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.
Let me give a special shout-out to Exposure for 901 Day, which this year will actually be on August 29, 2019.
Thousands of Memphians will gather to get to know more about the city’s organizations, culture, and entertainment. More than 150+ local groups will be represented, plus there will be food samples, food ‘n’ drink for sale, and live entertainment. And it’s free to go. Read more here and RSVP here.
If you’re hosting an event in 2019 for 901 Day, 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 August 2019.