4th of July Week In Memphis: Downtown’s Quintessential Summer Celebration

Posted by Holly Whitfield | June 29th 2020 2154 0

This year, 4th of July will be different. Instead of crowding downtown for one night of fireworks, downtown will host five days of fun, safe, socially-distanced activities.  No fireworks this year, but there’s plenty more going on on the river front: pre-made picnics from your favorite local restaurants, kayak rentals, light shows, sunset paddles, bike rentals, kids’ activities, and more.

Logan Young

The Basics: 4th of July Downtown Memphis

  • No fireworks downtown this year.
  • Instead, the Quintessential Summer Celebration is five days of Mighty Lights, dining deals, and outdoor things to do.
  • Wednesday, July 1 – Sunday, July 5
  • Every day’s activities are the same July 1 – July 5
  • Please don’t go on the 4th itself if you can help it to avoid crowding
  • Wear a mask
  • Socially distance

What To Do For 4th of July In Memphis

The Quintessential Summer Celebration includes a bunch of ideas and activities:

  • Paddle the Memphis Harbor 
    • Hourly kayak rentals are available from the 4th Cup in River Garden for $20/hour. Walk-up hours 11AM-Sunset, July 1-5. All equipment will be sanitized between each use.
    • Sunset stand-up paddleboard tours with SUP901 available at 7.30PM on July 4 and 5 from the cobblestones. Secure your reservation at sup901.com or 901-729-7146. All equipment sanitized between each use.
  • Sunset paddle down the Mississippi River
    • Guided paddle down the Mighty Mississippi starting at Wolf River and ending in the Memphis Harbor. 7PM July 1-3, $75 per person with pre-reservations required by calling 901-482-2942.
  • Self-guided bike tours. Pick-up an Explore Bike Share but remember to BYOS (bring your own sanitizer).
    • Curated bike routes available for self-guided rides. Check the Facebook event for the routes.
  • Holiday picnics
    • Downtown restaurants are offering special deals on family meals designed to be eaten outside. Pick up your picnic and take it to the river! Check the Facebook event or search #fivedaysinmemphis for participating restaurants.
  • Deals on attractions
    • Downtown attractions are offering special admission prices and package deals from July 1-5. Check the Facebook event or search #fivedaysinmemphis for participating restaurants.
  • Kids’ activities
    • Featured parks will have a kids’ adventure to complete and receive a “badge” from 4th Cup at the completion.
  • The Sunset Show
    • Wrap up your celebration by watching one of Memphis’ spectacular sunsets from the riverfront. A nightly coordinated Mighty Lights show set to Memphis music creates a unique experience for visitors all along the riverfront. Show starts as the sun goes down each night July 1-5.


You can search this handy hashtag on social media or check out the Facebook Event Guide for specific information on specific deals and discounts during the week of July 4th in Memphis.

While Riverside Drive has been closed to motorized vehicles, bikers, skaters, scooter-riders, walkers, runners, yogis have all been taking full advantage of the extra space to exercise and have fun.

Pro Tips For July 4th Week In Memphis

  • Again, consider going on July 1 or July 2 or July 3 or July 5 instead of the 4th to help with crowding.
  • Bring chairs, blankets, and coolers, but remember that bags are subject to search.
  • From event organizers: “Social distancing must be followed. Plan to wear masks and keep 6ft away from other visitors.” From Holly: Just do it! No questions asked.
  • Riverfront park hours are dawn to dusk so don’t plan to hang around until the middle of the night.
  • I can’t believe I have to say this, but: don’t shoot off your own fireworks.
  • If you’re sick or you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, stay home. Please.

Is Riverside Drive Closed?

Yes. Riverside Drive Is Closed.

From the City of Memphis’ COVID-19 website.

For more information and to RSVP, visit the Quintessential Summer Celebration page on Facebook and follow Memphis River Parks Partnership and Downtown Memphis Commission on Facebook for timely updates. 

For all activities and details visit the Quintessential Summer Celebration website.  

Map of Downtown Memphis Riverfront Parks

Go There:

Quintessential Summer Celebration
Riverfront parks

Show Comments


  1. Tom Webb says:

    Thanks for the update. What a great view!

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