Riverside Drive Traffic Detours in Preparation for 2019 Memphis in May Events

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This week marks the start of the partial closures of Riverside Drive for the Memphis in May events.  During event days, Riverside Drive will be closed and traffic detoured around the closure from Union Avenue to Georgia Avenue.  Also, during the Festival event days, Beale Street from Wagner Place to Front Street and Wagner Place from Beale Street to MLK Boulevard will close for the safety of pedestrians and visitors to the events.  While Memphis in May will be operating in the park for thirty-seven days, traffic disruption will be minimized as full closure of Riverside Drive is limited to only eighteen of those days; during the remainder of the month, Riverside Drive is open for two-way traffic in the northbound lanes.

“As a partner with the city and citizens of Memphis, we make every effort to reduce the impact our Festival has on Riverside Drive traffic,” says James L. Holt, President & CEO of Memphis in May. “With the safety of our workers and festival-goers in mind, the road closures we require are as brief as possible to reduce the impact on downtown traffic.”  

Complete closure of Riverside Drive will be limited to the following days:

  • Wednesday, May 1 through Monday, May 6 for Beale Street Music Festival
  • Saturday, May 11 through Sunday, May 19 for the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest
  • Thursday, May 23 through Tuesday, May 28 for the Great American River Run, Celebrate Memphis, and load-out

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

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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 is the official festival of the City of Memphis, the recipient of 216 prestigious Pinnacle Awards from the International Festival and Events Association, and has been named to Travel+Leisure’s international list of Festivals Worth Traveling For, with the Beale Street Music Festival named one of the World’s Top Festivals by Fest300, and listed by Forbes as one of “5 Underrated Music Festivals You Should Attend.” 

Festival minimizes traffic impact with only 18 days of road closure

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