Stop Hibernating, Start Celebrating: the 2012 Memphis Spring Festivals Guide
Happy Spring, Memphis! Here are 13 ways to celebrate the season:
The Music Video Showcase is exactly what it sounds like – four days of music video showcases featuring bands from Memphis and across the country. There are also industry events, panels, parties and live music.
Cheer on the University of Memphis Tigers (and their C-USA leaguemates) in the annual C-USA Basketball Tournament at the FedExForum. The men's and women's games are priced both individually and by full tournament. Incidentally, this will be Memphis' last C-USA tournament before they join the Big East next year.
The fledgling Fareveller music festival is returning for a bigger, better second year. There are three venues – the Young Ave. Deli, Otherlands and Newbys – and more bands being added to the schedule every day. Some confirmed acts to keep an eye on: Those Darlins, Jessica Lea Mayfield, the Hood Internet and the Memphis Dawls.
Join derby girls from across the state for the annual Honky Tonk Stop Tennessee State Roller Derby Championships. On Saturday, all-star teams will compete for the title and on Sunday, there will be a day of mini themed scrimmages featuring skaters from all of the teams playing together.
The 20th annual Rajun Cajun Crawfish Festival is all about the mudbugs. There are crawfish races, crawfish eating contests, crawfish tossing and bobbing for crawfish. There's also Zydeco music, art and and 15,000 lbs. of crawfish for purchase. The festival benefits Porter Leath.
This year, the Africa in April cultural festival is celebrating the Republic of Mali with music, art, dancing, food, networking events and theatre. The family-friendly festival is held in the park just east of FedExForum.
On Location is a four day celebration of international films. From Thursday, April 19 until Sunday, April 22, you can see music videos, documentaries, feature films, shorts, student films and animated features at two theaters. Tickets can be purchased for the full festival or for individual screenings. A full schedule is here.
The Down to Earth festival is Shelby Farms' annual Earth Day celebration. Expect live music, vendors, art, hands-on areas and plenty of family friendly, environmentally focused activities.
More than 60 cooking teams will compete at the 10th annual Southern Hot Wing Festival. And unlike some food festivals, everyone can sample the goods (just bring quarters – teams will trade you a wing for a small charitable donation). There are also bands, vendors and eating competitions. This year, the festival has moved from South Main St. to Riverside Drive, so there's plenty of space for everyone.
The Memphis Brewfest is bringing their annual beer celebration back to AutoZone Park for a third year. The festival celebrates (and offers tastings of) craft beer, international beers and regional homebrews. Tickets are $36, and you must be 21 to attend.
The annual Beale St. Wine Race is one of those quirky little events that Memphians look forward to every year. There's an opening parade, the Queen of the Vine competition, a grape stomp, and the main event, the wine relay race (featuring teams from downtown restaurants).
If you felt so inclined, you could participate in Memphis in May events every single weekend in May. The month starts with the Beale St. Music Festival (May 4-6). You can celebrate the Phillipines (this year's honored country) during the second week of the month. The World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest is May 17 – 19, and the festival closes with the Sunset Symphony on May 26.
The annual Memphis Greek Festival will make you say opa! Though the Festival includes Greek culture exhibits, dancing, sanctuary tours and youth olympics, those who go every year will tell you that the food is the main event. If you can't stay, take a trip through the drive through for dinner.
If I've left your favorite spring festival off of the list, email me some details and I'll add it.