Big, big weekend coming up in Downtown Memphis. Here’s an overview of the major events going on.
Thursday, April 14 is the Peabody rooftop party season opener. Ingram Hill will be the featured entertainment, along with Finger Eleven, the Beale Street Flippers, a drumline, hosts Maney, Drex and Riley, and DJ Mark Anderson. Doors open at 6 PM and the party goes on until 11. $15 cover charge includes your first drink; ladies and hotel guests free until 7. VIP passes that will get you in all season, and will get you access to a special VIP area on the rooftop, will be on sale at the door for $75.
Saturday, April 16 finds two big events on the calendar. First up is the Southern Hot Wing Festival, on South Main south of G.E. Patterson. This festival continues to grow, and we have 75 teams competing this year. Action kicks off at 10 AM and lasts until 6 PM. Insider tip: Get there by noon, when The Young Guns take the Jack Pirtle stage. When I first saw them set up three years ago, I thought, “Yeah it’s just a bunch of kids.” Then they blew into one of the best covers of Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll” I’ve ever heard. These kids rock; do not miss them.
Also on the 16th, Memphis Brewfest happens at AutoZone Park. Three and a half hours, beginning at 4 PM, to spend walking around AutoZone Park’s courtyard sampling beers. Proceeds benefit Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy and the Memphis Redbirds Foundation. Huge beer list. (Disclosure: They comped me a ticket. It’s good to be a blogger sometimes.)
Sunday, April 17 is one of my very favorite festivals of the year: Rajun Cajun Crawfish Fest. It takes place along Wagner between Union and Beale. Beautiful river views, zydeco bands, contest and games including the always-entertaining “bobbing for crawfish.” Yikes, I see on their site that they’ve raised the price of a bucket of crawfish to $20 this year, and beer to $4! Better hit the ATM before you head down there. Time to give my yearly advice: Get there early. This festival is not known to run out of crawfish, but if you haven’t bought your bucket by 12:15 you’ll be standing in a line 50-100 deep. Luckily the people selling the crawfish know what they’re doing and move the line quickly.
(Reminds me: Time to remind my group of my festival rule. When there’s a festival going on, I plan to be at the festival, not on a rooftop looking at the festival.)
Will the weather cooperate? According to the MemphisWeather.net forecast, the Peabody party should see good weather with highs near 80. Storms are expected but not til overnight. No rain Saturday and Sunday, but temperatures cooler than I’d like to see, with highs in the mid 60s. That’s a shame because Rajun Cajun in particular is normally one of the best fests of the year for tube top watching.
With all going on, I’m very happy with my decision to take next Monday off work. I will need the recovery day.
I hope to have Wine Race photos up tonight. Just need to weed out the pics in the “not fit for public viewing (but will be e-mailed to a few select friends)” category.