2019: Celebrate The Memphis Bicentennial

Happy 200th birthday, Memphis! This year, our beautiful home on the bluff marks two centuries of official city-hood. As we look back on 200 years of ingenuity, endurance, overcoming obstacles and accomplishments, we all have a chance to learn more about Memphis history, celebrate our culture, and plan for our city’s amazing future.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Memphis Bicentennial. Be sure to visit the official bicentennial website, mem200.com, for more, and use #Mem200 to share your bicentennial celebrations with the world.

photo by Adarryll Jackson

Year For Memphis Music, all year long
Every month in 2019, the Year For Memphis Music organization will feature one song from a local Memphis artist and encourage the Memphis-music-loving community to purchase and download this single as a show of solidarity to our music community and to discover new Memphis tunes.

Birth of the Bluff City, all year long
The Memphis Public Library hosts a monthly gathering to dig deep into what made Memphis into the city it is today. Hear from history experts, view drawings and photographs, and get a glimpse of a few decades of Memphis’ past each month. The next Birth of the Bluff City event is March 23 at 1 p.m. and will cover 1865 – 1900.

Making Memphis: 200 Years Of Community, March 2019 – October 20, 2019
The Pink Palace opens a new exhibit that focuses on the past 200 years of Memphis and Memphians. The gallery allows visitors to journey through the city’s history with focus on major historical events and artifacts representing the city’s culture and people. You can vote on your favorite artifacts for the community-curated display, which will change monthly.

A Taste of Memphis At Tiger Lane, April 18, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
The City of Memphis Housing and Community Development department hosts a community gathering at Tiger Lane at the Liberty Bowl with booths representing community organizations, food vendors, businesses, and more. Expect live music and entertainment.

Walk The Line April 26, 7 p.m.
The Orpheum will screen the Johnny Cash biopic Walk The Line – part of which was filmed in Memphis.

Celebrate Memphis! May 25, 3 p.m.
The premiere bicentennial event of the year will conclude the Memphis In May International Festival on Saturday, May 25. This year, the event is free and includes an airshow, parachute stunt team, games, live music, Eat901 food court, vendors, artists, and plenty of activities from community organizations.

Memphis In May invites the public to participate in the World’s Largest Picnic onsite at Tom Lee Park during Celebrate Memphis. Reps from the Guinness Book of World Records will be on hand to verify that our picnic is truly the biggest in the world. No word on if there’s any way to So, buy some local grub or bring your own (chairs, blankets, coolers, picnics are welcome to this event).

Celebrate Memphis concludes after dark with the Mid-South largest fireworks show over the Mississippi River, timed in coordination with the Mighty Lights on the Harahan and Hernando de Soto bridges.


For even more events for 2019, check out the Huge List of Events & Festivals or the blog’s calendar.


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