Memphis Bicentennial Party At Celebrate Memphis Festival This Weekend

Posted by Holly Whitfield | May 23rd 2019 1200 0

Memphis In May’s bicentennial edition concludes this Saturday, May 25 with two events at Tom Lee Park: The Great American River Run and Celebrate Memphis, a big, free festival full of food, music, fireworks, and fun. I Love Memphis will have a tent at Celebrate Memphis, too, with shade, chairs, and a big summer giveaway.

Photo by Philip Van Zandt

The Great American River Run starts at 7 a.m., with a 5K and a half marathon, followed by a party for runners. Check out those details here.

The gates for Celebrate Memphis open at 3 p.m. and the event goes until the huge fireworks show ends, sometime after 10 p.m. Here are the seven things you need to know.

1. IT’S FREE. Celebrate Memphis is totally free to enter, and you can bring in your coolers, chairs, blankets, and outside food and drink. Details here.

Someone’s excited about BBQ nachos.

2. FOOD TRUCKS If you don’t want to deal with bringing in your own food, don’t worry! There are 17 food trucks and vendors – everything from BBQ to grilled cheese to Thai food to popsicles, snowballs, and gelato. Food vendor list here. Just make sure your food is ready to go by 5:15 p.m., because the Picnic starts at 5:30 p.m. (see # 5).

3. THE MUSIC, Y’ALL. There are five stages full of local music and performances, including headliners Lucero (!!), Al Kapone, Love Light Orchestra, Opera Memphis w/ New Ballet Ensemble, and Bailey Bigger. Music starts when gates open and goes until the fireworks start. Schedule here.

4. THINGS TO DO There will be plenty to do at Celebrate Memphis: a cornhole tournament, local vendors selling arts and merch, a mural on the side of a bus that you can help paint, a kids’ area, Touch-A-Truck, games, a global community expo, and an airshow and parachute landing at 5:30 p.m.

The picnic table is 5 football fields long. Here it is under construction.

5. BREAK A WORLD RECORD. Help Memphis create the World’s Longest Picnic Table. We are attempting to break a certifiable world record, and we have to have more than 1,000 people all sitting and all eating at once in order for the Guinness Book of World Records to let it count. This is going to start between 5:15 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., and the picnic table is FIVE football fields long, so you can’t miss it. Again, if you don’t have food to eat at the table you’re risking messing up our record, so at least try to bring a snack or be sure you snag something from the food trucks in plenty of time.

Our mobile mural will be on site, a smaller version of this one that you can find on the side of Wet Willy’s on Beale Street.

6. I LOVE MEMPHIS TENT Come to the I Love Memphis tent and enjoy our shade, fans, and chairs, and enter to win the Live Your Best Memphis Summer giveaway prize pack, which has a hotel stay, concert tickets, gift cards, and a lot more. Here’s the giveaway info, or you can go to this post to see more about this giveaway and to read instructions.

7. FIREWORKS. At the end of the night, around 9:30 p.m., expect the biggest, longest fireworks show you’ve ever seen, sponsored by our best buddies at Memphis Tourism. You will not want to miss this.

See y’all Saturday, and Happy 200th Birthday Memphis!


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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