New Approved  Im Logo


Memphis in May International Festival took home eleven Pinnacle awards, including a bronze Grand Pinnacle for overall excellence at the 2016 International Festival & Events Association’s Annual Convention & Expo in Tucson, Arizona, on September 27, 2016. This award places Memphis in May alongside festival and event leaders such as the Kentucky Derby Festival, Portland Rose Festival and Destination New South Wales.

The top industry benchmark, the Pinnacle competition solicits entries from the world’s leading festivals and events in 68 award categories. Memphis in May winning categories include “Best Educational Program,” “Best Event Website,” and “Best Overall Sponsorship Program,” among many others.

“We would like to congratulate all of our Pinnacle winners for their outstanding entries into this year’s competition,” said IFEA President & CEO, Steven Wood Schmader, CFEE.  “The IFEA/Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Awards Competition recognizes the outstanding accomplishments and top quality creative, promotional, operational and community outreach programs and materials produced by festivals and events around the world.  Striving for the highest degree of excellence in festival and event promotions and operations in every budget level and every corner of the globe, this competition has not only raised the standards and quality of the festivals and events industry to new levels, but also shows how event producers can use innovation and creativity to achieve a higher level of success.”

Entries were received from festivals and events in Europe, Asia, Canada, and Australia, as well as prominent U.S. events like the Philadelphia Flower Show, Cherry Creek Arts Festival, Indy 500 Festival, Fiesta Bowl and Pasadena Tournament of Roses. In total, Memphis in May received four Gold Pinnacle Awards, two Silver Pinnacle Awards and five Bronze Pinnacle Awards.

“We have spent the past 40 years creating a truly world class event, a festival that pays tribute to both the city of Memphis and a different foreign country each year,” stated James L. Holt, president and CEO of Memphis in May. “It is an honor to be recognized as an international leader in our industry. We proudly accept these awards on behalf of our board and all the volunteers who work to make our festival great.”


Listed below are the 2016 Pinnacle awards won by Memphis in May International Festival:


  • Memphis in May International Festival: Best Commemorative Poster
  • 901Fest: Best Full Length TV Program – produced by Local24
  • Great American River Run: Best T-shirt Design
  • Great American River Run: Best Miscellaneous On-Site Decor


  • Memphis in May International Festival: Best Educational Program
  • Memphis in May International Festival: Best Overall Sponsorship Program


  • Memphis in May International Festival: Grand Pinnacle
  • Memphis in May: Best Organizational Website 
  • Memphis in May International Festival: Best Event Invitation
  • World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest: Best Commemorative Poster
  • Great American River Run: Best Promotional Poster

2017 Memphis in May International Festival Dates
Beale Street Music Festival
: May 5-7, 2017
International Week: May 8–14, 2017
World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest: May 17-20, 2017
901Fest: May 27, 2017
Great American River Run: May 28, 2017

About Memphis in May

Memphis in May International Festival is a not for profit, community-based organization, whose programs contribute more than $88 million annually in economic impact to the community, foster civic pride, promote awareness of Memphis heritage, and build international relationships and understanding through education. 
Memphis in May International is the official Festival of the City of Memphis, and the recipient of 195 prestigious Pinnacle Awards from the International Festival and Events Association. Memphis in May International Festival was recently named to Travel+Leisure’s international list of Festivals Worth Traveling For. 

Site Map