I Love Memphis Guide To Spring 2016

Posted by Holly Whitfield | March 9th 2016 9582 0

Here is your guide to spring events and festivals in Memphis, starting this week and going through the first weekend in June. This is only a selection of the many things going on in Memphis this spring.

You can always check out the blog’s calendar, the I Love Memphis Podcast, and the weekly and weekend guides to make sure you don’t miss anything.

Did I leave something off? Please submit to the calendar.


1. Southern Women’s Show, Agricenter, March 11-13, $10, all ages
The 24th annual Southern Women’s Show at the Agricenter includes three days of tons of shopping, vendor booths, cooking demonstrations, cooking classes, workshops in beauty, fashion, decorating and more.

2. Silky O’Sullivan St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Beale Street, March 12, 3 p.m., free, all ages/kid-friendly
When your bar claims to make every day like St. Patrick’s Day, you’d better go buck wild for the real thing. In this case, Silky O’Sullivan’s delivers.  It’s festive, but family friendly. Go here to see my full guide of all the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations going on in Memphis this year.

3. Mid-South Con, Hilton Memphis, March 18-20, all day, weekend passes $55 at the door, all ages
If you’re into writing, gaming, anime, comic books, science fiction or the paranormal, mark your calendar for Mid-South Con. There’s an art show, writer’s conference, gaming and tons of awesome nerdy fun.

4. Modern Women’s Conference, Baptist Memphis Education Center, March 19, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., $40 – $50, 18+
A day filled with awesome women, inspirational speakers, and educational breakout sessions, with a focus on things Memphis women can do now to make a significant in career, self, and community by 2020. There’s a kick-off mixer on March 18 at Joseph’s in Laurelwood at 6 p.m.

5. Gotta Get Up To Get Down, Wiseacre Taproom, March 19, 10 a.m., free to attend, 21+
Lululemon hosts a day at Wiseacre: a 3-mile fun run at 10:30 a.m., Yoga at 11:30 a.m., and beer thereafter. Arrive early to sign a waiver.

6. Time-Warp Drive-In, Summer Drive-In, March 19,  first movie begins at sundown, $10 per person, all ages
Black Lodge Video and Malco Theatres present this year’s Time Warp Drive In series, which kicks off on March 19 Go here to see the lineup for all nine Time Warp Drive In nights.

7. Cookies On Tap, High Cotton Taproom, March 24, 4 p.m., $20, 21+
A unique beer and cookie tasting event that pairs local brews with iconic Girl Scout Cookies. The drop-in tasting event will feature a flight of four – 5oz High Cotton Brewing Co. beers with Samoas, Tagalongs, Savannah Smiles, and Thin Mints. Proceeds benefit Girl Scouts Heart of the South.

8. Great River Indoor Food Truck Fest, Cook Convention Center, March 26, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., $5, all ages
About 14 local food trucks will be set up inside the Cook Convention Center downtown, plus there’ll be live music and a local good marketplace. Parking is free in the garage.

9. Purgefest, Shangri-La Records, March 26, noon, free
Bargain deals on albums, CDs, and more, plus plenty of great items for $1. Live music on the lawn.

10. Memphis Comedy Fest, Various Locations, March 31 – April 2,  Tickets $7+ per event/Pass info TBA, 21 and up
The Memphis Comedy Fest is four days of laughs featuring stand up comedians, improv groups, comedy workshops, short films, games and more.  I’ll have more info soon.



11. Midtown Opera Festival, Playhouse on the Square, April 1-10, ticket prices TBA, all ages
This year is Opera Memphis’s 4th annual Midtown Opera Festival at Playhouse on the Square. The ten-day-long festival includes operas, family events, panel discussions, and more.

12. Memphis Farmer’s Market Opening Day, G.E. Patterson and S. Front St., April 2,  7 a.m. – 1 p.m., free to enter, all ages/kid-friendly
Memphis’ largest farmer’s market kicks off the 2016 season with Opening Day on Saturday, April 2 with food vendors, food trucks, and more.

13. Down To Earth Festival, Shelby Farms Park, April 2, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., $5 parking + cost of additional activities, all ages
Shelby Farms’ annual Earth Day Celebration is a family friendly day of outdoor activities. Check out the park, enjoy live music, children’s crafts, food trucks, and more. Proceeds benefit Shelby Farms Park.

14. Bug Bash Crawfish Festival, The Hagar Center (1427 Lyndale), April 2, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m., $45 early bird/$50 day-of, all ages
Enjoy All you can eat crawfish and Crosstown Brewery Co. beer (until it’s gone) plus live music, all to benefit the Hagar House. Kids 5 and under are free.

15. Memphis Fashion Week, Various Locations, April 4-9, $50 per night / $200 VIP for the weekend, 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.

16. Redbirds Opening Day, Auto Zone Park, April 7, prices vary, all ages/kid-friendly
The Redbirds begin their 2016 season in a game against Colorado Springs on Thursday, April 7. Go here for the full schedule.

Lafayette's balcony 2015 Crawfish Festival

17. Overton Square Crawfish Festival, Overton Square, April 9, free, 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.

18. Hopped II, Memphis Made Brewing, April 9, noon to 9 p.m., free to attend, all ages
Memphis Made releases some new, old, and limited release IPAs for the second annual Hopped spring event. Free pint glasses to the first 100 folks (starting at noon), plus there’ll be live music, and food trucks.

19. Africa in April, Robert Church Park, April 13 – 17, free, all ages
Celebrate the Republic of Tanzania 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.

20. Healthy Memphis Festival, Broad Avenue Water Tower Pavilion, April 16, 9 a.m. – 8 p.m, free to enter, all ages
Celebrate a healthier Memphis with healthy food vendors, fitness classes, food demos from Vegan Crunk, fee health screenings, prizes, entertainment, a kids’ bouncy house, and more.

21. Harbor Town Crawfish Festival, Harbor Town, April 16, noon – 8 p.m., $5 or 2 cans of food to enter, all ages
The annual Harbor Town Crawfish Festival benefits the Mid-South Food Bank. More details to come!

22. East Buntyn Art Walk, Midland Avenue, April 16, 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., free, all ages
Head to Midland Ave between Prescott Street and Reese Street for the 7th 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. Mingle with the neighbors at this kid, people, and pet-friendly event.

23. Memphis Brewfest, AutoZone Park, April 16, 4 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., $44/$100 VIP 21+
The Memphis Brewfest’s annual beer celebration in AutoZone Park celebrates (and offers tastings of) craft beer, international beers and regional homebrews.

24. Memphis Flyer’s Bacon & Bourbon Fest, Memphis Farmer’s Market, April 16, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m., $30, 21 and up
Enjoy food from Memphis’ best restaurants and a vast array of spirits to savor a weekend of bacon, bbq and all the good things that come from old oak barrels.

25. Rajun Cajun Crawfish Festival, Wagner Place, April 17, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., free, all ages
In addition to a few thousand pounds of crawfish, Rajun Cajun features 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.

26. Hear 901 Music Festival, New Daisy Theater, April 17, 7 p.m., $5-$20, all ages
The University of Memphis’ student run record label, Blue Tom, is presenting their second annual Hear 901 music festival with a half-dozen bands of a variety of genres.

27. Broad Avenue Spring Art Walk, Broad Avenue, April 22, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m., free to attend, all ages
Broad Avenue Art Walks feature open houses at businesses along Broad, sidewalk sales, food trucks and vendors, beer and wine stands, live music, and more.

28. Southern Hot Wing Festival, Mississippi River Park, April 23, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., $12 advance / $15 at the gate, all ages
The Southern Hot Wing Festival is back for its 14th year. Cooking teams will serve up hot wings (and some will give out samples for a donation to Ronald McDonald House), there will be live music from bands, and there’s a (usually kind of hilarious) hot wing eating contest.

29. V&E Greenline Art Walk, V&E Greenline, April 23, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., free, all ages
Local artists and vendors will line the V&E Greenline in Midtown for the fourth annual V&E Art Walk. In addition to over 60 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.


30. Lucero Family Block Party w/ St. Paul and the Broken Bones, outside Minglewood Hall, April 23, starts at noon, $26 – $61, 21+
It’s an all-day mini music festival featuring Lucero with St. Paul and the Broken Bones outside on Minglewood Plaza.

31. Latin Food and Tequila Festival, Cadre Building April 24, noon to 7 p.m., $11 adv./$21 door
Enjoy some of the Mid-South’s top Latin restaurants, tequila booths,margarita booths, culture, music and dancing.

32. Beale Street Wine Race, Beale Street, April 24, time TBA, 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, a parade and grape stomping competition. Leave the kids at home for this one.

33. Beale Street Music Fest, Tom Lee Park, April 29 – May 1, $105 for a three-day pass, all ages

Three days, four stages, and about 60 musical acts from pop, rock, indie, and blues genres, including headliners Neil Young, Weezer, Meghan Trainor, Modest Mouse, Jason Derulo, Beck, and Paul Simon.


34. Time-Warp Drive-In, Summer Drive-In, April 29,  first movie begins at sundown, $10 per person, all ages
Black Lodge Video and Malco Theatres present this year’s Time Warp Drive In series: go here to see the lineup for all nine Time Warp Drive In nights.

35. Party In The Park, Court Square, May 3, 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., free, all ages
Celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week with the 3rd annual pop-up Memphis vacation in Court Square in downtown Memphis, organized by the Memphis CVB and I Love Memphis. We’ll have a few dozen local organizations represented, local mascots, activities, food, music, and more. Stay tuned for details.

36. International Week: Salute To Canada, May 2 – 9/all month, prices vary, all ages
Memphis In May’s honored country this year in Canada, so you’ll be able to check out various events celebrating Canada’s history, culture, cuisine, and more. Click here for a list of events/exhibits.

37. Memphis Greek Festival, Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, May 6-7, 11 a.m., cost TBA (it’s usually $15), all ages
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.

38. Latino Memphis festival, Overton Park, May 7, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., all ages
The 3rd annual Latino Memphis festival honors the country of Brasil with cultural activities, tons of food and drinks, a kids Carnaval corner, music and dancing, futbol, salsa-making contest, a market, races, and more.

39. Dog-A-Roo Festival, Shelby Farms Park, May 7, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., free/$5 parking, all ages
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 a canine costume contest, dock dog demos, a rescue parade, agility course, training, Q&As with pet experts, music, a four-legged 4K, and more.

40. Mid-South Food Truck Fest, Tiger Lane, May 7, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., $2 – $5, all ages
At least 40 food trucks from all across the eastern U.S. with gather at Tiger Lane to feed the masses and compete in categories like “Best Sweet Treat” and “People’s Choice”.

41. Party For The Century, Brooks Museum, May 7, noon to 7 p.m., free, all ages
Celebrate the Brooks Musuem turning 100 with a day-long party inside and outside of the museum, art-making, birthday cake, and the grand opening of the new hands-on family art gallery.

World Championship BBQ Fest at Tom Lee Park

42. World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, Tom Lee Park, May 12 – 14, $9 general admission, all ages
Don’t let the local name for this event – BBQ Fest – fool you. WCBCC is a serious, prestigious pig-cooking competition, where dozens and dozens of teams from all over the world vie for $115,000 in prizes and sauce-soaked glory. Barbecue from competing teams is not available to the general public, but there are some bbq and other food vendors.

43. Time-Warp Drive-In, Summer Drive-In, May 13,  first movie begins at sundown, $10 per person, all ages
Black Lodge Video and Malco Theatres present this year’s Time Warp Drive In series: Go here to see the lineup for all nine Time Warp Drive In nights.

44. Great American River Run, May 28, half marathon begins at 8 a.m., $65 all ages
Memphis In May’s newest event is a Memorial Day Weekend half-marathon and 5K race that benefits the Wounded Warrior Project. The race course is along the MS river, with route entertainment and a post-race party, air show, and fireworks.

45. 901Fest, Tom Lee Park, May 28, 3 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., $9, all ages
This year, Memphis in May will host a brand-new event on Memorial Day weekend’s Saturday (May 28). It’s called 901Fest and it’s a celebration of all things Memphis, including food, music, and projects.

46. Memphis Italian Festival, Marquette Park, June 2-4, all day, $8 – $15, all ages
Memphis’ Italian community celebrates 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.

47. Night at the Lorraine, National Civil Rights Museum, June 4, 7 p.m., $75 per person/$150 per couple, 21+
Celebrate the history of the Lorraine Motel and support the National Civil Rights Museum with a evening of Memphis food, drinks, music, dancing, and more.

Which festival are you most looking forward to?

Did I leave something off? Please submit to the calendar.

Author: Holly Whitfield

I write about what’s going on with Memphis music, food, arts, events, sports, people, and culture. Memphians love Elvis and barbeque with a passion that must be seen to be believed, but there is so much more to this place.

Leave a Comment