Mid-South Fair is 160 years old and is still going strong. The fair features rides, concerts, a horticulture show, a stunt dog show, and a talent contest. Landers Center, September 22nd- October 1st.

Gonerfest 14

Fans of NOTS and Ty Segall, rejoice! Goner Records presents the 14th iteration of their world-famous music festival. Bands from around the globe will converge on Memphis for three days of rock-and-roll mayhem. Various locations, September 28th- October 1st.

Mid-South Book Festival

With a street fair, author signings, and author panel discussions and presentations, the Mid-South Book Festival is Memphis' festival for book lovers.

Dates to be announced.

Outflix Film Festival

Every year, the Outflix Film Festival presents a film program diverse in themes and genre. One of the many excellent examples of Memphis' growing film community, Outflix is a program of OUTMemphis, an organization that empowers, connects, educates, and advocates for the LGBTQ community of the Mid-South.

September 8th-14th.

Memphis Music

and Heritage Festival

The Memphis Music & Heritage Festival celebrates the musical, artistic, and cultural legacy of the Memphis area. The nonprofit Center for Southern Folklore presents performances by musicians, dancers, poets, artists, and more, spanning a variety of genres from the Mid-South.

Dates to be announced.

Pianos in the Park

A family-friendly festival full of live performances, Pianos in the Park is an evening of jazz in Handy Park on Beale.

Date to be announced.

Southern Heritage Classic Cultural Celebration

The Southern Heritage Classic centers around the football game — and the rivalry — between Jackson State and Tennessee State, but it's much more than a just a sporting event. It's a game, a tailgate party, and a celebration of music, fun, and football all rolled up into a cultural event that plays out over a weekend.

September 7th-9th.

Literacy Rocks! Festival Held during National Literacy Month, connecting authors primarily with avid readers, book clubs, authors and publishers, the Black Writers and Book Clubs' Literacy Rocks! Festival is celebrating its sixth year.

September 15th-16th, 10 a.m.-5p.m.

Germantown Festival

One of the longest, continuously run festivals in the Memphis area, the 46th annual Germantown Festival provides a free family-friendly weekend.

September 9th, 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m.; September 10th, noon-6 p.m. Free.

Unreal Film Festival

For the lovers of both celluloid and the strange and sinister, founded in 2011 by Cellardoor Cinema, the Unreal Film Fest focuses on horror, sci-fi, and fantasy feature-length and short films. Regional entrants in the festival may compete in the Local Short Film category as long as they live within 100 miles of Memphis.

September 22nd-24th.

BreakFest

As if anyone needed an excuse to celebrate the most important meal of the day, BreakFest benefits the Urban Bicycle Food Ministry — as well as provides a delicious excuse to savor French toast, eggs, bacon, and the works. A panel of judges will judge teams competing in five different cooking categories.

Memphis Medical District, September 23rd, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Tamale Fest

Centro Cultural presents their annual fund-raising and cultural event. Tamale Fest will feature live entertainment, tamale vendors, food trucks, and art vendors.

Date to be announced. Mid-South Pride Festival

Mid-South Pride is the largest gathering of the LGBTQ community in the Mid-South. The event celebrates inclusion and diversity and features musical performances, vendors, and a parade.

Date to be announced.

Bona Fide Blues Festival Presented by the Memphis Blues Society, this family-friendly, outdoor festival features the best blues — be it of the 12-bar, Delta, or Hill Country variety — Memphis has to offer. Last year's festival included performances by Southern Avenue, Barbara Blue, and Zeke Johnson.

Date to be announced. Free.

Delta Fair & Music Festival This annual festival features Delta music, rides, games, livestock shows, and food vendors for a festival that is exciting, interactive, and educational. Plus there are Pronto Pups.

Agricenter, September 1st-10th. $10.

Bluff City Fair

At the Fairgrounds at Tiger Lane, Bluff City Fair is the regional festival in the heart of Memphis. This fair offers a weekend of family-friendly entertainment with music, rides, games, and, of course, fair food.

Date to be announced.

Innovation Awards

Presented by Inside Memphis Business magazine, the Innovation Awards honor the best in local innovation from the previous year.

Details to be announced.

The Memphis Flyer

Best of Memphis Party

Every year, Flyer readers vote on the best local businesses, bands, radio programs, sports teams, and everything else the Bluff City has to offer, and every year, the Flyer throws one of the city's best parties to celebrate the winners.

Details to be announced.

October

Road to the Biscuit Blues Festival

The King Biscuit Blues Festival has teamed up with Beale Street, and the result is the Road to the Biscuit Blues Festival. The festival is part of a two-week-long celebration of Southern blues from Arkansas to Mississippi and will feature performances on 14 stages on historic Beale Street.

Various locations, October 4th-7th.

Pink Palace Crafts Fair Celebrating its 45th year, the Crafts Fair includes historic crafts demonstrations, craft vendors, musical performances, hand-made donuts, kids' crafts, and Pink Palace educational museum exhibits.

Audubon Park, October 13th-15th, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday. $9 for adults, $7 for seniors/military, and $3 for children.

Soulsville U.S.A. Festival Featuring four stages (one of them named after Mavis Staples), this family-friendly music festival packs performances by 15 different musical artists into one day in the historic Soulsville U.S.A. district on College & McLemore.

College and McLemore, October 21st.

Harvest Festival

This annual, family-friendly festival is free to the public and includes pumpkin painting, kids' activities, arts and crafts, hayrides, and food.

Agricenter, October 21st. Free.

Memphis Food

and Wine Festival

This festival celebrates the culinary excellence of Memphis and showcases the talents of exceptional local chefs and acclaimed regional and national chefs. Vintners, certified sommeliers, and wine enthusiasts will be on hand to enhance the event as well.

Details to be announced.

Cooper-Young Beerfest

In its eighth year, the Cooper-Young Beerfest is an open-air neighborhood party and a celebration of the best of regional beer. All proceeds from the event go to benefit the Cooper-Young Community Association.

Cooper-Young neighborhood, October 14th.

RiverArtsFest

This annual arts festival is a street celebration of fine arts and local music with live artist demonstrations and hands-on art activities for the whole family. Nearly 200 artists gather to exhibit and sell their latest works of original fine art.

South Main Arts District, October 27th-29th.

Deep Blues Festival

This festival located in nearby Clarksdale, Mississippi, is a weekend devoted to the tradition of the blues. This year's lineup includes R.L. Boyce, Jimbo Mathus, Leo Welch, and Chicken Snake.

The Shack Up Inn and the New Roxy in Clarksdale, Mississippi, October 12th-15th.

Day of the Dead Fiesta

This festival offers an opportunity to learn about the tradition of the Day of the Dead and experience culture. Featuring music and crafts.

Details to be announced.

Tequila Festival

As Tom Robbins puts it in Still Life with Woodpecker, "O tequila, savage water of sorcery, what confusion and mischief your sly, rebellious drops do generate!" Robbins sounds like he's speaking from experience, and, as anyone who has sampled the alcoholic nectar of the blue agave plant knows, confusion and mischief are the natural result of liberal application of tequila.

Details to be announced.

Spring Goner Records River Series at Harbor Town Amphitheater

The breakout live music series is back with performances in April and May. Goner Records crafts an eclectic schedule, pairing touring bands with Memphis music for a unique, outdoor music experience. April 23rd - Rev. John Wilkins with Crystal Shrine; May 21st - Tobin Sprout with Elf Power; May 28th - Robyn Hitchcock with Robby Grant.

Harbor Town Amphitheater, dates vary.


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