2017 Memphis Fall Events Guide
Ed. Note: Fall, aka the best time of the year in Memphis, is around the corner. Contributor Aisling has an updated event guide for fall 2017. We have separate guides for a) Halloween/Harvest events – coming later b) Oktoberfests/beer fests, and c) nerd-friendly events – coming soon.
Did we leave something off? Submit your events here.
Indie Wednesday Film Series, Multiple Venues, Now Through October 25, Up to $10 Screenings of indie films begin at 7 p.m. Wednesdays, alternating between three venues: Malco’s Studio on the Square ($10), Ridgeway Cinema ($10) and Crosstown (pay what you can).
JustLarry’s MAYHEM, Evergreen Theater, August 25 – 26, 8 p.m., $20, 21+
And now for something completely different…JustLarry offers us a “cabaret of curiosities” at midtown’s Evergreen Theater, including burlesque, aerialists, acrobats, illusionists, musicians, comedians, special effects, and more. If you haven’t seen a JustLarry show, what are you waiting for?
Ballet Memphis Community Grand Opening Celebration, 2144 Madison Avenue, August 26, 12-4 p.m., free, all ages
Everyone is invited to the company’s grand opening celebration at the corner of Cooper and Madison, which will feature complete performances, demonstrations, talks and hands-on fun for all ages throughout the day.
Germantown International Festival, Agricenter International, August 26, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., free
Authentic foods, live performances and more, celebrating the cultures of dozens of countries. Hosted by the Rotary Club of Germantown.
Mid-South Renaissance Faire, USA Baseball Stadium Millington, August 26 – 27, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., $10 adults/$12 kids 6-12//under 6 free
The theme of this year’s faire, held in the Shire of Shelby, will be the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. Learn Elizabethan dances, be knighted by the Queen herself, browse the merchant rows, enjoy the performers, sail the seas with the Mid-South Buccaneers, and cheer on your favorite jouster.
Redbirds Games, AutoZone Park, August 28 – 31, times and prices vary, all ages/kid-friendly
The final regular season homestand for the Redbirds is gainst the Iowa Cubs. Finish out the year with plenty of food, fun, and special offers.
U of Memphis Tigers Football, Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium (home games), August 31-November 25, prices vary, all ages
The Memphis Tigers football team embarks on their 2017 season at the Liberty Bowl. Click here for the full schedule.
Delta Fair, Agricenter International, September 1-10, $10 adults / $5 kids and seniors
The Delta Fair is a classic week of games, rides, livestock and homemaking competitions, exhibits, and other activities. The fair is open every day until at least 10 p.m. $25 wristbands for unlimited rides.
30 Days of Opera, September 1-14, Various Locations, Free
30 Days of Opera is exactly what it sounds like: 30 days of totally awesome, totally free performances by Opera Memphis held in locations throughout the city, including libraries, farmers markets and playgrounds.
901 Day at Railgarten, 2166 Central Avenue, September 1, noon to midnight, free admission, all ages (in certain areas)
Kick off Labor Day Weekend early with Choose 901 and Railgarten, featuring happy hour from 12-3 p.m., food and drink specials throughout the evening, live music, pop-up market, games, dance party and more.
901 Day! (Exposure), AutoZone Park, September 1, 6-8 p.m., free, all ages
Celebrate your city with 150 awesome Memphis organizations – expect free samples of food and drink (plus more sale), an hilarious celebrity kickball game, Grizz Drumline and Beale Street Flippers and much more. Make sure you stop and take a photo at the I Love Memphis mobile mural! Read more here.
MLK Soul Concert Series, National Civil Rights Museum, Fridays in September, 6-8 p.m., Free
In honor of MLK50, the National Civil Rights Museum is hosting a free outdoor concert series for music lovers of all ages. Music will include jazz, soul and oldies, and everyone is invited to boogie on the lawn.
Memphis Music and Heritage Festival, Center for Southern Folklore, September 2-3, free, all ages
The Center for Southern Folklore’s annual Memphis Music and Heritage Festival features two days of southern-fried live music, dancing, cooking, storytelling and vendors over Labor Day weekend. The festival is completely free and family friendly, so don’t hesitate to bring everyone you know.
Redbirds Playoffs Games, AutoZone Park, September 6 – 13, prices vary, all ages/kid-friendly
The Memphis Redbirds have made it to the Triple-A playoffs! Yay. They’ll have home games in the first round on September 6 and 7, possible away games Sept. 8 – 10, and, depending on how they do, they’ll be back at home on Sept. 12 and 13.
Southern Heritage Classic Weekend, Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium (and other locations), September 7-9, priced per event
The Southern Heritage Classic is so much more than an annual football game between Tennessee State University and Jackson State University. It’s also a weekend-long celebration that includes music, parades, marching bands, comedians and tons of tailgating.
Art on Tap, Dixon Gallery & Gardens, September 8, 6-9 p.m. $30 – $40, 21 and up
The Dixon’s annual beer tasting event features beer from around the world and a great selection of food from one of the best food cities in the world: Memphis. Wine is available for purchase.
28th Annual International Goat Days Festival, USA Stadium, September 8-9, $5 parking/free admission, all ages
Millington’s annual celebration of the noble goat includes vendors, demonstrations, a petting zoo, kids’ area, BBQ contest, tractor shows, and much more.
2017 Outflix Film Festival, Malco Ridgeway, September 8-14, $8-$10 per screening
This year’s 20th anniversary festival will feature a record 45 films. Presented by OUTMemphis: The LGBTQ Center for the Mid-South.
46th Annual Germantown Festival, Germantown Civic Club Complex, September 9-10, free
You could go to the Germantown Festival for the crafts, demonstrations, live music, vendors, cornhole tournament, classic cars and overall sense of community. You wouldn’t be wrong to do so. You would, however, be wrong to miss the annual Running of the Weenies, an adorably chaotic dachshund race.
Spillit Memphis Story Slams, Amurica Photo, September 9, October 7 & 22, November 4 and 18, $10, 18+
Memphians tell their stories at monthly events and compete for title of best storyteller. Some stories are funny, others are heartbreaking, but all are true. No notes allowed. The $10 admission includes drinks (but please tip!). Stories might be PG-13 and seats are first-come, first-serve, so get there early. The final event of 2017, The Grand Slam, featuring winners from the year’s story slams, will take place November 18.
Levitt Shell Fall Concert Series, Levitt Shell, Thursdays – Sundays, September – October, free, all ages
Get your picnics ready – free outdoor concerts with bands such as North Mississippi Allstars and Southern Avenue start on September 7 and continue through late October in Overton Park. There will also be a country blues fest and several free film nights, including showings of Mary Poppins and Beetlejuice. There are two tickets events “Stars at the Shell” in early November
Zoo Rendezvous, Memphis Zoo, September 9, 7-10:30 p.m., $200, 21 and up
Memphis Zoo’s largest single-night fundraiser of the year will feature fare from more than 80 Mid-South restaurants and bars, as well as entertainment on four stages.
Central Gardens Annual Home & Garden Tour, Central Gardens, September 10, 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., $15 adv./$20 day-of, all ages
This year’s Central Gardens home tour features six homes – including one of the oldest homes in the neighborhood circa 1853 – one garden, and two additional sites. The area focuses on Belvedere to the west, then east to peabody, McLean, Harbert, and Vinton. Get your tickets early to save a few bucks and get an in-depth, personal look at Memphis history.
Cooper-Young Festival, Cooper Young neighborhood, September 16, 9 a.m.-7 p.m., free to attend, all ages
The annual Cooper-Young Festival shuts down the intersection of Cooper and Young (and several blocks in each direction) for a massive street fair and neighborhood celebration on the third Saturday in September.
Repair Days, National Ornamental Metal Museum, September 21 – 24, free to attend, all ages
Bring your busted, rusted, and otherwise damaged metal items to the Metal Museum for a little TLC. During Repair Days, the museum’s crew of blacksmiths and metalworkers will fix your items for a fee, which benefits the museum. The day also includes family friendly activities, workshops, and a dinner and auction.
Mid-South Fair, Landers Center, September 21 – October 1, $10 adults/$5 kids and seniors, all ages
Head to the Landers Center in Southaven for the annual Mid-South Fair to get your fill of funnel cakes, rides, games, live entertainment, talent contests and more.
BreakFest, Memphis Medical District, September 23, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., $10 GA/$30 VIP
This year’s fest has moved from Broad Avenue to the Medical District, with teams competing in five categories (bacon, omelets, breakfast sandwich, and more) to earn the title of breakfast and brunch food champion at the second annual BreakFest. There will be games, food trucks, and live music for the general public, and Old Dominic Distillery will sponsor a Bloody Mary contest Proceeds will benefit Urban Bicycle Ministry. If you want to win a pair of free tickets, go here to enter.
Memphis Japan Fest, Memphis Botanic Garden, September 24, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., $5 adults/$2.50 children/free for members
Immerse yourself in Japanese music, dance, art, food, theatre, martial arts and more, surrounded by the beauty of Memphis Botanic Garden.
Mid-South Pride Parade and Festival, Several Locations, September 29 -October 1, free
The annual Mid-South Pride Parade and Festival has expanded to three days of events,including a concert on Friday night at 7 p.m. at Handy Park, the big festival from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Robert Church Park and a parade on Beale at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Sunday closes out the weekend with a brunch at Celtic Crossing at 1 p.m. and a T-Dance at 4 p.m. at Alchemy.
GonerFest 14, Cooper Young Gazebo / Hi-Tone / Murphy’s / Murphy’s, September 28 – October 1, $5 – $25 individual shows/$75 festival pass
Gonerfest, Goner Records’ annual four-day celebration of garage, punk and indie rock, is back for its 14th year. It’s time for more loud music, spilled beer and good times that bring in rock fans from all over the world. This one’s not for the kids.
Southern Junkers Vintage Market, Agricenter International, September 29 – 30, $8 day/$12 weekend, all ages
Southern Junkers bring you the best in vintage, farmhouse, antiques, repurposed, art, handmade goods, jewelry, junk, music, food, and fun. Indoors at the Agricenter on Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Taste of Cooper Young, Cooper Young, October 5, 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., $45 before Sept. 1/$50 after, ages? (probably 21+)
Be one of the 300 lucky tasters who can sample fare from eleven neighborhood restaurants at this evening benefitting First Congregational Church. There will be live music and a silent auction, too. Only 300 tickets will be sold.
MEMPHO, Shelby Farms Park, October 6-7, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., Tickets start at $40
Music, food and nature, with a lineup that includes The Cold War Kids, Jason Isbell, Southern Avenue, and Steve Cropper & Friends. This is a brand-new event this year.
Best Memphis Burger Fest, Tiger Lane, October 7, 10:30 a.m. – 6 p.m., $10, all ages
Best Memphis Burger Fest, now in its sixth year, is a day-long, family-friendly event featuring competitions, live music by Star & Micey, an inaugural bobbing-for-burger competition, and more. Teams cook throughout the day for the highest score in each category and the ultimate title of Grand Champion of Best Memphis Burger Fest, they’re encouraged to offer samples to festival attendees in exchange for a $1 donation. Proceeds benefit nonprofit Memphis Paws, Inc.
Memphis Tequila Festival, Overton Square, October 13, 6-9 p.m., $34, 21 and up
Sample 15 variations of tequila and chat with distillers while you enjoy tasty food, fun party activities, and tunes from local DJs at the Memphis Flyer Tequila Festival in the Overton Square Courtyard. Benefits Volunteer Memphis.
Pink Palace Crafts Fair, Audubon Park, October 13 – 15, $9 adults / $7 seniors and military / $3 kids
The 45th annual Pink Palace Crafts fair offers three days of outdoor artisan demonstrations in everything from candle making to metalsmithing), kids’ activities, eating and shopping at booths run by artists and craftspeople from around the country. Proceeds benefit the Pink Palace Museum.
Cooper Young Beer Fest, 795 S. Cooper, October 14, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m., ticket info TBA (tickets go on sale September 1), 21 and up
The Cooper Young Beer Fest gives beer lovers the opportunity to sample regional craft beers. A limited number of tickets are sold every year, which means that the lines are shorter, thus, there’s more time for beer tasting. Tickets will go on sale on September 1 and they’re likely to sell out quickly. All proceeds benefit the Cooper-Young Community Association.
Memphis Food & Wine Festival, Memphis Botanic Garden, October 14, $200, ages TBD
This festival, now in its second year, will showcase exceptional food, wine, and music from Memphis as well as regional and national chefs. Enjoy samples from nearly 40 chefs, wine samples from about 40 wineries, and tons of great music. The event will benefit FedExFamilyHouse, which houses out-of-town families with children receiving treatment at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital. Read about last year’s festival here.
Time Warp Drive In: Shocktober 4: Legends of Horror, Summer Drive In, October 14, gates open at 7 p.m./movies begin at dusk, $10
Head to the Summer Drive-In for all night movies throughout the fall.. October 14 features horror classics Psycho (1960), Halloween (1978), Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Memphis Grizzlies Basketball, FedExForum (home games), begins October 18, prices vary, all ages
Get ready to grit ‘n’ grind with the Grizz starting Wednesday, October 18 with a home game against the NOLA Pelicans. Here’s the schedule.
Soulsville USA Festival, Soulsville (1130 College Street), October 21, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., free, all ages
In addition to the stellar music line-up, this year’s festival will feature 40 vendors and food trucks, storytelling inside Stax Museum of American Soul Music, demos from an array of visual artists, and a kid’s center with carnival games, face-painting, caricature drawings, and other fun activities. You can also expect interactive ballet, contemporary, jookin/b-boy, and hoola hooping dance demos.
River Arts Fest, South Main Arts District, October 27 – 29, free Friday night / $5 Saturday and Sunday, free for kids under 10
During River Arts Fest, hundreds of local and national artists, craftsmen and bands pack the South Main Arts District for three days of vending, music, demonstrations and hands-on activities. It’s completely family friendly, and worth the price of admission, especially for the dozens of musical acts spread out on three stages.
Indie Memphis Film Festival, November 1-6, locations and ticket information TBA
This nationally-recognized festival is a connecting point for filmmakers, musicians, artists and audiences bringing a broad range of independent features, documentaries and shorts to Memphis.
India Fest 2016, Agricenter International, November 4, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., price TBD, all ages
Organized by the India Association of Memphis, this festival showcases and promotes awareness and appreciation of the vibrant art, culture, music, cuisine, and heritage of India among people of the greater Memphis area. It helps foster cross-cultural interaction, awareness and education to provide a greater understanding and appreciation for the diversity of India’s culture. The food, shopping, entertainment and hospitality makes it one of the most fun and educational festivals in the city.
Party on the Plaza with the Robert Randolph and the All-Star Band, Crosstown Concourse, November 4, 7-10 p.m., $150-$200
Featuring Robert Randolph and the All-Star Band and additional musical guests, this show at Crosstown Concourse celebrates everything they love about Memphis. Proceeds benefit Church Health.
Memphis Grilled Cheese Festival, Hi Tone, November 5, 12-6 p.m., $5 general admission, all ages
Five dollars gets you in, and teams will hand out samples during the cook off in exchange for a donation of any amount, which benefits ALIVE Memphis Dog Rescue. Hi Tone will be open with live music, two bars and a grilled cheese-eating competition.
U of Memphis Tigers Men’s Basketball, FedExForum (home games), begins November 7, ticket info TBA
The Tigers kick off the 2017-2018 hoops season with an exhibition game against CBU game at FedEx Forum..Here’s the schedule.
Memphis Comic and Fantasy Convention, Guest House at Graceland, November 17-19, $15 – $40
The Memphis Comic and Fantasy Convention is three glorious days of geekery. There will be panels, gaming, costumes (and a costume contest), and visiting artists and writers. Schedule TBA.
Know of any more awesome events happening in Memphis this fall? Submit them to the ILM Events Calendar (very important) and I’ll add them to this list. I’ll be putting up a guide to Halloween in the Mid-South later in September.
About the Author
Aisling Maki is a freelance writer, editor, and public and media relations specialist with awards from The Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists and Public Relations Society of America, as well as several awards for fiction writing. Her work has appeared in publications in more than 20 countries. You can usually find her cheering on the Grizzlies, doing outdoorsy things, or traveling with her daughter, Brídín. They live in Cooper-Young with a dog, a guinea pig and a pair of pet mice.