5 Things To Do This Weekend: 5/31 – 6/2

Posted by Holly Whitfield | May 30th 2019 1480 0

Let’s finish up May and start June in style. Here are the five things you won’t want to miss in Memphis this weekend, plus a few extras.

But first, here’s what happened on the blog this week: Wesley recommends 12 live music shows for June, I ate some good burgers, and the Levitt Shells free shows start this weekend.

1. 30th Annual Memphis Italian Festival, Marquette Park, May 30 – June 1, $10 admission adults/free for 10 and under and active military, all ages
A Memphis tradition with food, music, cooking competitions more. While you can’t sample all the food being made – the competition teams’ tents are off-limits without an invite – you can enjoy other many parts of the fest. They have fabulous local bands Thursday – Saturday (Ghost Town Blues Band, Hope Clayburn & the Soul Scrimmage, and Ingram Hill, respectively) and if you get there early on Friday or Saturday, for $15 first-come, first-serve you can sample authentic Italian food from Venice Kitchen and Pete & Sam’s. There’s also a VIP ticket with more perks, an Italian chef cooking demo on Saturday, a bocce ball tournament, and a kids’ area with games and rides.

2. Goner25 Weekend, Friday – Sunday, various locations and times, $50 wristband, adults
Memphis’ own Goner Records celebrates 25 freakin’ years with a rad A $50 wristband gets you into all four shows, with artists like Memphis’ Jack Oblivian and Tokyo’s Guitar Wolf, or you can purchase individual tickets to each show.

3. African American Arts Festival, Shady Grove M.B. Church, Saturday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., free, all ages
Celebrate the opening of the Arts Cafe in the Riverview Kansas Community, whose mission is to engage, educate and elevate using African American arts as a platform. Enjoy live music, poets/spoken word artists, dancing, arts and crafts, and food trucks.

4 .Outdoors Inc. 38th Annual Canoe & Kayak Race, Mud Island, Saturday, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., no charge for spectators, all ages
After a year off, this nationally-known Memphis tradition is back and better than ever. More than 500 recreational to expert-level paddlers will gather on the banks of the Mississippi River for this annual event, a fun race that fills the channel with canoes and kayaks and paddlers of all different skill levels.

5. Barkers Brunch Artist Market, Wiseacre, Sunday, noon – 6 p.m., free to enter, all ages
Do you love local beer, local art, and PUPPIES? Then get over to Wiseacre to support the cutest event I’ve ever seen. There are twelve local artisan vendors, adoptable pets from Streetdog Foundation, and El Mero Food Truck will be there are all your brunch taco needs. Vendors give 10 percent of proceeds to the animal rescue, and donations are accepted.


Here are even more ideas…there are really too many to choose from.

Memphis Zombie Walk, Handy Park, Friday, 3 – 9 p.m., free, all ages
For the 13th year in a row, the undead will come together to eat brains and gather canned food and donations for the Mid-South Food Bank.

South Main Trolley Night, South Main, Friday, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.,  free, all ages/kid-friendly
Trolley Night means open houses and free drinks at shops on South Main. This week’s especially exciting because it’s Puck Food Hall is open with ten options for modern eating and drinking. Stop in there, get dinner, then enjoy music from GRAPE. at The Vault or Renda Writer at Stock & Belle.

The Memphis Music Tour, Elmwood, Friday, 6 p.m., $20, all ages
Led by Memphis musician, historian, filmmaker, and author Willy Bearden, this tour will  introduce you to the music of the musicians who rest at Elmwood. You’ll visit a a Big Band legend, blues singers, horn players, producers, and more. Beer and wine will be available for sale prior to the tour.

Art Fix, Spay Memphis, Saturday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., free, all ages
Shop from more than 15 local artists in an open-air marketplace and meet pet-centric businesses and adoptable pets. Kid-friendly and pet-friendly, with 15 percent of sales benefiting Spay Memphis.

Sci-Fi Sounds, Two Rivers Bookstore, Saturday, 3:30 – 5 p.m., free, all ages
Experimental electronic music and science fiction words at this performance and reading by Robert Traxler, an experimental electronic musician.

Meddlesome Meandering 0.5K, Meddlesome Taproom, Saturday, 6 p.m., $25, all ages
Our friends at Meddlesome will host a 0.5 kilometer “race” on Saturday in support on our other friends, Volunteer Odyssey. You can still sign up! The $25 fee gets you 4 food sample station, 2 post “race” beers, and live music. There’s a prize for best contest. Not running? Feel free to come and make a donation and drink some great beer for a great cause.

Big Gay Dance Party, Minglewood Hall, Saturday, 8 p.m. – 2 a.m., $20 and up, 21+
Kick off the summer party season with a sizzling dance party in Midtown.

Kafe Kirk at Crosstown, Crosstown Concourse, Sunday, doors at 5 p.m., performance at 6 p.m., $45-$60, all ages
Grammy-winning saxophonist Kirk Whalum heads up this monthly jazz series in Crosstown Theater, which features musical and spiritual collaborations with special guest artists. This month’s guests are Kortland and Kameron Whalum.

for even more, check out the blog’s 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.

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  1. Marg Talbi says:

    My brother lives in Memphis and joining them end June to early July Any suggestions re dance studios there contemporary dance Afro/Jazz? Also any events you think are worth visiting..including Art Exhibitions, Fashion/ textile/craft fares? Thanks Marg

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