I Love Memphis Guide To Spring Festivals and Events 2017
Here is your guide to spring events and festivals in Memphis, starting this week and going through May. This is only a selection of the many activities and events you can enjoy in the Bluff City as the weather gets warmer!
– Memphis City Football Club Season, March 22 – July, CBHS, price TBA, all ages/kid-friendly
Memphis’ own semi-pro soccer team is back for a second season with a dozen home games (played at Christian Brothers High School). Season tickets start at $55 and come with perks. Single game tickets are in the $5-$7 range.
– Mid-South Con 35, Hilton Memphis, March 24 – 26, prices vary, all ages/kid friendly.
35th Year for the longest running Science Fiction, Science, and Fantasy Convention in the region. Tickets are $20 -$50 depending on which day or pass you choose.
– Young Collectors Contemporary, Clayborn Temple, March 24 – 26, $15 – $40, 18+
Twenty-three diverse artists will display their work at Clayborn Temple and you can view it and buy it at the second annual Young Collectors Contemporary. These artists were chosen for their innovative approach to contemporary art. Tickets are $15 for students/seniors, $20 for one day entry, $40 for unlimited 3-day entry, and $50 for VIP.
– MusliMeMfest, Agricenter, March 25, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., $0-$10, all ages/kid-friendly
Celebrate the Memphis Muslim community with arts, food, vendors, cultural and entertainment showcases. It’s free to enter, but if you want to attend the performances, you must RSVP and prices range $5 – $10. Get details here and here.
– Sunday Funday Crawfish Boil, High Cotton Brewing, March 26, 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., $10 – $16, all ages/21 to drink
Crawfish Shack is throwing a crawdad boil at the taproom! It’s $10 for a pound of crawfish with a beer and $16 for two pounds + beer.
– 901 Popper Throwdown, High Cotton Brewing, March 26, 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., free, all ages/kid-friendly
Local teams have decided to compete for who can make the best darn jalopeño popper. Get all the details from Jennifer Biggs at the CA.
– Memphis Redbirds 2017 Season, AutoZone Park, starts March 30, prices vary, all ages/kid-friendly
The Redbirds begin their 2017 season with an exhibition game against the St Louis Cardinals on Thursday March 30, 2017. Opening Day is April 11 with a home game against Colorado Springs. Go here for the full schedule.
– Lantern Light Festival, Agricenter, March 31 – May 7 (Friday through Sunday), 6 p.m. to midnight, $16 kids/$20 adults, all ages/kid-friendly
This six-week celebration of Chinese culture features massive lanterns, live performances, food, and tons of activities. There are quite a few tickets options and extra fees for activities so be sure to check out the website.
– Midtown Opera Festival, Playhouse on the Square, March 31 – April 9, $100 festival pass ($400 value) individual events start at $10, all ages
This year is Opera Memphis’s third annual Midtown Opera Festival at Playhouse on the Square. The ten-day-long festival includes three full-length operas, several special performances, panel discussions, and more. See the full schedule here.
– Memphis Farmer’s Market Opening Day, G.E. Patterson and S. Front St., April 1, 7 a.m. – 1 p.m., free to enter, all ages/kid-friendly
Memphis’ largest farmer’s market kicks off the 2017 season with Opening Day on Saturday, April 1 with food vendors, food trucks, and more entertainment.
– Shelby Farms Earth Day Celebrations, Shelby Farms, April 1, 9, and 21, prices vary, all ages/kid-friendly
Celebrate Earth Day in the month of April at Shelby Farms with three events. The Down To Earth Festival is the big one, on Sat. April 1 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with activities, food, and music (free admission; $5 parking). The Earth Day 5K is Sun. April 9 and the Family Camp Out is April 21 to 22.
– Caribbean Food Festival, 200 Madison Ave., April 1, noon – 4:30 p.m., $15 adults/$7 kids, all ages/kid-friendly
This indoor event features food from the Caribbean islands, i.e., jerked meat, BBQ, veggies, and beverages, plus music. At 7:30 p.m., the doors reopen for the reggae night show (tickets $20).
– Fool Fest 2017 (Purgefest), Shangri-La Records, April 1, 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., free to attend, all ages
The annual huge music sale and show Purgefest has been renamed Fool Fest in honor of the auspicious holiday that the event falls on this year. Get cheap records, 45s, CDS, and more, plus free tunes from Kelley Anderson, Terry Prince & The Principals, and more.
– Persian Festival, Overton Park, April 2, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., free, all ages/kid-friendly
Celebrate Persian and Iranian culture at the inaugural Persian Festival. Enjoy authentic Persian food, a handicrafts exhibition, music, dance, and more.
– Memphis Fashion Week, Various Locations, April 5-8, $30 – $220, 18+
Memphis Fashion Week brings together local and regional designers, models, photographers, artists, and other fashion industry types for several days of runway shows, parties, and boutique events.
– Broad Avenue Spring Art Walk, Broad Avenue, April 7, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m., free to attend, all ages/kid-friendly
Broad Avenue Art Walks feature open houses at businesses along Broad, sidewalk sales, art openings, live music, and more.
– Healthy Memphis Food Festival, Wiseacre Brewing Taproom, April 8, free, all ages/kid-friendly
Head to the Water Tower Pavilion for a gathering of local businesses and vendors who support healthy eating and lifestyle habits. The festival will be from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. There will be food demos, music, exercise classes, art, and free health screenings.
– Overton Square Crawfish Festival, Overton Square, April 8, free to attend, all ages
The annual Overton Square Crawfish Festival is so big that it takes over the whole square, shutting down Madison Ave. for an afternoon of eating, drinking, shopping and live music. Prices for crawfish vary.
– Harbor Town Crawfish Festival, 110 Harbor Town Square, April 15, noon – 7 p.m., $5 entry, all ages/kid-friendly
This year’s Harbor Town crawfish fest is back with live music, crawfish for sale, and more. Pay $5 to enter or bring two canned goods.
– Hopped III, Memphis Made Brewing, April 15, noon – 9 p.m., free to enter, 21+ to drink
It’s time for the third annual celebration of hoppy, springy beers. Glasses for the first 100 folks, limited beer releases throughout the day (yes they’ll have others that aren’t hoppy), Gourmade food trucks, Lucky Cat Ramen + MEMPops, plus live music. Family friendly.
– Kaleidoscope Food Festival, Wiseacre Brewing Co, April 15, 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., free, all ages/kid-friendly
The inaugural Kaleidoscope Festival in Binghampton is a chance to sample food from the multicultural chefs from the neighborhood, paired with Wiseacre Beer. It’s free to attend and kids and pets are welcome.
– Condomonium, Playhouse on the Square, April 15, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m., your age + $5 (max $75), 12+
Local designers create stunning fashion pieces made of condoms as a fundraiser for CHOICES. Check out the living art show, live music, food and drink, and a comedy performance from celebrity guest Lizz Winstead. VIP tickets are $100 for the pre-event champagne reception.
– Time-Warp Drive-In, Summer Drive-In, April 15 and May 13, dusk to dawn, $10 per person, all ages
Black Lodge Video and Malco Theatres present the 4th annual Time Warp Drive In series. The spring film nights including “Im With The Band” night (Scott Pilgrim, This Is Spinal Tap!, etc.) and “Dreams of Gods & Magic” night (Labyrinth, Never Ending Story, etc.) Go here to see the lineup for all 2017 Time Warp Drive Ins.
– Peabody Rooftop Parties Peabody Hotel, April through August, $15, 21 and up
The Peabody kicks off their 78th year of live music, lots of drinks, snacks, and partying on the roof of the downtown hotel. The parties are every Thursday from April to August, andthe lineup will be released this week.
– Africa in April, Robert Church Park, April 19 – 23, free, all ages
Celebrate this year’s honored African country, The Republic of Togo, with five days of fun in Robert Church Park during Africa in April. During the festival, the park will be packed with vendors, food, cultural activities, a parade, live music, and workshops on diversity, entrepreneurship, and health and wellness.
– Memphis Veg Fest, Levitt Shell, April 22, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., free, all ages/kid-friendly
Whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian, or just want to feel better about what you eat, this fest is for you. Expect food, demos, and speakers.
– Lucero Family Block Party, Minglewood Hall, April 22, 2 p.m. – ’til, $20 – $30, all ages
This is one serious throwdown. (It’s pretty ok for kids early on, though.) If you’re a fan of Lucero (or their openers Son Volt, Sons of Mudboy, or William Matheny) you need to get your tickets right away.
– Memphis Brewfest, AutoZone Park, April 22, 4 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., $45 gen. admission/$100 VIP, 21 and up
Try a whole bunch of beer at the ballpark at the 8th annual Memphis Brewfest. Benefits the Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy
– Southern Hot Wing Festival, Mississippi River Park, April 22, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., $15 online / $20 at the gate, all ages
Cooking teams compete for $5000 in prize money for the best hot wings in Memphis, and most teams will give out samples for a $1 or $2 donation to Ronald McDonald House. Expect live music, a wing eating contest, a cornhole tourney, and more. Buy tickets online ahead of time and save $5.
– V&E Greenline Art Walk, V&E Greenline, April 22, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., free, all ages
Local artists and vendors will line the V&E Greenline in Midtown for the 6th annual V&E Art Walk. In addition to dozens of local artist booths, the festival will have food vendors, kids’ activities, live music and a silent auction. If you’ve never been there, the V&E Greenline is an unpaved trail that starts at Cleveland and North Parkway and runs to Rhodes College.
– Cooper Young Community Farmers Market Crawfish Boil, First Congo Parking Lot, April 22, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., free entry, all ages/kid-friendly
It’s time for the 4th annual CYCFM! Enjoy local beer, crawfish, and other food for sale, plus live music from The Three Kings.
– River Series, Harbor Town Amphitheater, April 23, May 21, and May 28, doors at 3 p.m., $5, all ages/kid-friendly
These concerts are a fun way for grownups to enjoy great music and beer in a place where the little ones are welcome. Click here for the lineup. Proceeds benefit The Maria Montessori School.
– Rajun Cajun Crawfish Festival, Wagner Place, April 23, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., free, all ages
The annual Rajun Cajun Crawfish Festival is the city’s largest, at least by amount of crawfish: during the single day festival, they’ll serve 15,000 pounds. There will also be live music, a gumbo cooking contest, and all manner of crawfish-related activities. Bring a lawn chair and set up camp along the trolley tracks while you eat. Proceeds from the festival benefit Porter-Leath. This year, they celebrate their 25th year.
– Hear 901 Fest, The Bluff (535 S. Highland), April 28, doors at 7 p.m., $5 – $40, 18+
Blue Tom Records at the U of M puts on the third annual Hear 901 Fest, featuring six bands/musicians at the new The Bluff music venue. The whole event is professionally done, which is cool considering its planned and run by U of M music industry students.
– Palestine Festival, Overton Park, April 29, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m, free, all ages/kid-friendly
Head to the Greensward at Overton Park for a celebration of traditional Palestinian food, dancing, It’s free to attend but bring some cash for the vendors.
– Arlington In April, Depot Square in Arlington, April 29, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., free, all ages/kid-friendly
Vendors from around the Mid-South will display and sell handmade crafts and boutique items. They’ll have have lots of activities, great music and entertainment.
– East Buntyn Art Walk, Midland Avenue, April 29, 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., free, all ages
Head to Midland Ave between Prescott Street and Reese Street for the eighth annual East Buntyn Art Walk , where residents will turn their front yards into galleries for local and regional artists. There’s also a silent auction, food trucks, live entertainment, and directions. Go mingle with the neighbors at this kid, people, and pet-friendly event.
– Beale Street Wine Race, Beale Street, April 30, noon, free, 21+
Cheer on your favorite Memphis restaurant workers as they compete in an adult version of elementary school field day, complete with relay races (involving carrying wine over hurdles), a beauty pageant / dance off, and grape stomping competition. It’s weird and wonderful. Leave the kids at home for this one.
– Taste the Rarity, Wiseacre Brewing, April 29, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m., $50 + fees, 21 and up
Taste rare craft beers from 17 different cities and celebrate the release of the 2017 Unicornicopia (this year, it’s a tequila barrel-aged Belgian single) with music from the Mighty Souls Brass Band and Los Cantadores Mariachi Band, food, games, commemorative taster glass and more. Expect this one to sell out, so get your tix asap.
– Memphis in May International Festival, Tom Lee Park/Other Locations, May, various prices, all ages
A few things in Memphis are certain: summers are sticky, basketball is awesome, and the Memphis in May International Festival is the city’s biggest party. This year, it starts on May 5 with the Beale Street Music Festival (check out the band lineup here) and continues throughout the month, including International Week, the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest (known locally as “BBQ Fest”), 901Fest and the Great American River Run. Here’s a full list of Memphis in May events. This year’s honored country is Colombia.
– Party in the Park, Court Square, May 9, lunchtime, free, all ages/kid-friendly
Once again, my employer, the Memphis CVB, will host a one-day fair to celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week and it’s open to the public and totally free. In past years, we’ve had giveaways from the Grizzlies, interactive displays from attractions, mascots from the Zoo, Graceland, and the Redbirds, antique cars, performers, artists, food trucks, and live music. It was like a four hour crash course in Memphis fun and is usually a super fun time (and I’m not just saying that).
-. Memphis Greek Festival, Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, May 12 – 13, 11 a.m., $3 adults/$1 kids/free with food bank donation, all ages/kid-friendly
Take a trip to the “little Greek island on Highland” for dancing (don’t worry, there are lessons), a marketplace, tours of the church sanctuary, live music and yes, tons of food. If you can’t stay for dinner, you can always get food in the drive-thru.
– Latino Memphis, Overton Park, May 13, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., free, all ages/kid-friendly
The Latino Memphis Festival is a high-energy outdoor fiesta honoring the Memphis In May honored country, Colombia. Expect live music and entertainment, authentic food, kids’ activities, an outdoor marketplace and a Salsa-Making Championship. Plus, there’s a 5K run/walk before the fiesta.
– Mid-South Food Truck Festival, Tiger Lane, May 13, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., $5 – $45, all ages/kid-friendly
Dozens of food trucks from around the region will converge on Tiger Lane for an all-day chance to try tons of mobile cuisine. Plus, enjoy live music, vendors, and more. Your $5 gets you in. $35 for the Very Good Beer Experience, and a $45 for no-line, no-wait City Tasting Tours Experience. Limited number and pre-order only for those two special tickets.
– Dog-A-Roo, Shelby Farms, May 13, details TBA, all ages + dogs of course
Head to Shelby Farms for a festival for the dogs where all proceeds benefit Shelby Farms and the Greenline. Bring your dog and participate in all kinds of canine-centric activities; details are still forthcoming. In past years, they’ve had canine costume contest, dock dog demos, a rescue parade, agility course, training, Q&As with pet experts, music, a four-legged 4K, and more.
– Memphis Italian Festival, Marquette Park, June 1-3, all day, adult admission TBA / kids free, all ages
Celebrate Memphis’ Italian community with food, games, a cooking contest and more at the Memphis Italian Festival. Similar to BBQ Fest, you have to have an inside connection or be a part of a cooking team in order to eat most of the food, so prepare accordingly. You can also play bocce ball and cornhole, and hear live music.
– A Day Of Merrymaking, Overton Park Greensward, June 3, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., free, all ages/kid-friendly
Welcome summer with this free festival for families and pets – enjoy live music, food trucks, vendors, performers, and more.