There is so much going on this coming weekend that I wanted to go ahead and post about it now. Except possibly for the first weekend in December, there is no other weekend on the calendar with such a huge variety of big events.
Tip for Memphians who don’t live Downtown: Why not get a hotel room for the weekend, and experience Downtown as the locals do it, walking, biking or trolleying to all these events?
All right, let’s get started. This is not a comprehensive list (go to DowntownMemphis.com and look at the event calendar for that), but these are the big ones that are on my radar.
Thursday, April 24
Grizzlies vs. Thunder, FedExForum, 7:00: It’s game 3 of the seven-game playoff series, currently tied 1-1. If the Grizzlies can defend the home court this game and next, the Thunder will be in a world of trouble when they head back to OKC. PRO TIP: If you’re going to the game, park at Double J on G.E. Patterson about 6 blocks south of the Forum. You can pre-game there with a drink or dinner, and they have a limo that will shuttle you to the game and back. Good way to avoid heavy traffic around the arena.
Peabody rooftop party: Aces Wild will be the headlining band. Come party with host CJ from The Q 107.5/96.1 and House DJ Mark Anderson spinning the tunes between the band’s sets. The Grizzlies game will be shown on the big screen in the adjacent Peabody skyway. Doors open at 6 PM. $10 admission includes a hot dog buffet with potato chips. If you’re in the VIP section you also have access to a hamburger buffet with chicken skewers and tater tots. Ladies and hotel guests free until 7.
Spring Fling at Twilight Sky Terrace: This is the inaugural Thursday rooftop party atop the Madison Hotel. This party offers live music with amazing views of Downtown Memphis as a backdrop. There will be spring cocktails and a photo booth, and you can enter a drawing to win a weekend at the Madison. 7 PM – midnight. Rain date May 1. $10 cover.
Friday, April 25
Tennessee Brewery Untapped: We’ll have one of our first looks at what can be done in this beautiful space. From the Facebook page: “Untapped will include regular and spontaneous programming, including a cafe serving locally-sourced beverages, food trucks, live music, movie screenings, workshops, and other kinds of do-it-yourself, makeshift fun.”
South Main Trolley Night: Happens the last Friday of every month, in the South Main shops, galleries, and restaurants. The name is a bit misleading because most people walk and mingle with friends and neighbors rather than ride the trolley. Live entertainment will include
Pistol and the Queen @ D’Edge
Po Boys @ Green Beetle
Mara Danielle @ Sache
Crissy Owen @ Charlotte
Melinda Milligan @ Main Law
Eric Crays/Steve Black/Danny McGregor @ Rizzo’s Patio
Steve Reid @ Memphis Thing
Chelsea Chandler @ Douglas & Associates
Tim Plunk (6-8), Nick Garrison (8-Midnight) @Double J
Delta Joe Sanders @ SMA Member Area
Live Music on the Trolley sponsored by Memphis Music Commission
More music at Earnestine & Hazel’s and Grawemeyer’s
There will also be an art opening: Adventures in Love by Sue Layman Lightman, 125 G.E. Patterson Suite 3, as well as multiple artists and vendors on the street. Although Trolley Night happens once a month, the nice-weather Trolley Nights especially tend to get huge. Temps should be in the mid 70s and rain is not expected.
South Main Dirty Dozen presents Carnaval de Panama at The Warehouse: $10 donation at the door supports two awesome charities, Hospitality Hub and Urban Bike Ministry. The Dirty Dozen decided to celebrate Memphis in May’s honored country, Panama, with an authentic Carnaval. Festive attire is encouraged. OPEN BAR (!!!!!) and music by DJ Joe Carey.
I have never been to a bad Dirty Dozen party, and this is the first one they have thrown at The Warehouse. Furthermore, I have never been to a bad party at the Warehouse. Double recommendation to go based on that. The Warehouse is a unique performance space which is part of the home of Kris Kourdouvelis at the northeast corner of G.E. Patterson at Front.
All of these events are within a 3-block walk. It goes without saying that the South Main area is the place to be Friday.
Saturday, April 26
Southern Hot Wing Festival: Hot wing cook teams compete to see who has the best wings. This event is on Riverside Drive around Jefferson at Jefferson Davis Park on the river. Open to the public 11 AM to 8 PM. Food trucks, live music on two stages, hot wing eating contest, and of course awards for the best wings. This is the festival that was located in South Main a few years ago, but it outgrew that space.
PRO TIP: If you want to see me in my native habitat, pre-game for the festival at Bardog Tavern on Monroe between Front and Main. I will get there at 11 and will stay for an hour or two.
Tennessee Brewery Untapped: Notable today is Kenn Flemmons, author of Finest Beer You Ever Tasted, the definitive book about the Tennessee Brewery and Goldcrest 51, the beer that was brewed there. He will answer your questions about the brewery at 12:30 and 3:30.
Memphis Brewfest: Beer festival at AutoZone Park from 4 to 7:30 PM. Many beers that are not normally available in Memphis will be on hand for you to sample. This is the main event of Memphis Beer Week which has been going on since Monday. Get tickets here. I’m taking the year off from this festival simply because there is so much going on, but I’ve been to it in past years and it’s worth checking out. PRO TIP: Lines get about 6 deep during peak times, so get in line for your next beer sample before you finish the one you’re drinking now.
Grizzlies vs. Thunder, FedExForum, 8:30: Game 4 of the best-of-seven. Atmosphere at the Forum should be electric, especially if the Grizzlies win Thursday’s game and come to this game with an advantage.
Sunday, April 27
Rajun Cajun Crawfish Fest: This yearly event happens on Wagner and Riverside between Union and Beale, noon to 6. Crawfish are sold by the bucket (get there early to avoid long lines, although they keep the lines moving quickly). There’s live music, including zydeco bands, as well as cornhole, a gumbo cookoff, and bobbing for live crawfish. For the kids, there are crawfish races. Not into crawfish? There will be several food trucks there as well serving festival and gourmet food. The festival benefits Porter-Leath, one of Memphis’ finest nonprofits.
PRO TIP: By mid-afternoon the lines for beer and restrooms get quite long, especially on Wagner which is the main path. Get off the beaten path and use the facilities on Riverside for less time in line.
If you can’t find something to do Downtown this weekend, you just aren’t trying! I’ll leave you with one final PRO TIP: Take a vacation day Monday.