A year's worth of festivals and fun.

August 2008

Elvis week '08

Elvis fans from the world over descend on Memphis for the 31st annual tribute to the King of Rock-and-Roll. The celebration includes the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist contest on August 14, as well as plenty of parties, film screenings, and concerts throughout the week. August 9-17. Candlelight vigil at Graceland, August 15. (332-3322 or

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. August 30. (527-9565)

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. August 30-31. (525-3655)

September 2008

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 weenie dogs compete to see whose little legs can go the fastest. September 6-7. (757-9212)

Central Gardens Home Tour

This annual tour of one of Memphis' most prestigious neighborhoods takes visitors through several graciously appointed mansions. 1-6 p.m. September 7. (276-2552)

Southern Heritage Classic

Jackson State University takes on Tennessee State University once again in this 19th annual football showdown at Liberty Bowl 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 13. (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. September 12-14. (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 an outdoor stage, and vendors sell fair food and beer. 9 a.m.-7 p.m. September 13. (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. 7-10:30 p.m. September 13. (333-6757)

Downtown Alive Concert Series

Shed those mid-work-week blues at this weekly fall concert series sponsored by the Center City Commission. Each Wednesday, local and regional musicians will play in a different downtown location. All performances are free. September 15-October 15. (575-0540)


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 around the grounds. September 19-21. (274-3740)

Mid-South Fair

This year marks the last time the 152-year-old Mid-South Fair will be held in the city limits, so don't miss thrill rides, carnival games, educational and cultural exhibits, free concerts, and plenty of greasy funnel cakes. September 19-28. (274-8800)

The Blues Ball

With the Pyramid no longer a venue option, this year's 15th annual gala will take place in a fenced-in area encompassing two blocks of downtown Memphis, including the area around the Gibson Guitar Factory, Ground Zero Blues Club, and the Westin Hotel. September 27. (527-5683)

October 2008

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 over 300 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 educational crafts demonstrations for the whole family. October 2-5. (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 9-16. (246-7086)

Ghandi King Conference on Peacemaking

Follow in the tradition of historical peacemakers Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. at this 5th annual conference on nonviolence where national and local peace leaders head workshops and lectures. The conference takes place at Christian Brothers University. October 17-18. (

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. October 25-26. (785-3160)

Memphis 250

Rev up your engines and head to the Memphis Motorsports Park for the NASCAR national 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. Race takes place October 25. (866-40-SPEED)

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 28. (521-9699)


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

November 2008

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 101st Holy Con-vocation in the Bluff City. November 3-10. (866-522-1331)

W.C. Handy Birthday Celebration

Honor W.C. Handy, the "father of the blues," with a parade down Beale Street on November 15 and the annual W.C. Handy Heritage Awards on November 16. (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 November 21-December 23. (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. November 28. (575-0540)

December 2008

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 sound, as proceeds from your purchases benefit the Memphis Oral School for the Deaf. Held at the Agricenter. Shopping dates: December 4-6. (448-8490)

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 (December 5-7)

New Year's Eve Celebration

You can spend the last night of 2008 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.

January 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 SEC. Prior to the game, leave room in your schedule to attend pregame festivities like a president's gala, rodeo, and an all-star high school football game. Game time is 4 p.m. on January 2. (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 play Elvis Bingo at the Heartbreak Hotel. January 8-11. (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 2008, the civic holiday will be observed January 19. (521-9699)

February 2009

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.

February 4-7. (527-2583)

Mardi Gras Parade and Pub Crawl

The real Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans may be eight hours away, but Memphians love any excuse for a party. This new event includes a colorful 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 13-22. (765-4400)

Beale Street Zydeco Music Festival

More than 20 zydeco bands perform during this two-day tribute to Cajun music. Late February. (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 13-15. (800-849-0248)

St. Patrick's Day

Drink green beer and pretend you're a leprechaun this St. Patty'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 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 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. The main event takes place in downtown's Robert R. Church Park. Mid-April. (947-2133)

May 2009

Memphis in May International Festival

Rockers, foodies, and culture lovers unite for this annual monthlong celebration of music, barbecue, and a yet-to-be-named honored country. 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)

Blues Music Awards

The 30th annual Blues Foundation awards show is like the Grammies of the blues world. Cook Convention Center. May 7. (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 8-9. (327-8177)

June 2009

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)

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)

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)

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 8-14 (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 educators honored for their work educating African-American youth. Mid-June. (385-4943)

The Orpheum Classic Movie Series

The Orpheum isn't just for Broadway shows and formal concerts. At this annual summer series, the performance hall becomes a vintage movie theatre, screening favorites like 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, 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)

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