365 Things to Do in Memphis #236: Celebrate 901 Day
Memphis needs its own holiday, don’t you think? Every year on September 1, Memphians host a variety of events to celebrate the official-unofficial holiday of 901 Day!
Assignment #236 in the 365 Things to Do in Memphis is to celebrate 901 Day*.
In 2011, Memphian Jen Clarke made this case for having a Memphis-centric holiday:
I think 901 Day should be a local holiday — a day dedicated not only to reflecting on all the great things about Memphis but also on working to make it better. A day free of hating, as Tony Allen might say. Maybe local museums could offer admission discounts to foster cultural appreciation, volunteer organizations could host service opportunities… Neighborhoods could have block parties and open houses. And of course, a citywide day off work would be purely optional.”
It sounded like a really good idea. So, starting in 2012, Kerry Crawford (ILM Blogger 2009-2013) and Jen made it a real thing. In that first year, there were about 30 events hosted all over town including a free breakfast party at the Botanic Gardens, a dance party at Mollie Fontaine’s, and plenty of volunteer opportunities.
In years since, the holiday has been celebrated or observed in different ways, small and large. Anyone is welcome to host an event.
The New Memphis Institute usually hosts a huge event called Exposure, where you can meet with dozens of local organizations (activities, non-profits, businesses, social groups), see local Memphis entertainment (music, dance, opera, and more), eat Memphis food and drink Memphis beer, and enjoy the annual Celebrity Kickball Game. It’s traditionally held on September 1 at AutoZone Park. Read about the 2017 here, and stay tuned for info on the 2018 event.
Chooose 901 also usually hosts a merch sale and party at a local venue, with t-shirts and other Choose 901 swag, drink specials, and tunes.
If you’re hosting an event in 2018 for 901 Day, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and add it to the blog’s calendar here.
*901 Day, for the non-Memphians among us, is a reference to the city’s telephone area code.
This post was originally published in August 2012. It was updated in March 2018.