Memphis in May International Festival Announces Celebrate Memphis Programs

Photo May 26 6 21 52 AM

The City of Memphis and Shelby County turn 200 this year, and in celebration of the bicentennial, Memphis in May International Festival has broken with its tradition of saluting the history and culture of a country and will instead celebrate the rich culture and colorful history of Memphis at a unique event on Saturday, May 25, appropriately titled “Celebrate Memphis.”  Produced in conjunction with the City of Memphis, Shelby County, and Memphis Brand Initiative, Memphis in May invites all citizens of Memphis and the surrounding communities to join the FREE city-wide celebration in Tom Lee Park.

In the spirit of uniting communities from around the city, an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the World’s Longest Picnic Table will be made. The record-setting picnic table is being constructed now and will stretch more than 1,060 feet, with representatives from Guinness on-hand to certify the record-breaking attempt. Memphians are encouraged to bring their families and friends to take a seat at the table and help Memphis set the record and make it the world’s longest community picnic!

A Memphis celebration wouldn’t be complete without incredible live music, and Celebrate Memphis will offer four stages filled with a broad array of Memphis performing artists who will be announced closer to the event.

All eyes will turn to the skies for the commemorative airshow soaring over the Mississippi River, with a new addition to the Memorial Day weekend event, the All Veteran Group Parachute Team with members representing branches of the armed forces gliding into Tom Lee Park. Later in the evening, the Mid-South’s largest fireworks show will conclude the event with a display taking place over the Mississippi River. However, to “make it Memphis,” the show will be coordinated with something no other city can: The Mighty Lights that illuminate the Harahan and Hernando de Soto bridges, all set to Memphis music!

Other unique features of Celebrate Memphis include:

  • The Mobile Memphis Mural: Everyone is welcome to grab a paintbrush and colorfully complete a graphic design wrapped on a MATA bus. This Memphis Masterpiece will then cruise the streets of Memphis all year long!
  • The Global Community Market & Expo, honoring the diverse ethnic groups that call Memphis and Shelby County home. The area will include food tastings and cultural performances from the different countries represented within the local population.
  • The Family Zone including “Touch a Truck,” an interactive experience that allows all ages to explore a fire truck, ambulance, FedEx truck and more. 
  • The Sports Zone for Memphians who love their local teams to meet members from the Grizzlies, Redbirds, Express, and 901FC.
  • Fun and games including a Cornhole Tournament and Knockerball!

Stop by the Eat901 food court for a bounty of local favorite food trucks and restaurants, and the Shop901 marketplace will be open throughout the entirety of the event, selling and displaying the talents of local craftsmen and artisans.

Gates open at 3:00 p.m. Blankets, lawn chairs and outside food, beverages and coolers are permitted for this FREE event.

2019 Memphis in May International Festival Dates:

Beale Street Music Festival: May 3-5, 2019
World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest: May 15-18, 2019
Great American River Run: May 25, 2019
Celebrate Memphis: May 25, 2019

About Memphis in May 
Memphis in May International Festival is a nonprofit community-based organization, whose programs in 2018 contributed more than $137.7 million in economic impact to the community, fostered civic pride, promoted awareness of Memphis heritage, and built international relationships and understanding through education. 
Memphis in May International Festival is the official festival of the City of Memphis and the recipient of 216 prestigious Pinnacle Awards from the International Festival and Events Association. This year, the Festival will break with its tradition of honoring the history and culture of another country with its International Salute and will instead honor the colorful history and rich culture of the City of Memphis in celebration of the Memphis Bicentennial on May 22, 2019.  Join us in “Celebrating 200 Years and a New Century of Soul!”

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