Memphis Memorial Day Weekend Guide 2021

Monday, May 31 2021 is Memorial Day. This is a day set aside each year to remember United States Armed Forces personnel who died while in military service. It's also the official start to the summer, and a chance to take a day off work to spend time with friends and family. 

American Flag On Second Street
Alex Shanksy

All Weekend: 

FREE Kayaking downtown! "One-hour Kayak rentals [in Wolf River harbor downtown] will be free all Memorial Day weekend. Pick up your boat from the Cobblestones between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. all weekend." Contact Memphis River Parks Partnership if you need more details.

Hattiloo Theatre presents the opening weekend of “N Real Life”, a play about a Black woman pursing her dreams as a Broadway performer in New York City. “N Real Life” is a live show, playing Fridays at 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. starting this weekend and running through June 20. 

The Taming, a modern-day take on The Taming of the Shrew will be streamed live via Playhouse on the Square and Broadway on Demand this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Friday, May 28: 

The Memphis Symphony Orchestra presents the final concert of its Orchestra Unplugged series this Thursday and Friday at the Halloran Centre in downtown Memphis. Conductor Robert Moody and the symphony will perform music that explores the work of Dr. Martin Luther king, Jr. Tickets are almost sold out. 

A new apparel and lifestyle shop in South Main will host a grand opening this Memorial Day Weekend in Memphis. ODDS Atelier will have a ribbon cutting on Friday at 11 a.m. at 304 S. Main Street, followed by a 7:30 p.m party with free cocktails, snacks, and music

Shelby Farms Park hosts their weekly Canoe + Cocktails event on Friday night, a guided sunset paddle in Hyde Lake. Tickets are $75 for two people and the event is 21+.

On Friday night, country folk singer Raelyn Nelson has a show at Hernando’s Hide-A-Way.

Saturday, May 29

Memphis In May’s Great American River Run is a half-marathon / 10K / 5K race in downtown Memphis with a huge after party.

Cooper Young Farmer's Market (8 a.m. - 1 p.m.) and Memphis Farmers Market (8 a.m. - 1 p.m.) are both happening!

Loflin Yard is hosting a Memphis Modern Market on Saturday from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

The Stax Museum will have a big Sidewalk Sale on Saturday during Memorial Day Weekend with music for sale (CDs, vinyl), Stax merch, clothing, and more.

The Hi-Tone will host their Hot Sauce Launch Party and Merch Pop-Up on Saturday from 1 p.m, - 5 p.m. More details. 

On Saturday and Sunday, several local vendors will team up for a Pop Up Shop at 240 Madison Avenue, including PESO, Cafe Noir, Sputnik, Boycott Coffee, and Nubian Design.

Carolina Watershed will host a Memorial Day Kickback party on Saturday night, a tribute to classic hip-hop, R&B classics, reggae, and more with DJs, live music, food, and drinks. 

Enjoy live music at Hernando’s Hide-A-Way on Saturday night with Memphis cover band Booker T. and the MGs. 

Railgarten hosts local group Black Cream on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

Attention DragRace fans: this Memorial Day Saturday night is the conclusion of the War of the Roses drag competition at downtown club Atomic Rose. The show will be hosted by Bella Duballe, and this week they’ll crown the top drag performer.

Sunday, May 30

Railgarten has live music on Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend: Marcella & Her Lovers at 1 p.m. and Al Kapone at 5 p.m. 

Get ready for a colorful parade! Memphis Pride Fest will celebrate the Memphis LGBQT+ community on Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend with a car caravan parade traveling through midtown and downtown Memphis. The caravan starts at 2 p.m. in the First Congo Parking Lot and travels down Cooper Street, Poplar Ave., and down Beale Street, and will be filmed for streaming at next weekend’s Memphis Virtual Pride Fest. Route map and more info here.

The Hi-Tone hosts a nighttime jazz brunch every Sunday night starting at 5 p.m. There’s no cover, food specials, and live music or a DJ.

On Beale Street, Jerry Lee Lewis Cafe hosts a Memorial Day Bottomless Brunch on Sunday starting at 3 p.m.

For Monday, May 31

Young Ike Diddy’s Memorial Day BBQ, Railgarten, Monday, May 31, doors at 3 p.m. - ’til, 21 and up Expect a packed blowout party at Railgarten this Monday with food, games, live music, DJs, vendors, and a Greek stroll off.

I’d love to add some more Monday live music and events—drop me a line at [email protected] if you have one!

For more, check out the blog’s calendar—we’ve been adding a ton of upcoming events! Plus, with the new calendar you can search by date or by topic, like family friendly, theater, sports, and more. You can submit your events here.

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