Friday update #2

If you’re a fan of Memphis history, Backbeat Tours is offering two 2-hour tours this Sunday (1 PM and 3 PM): Memphis Bicentennial Tour: Memphis 200. Take a Memphis history bus tour and see the Mississippi River, Beale Street, Victorian Village, Court Square, Lorraine Motel, and Church Park, among other historical venues. Learn about Boss Crump, yellow fever, Memphis in the Civil War, an African-American businessman on Beale, politicians, civil rights crusaders, bluesman W.C. Handy, and more. $25 adults, $15 children.

I wonder if they gave it the slightly redundant name “Memphis Bicentennial Tour: Memphis 200” because a lot of Memphians don’t know that “bicentennial” means “200”?

Also on Sunday, you can join visual creatives for a walk around Downtown Memphis from 3-6 PM called Grind City Meet. The event will start at Madison Avenue Park (across from Brass Door) and end at Mud Island River Park. You’ll meet other creatives and will have the chance to win some great prizes. You don’t need to be a professional to participate. Just bring your phone or camera.

You can pack a patriotic picnic at the Memphis Farmers Market this weekend. They’ll have locally sourced meats and veggies, and if you don’t feel like cooking they’ll have pre-prepared foods as well. Doodlebugs, the Children’s Museum of Memphis arts and crafts studio, will be on hand with a fun fruit and veggie painting activity. Live local music all day long. The Master Gardeners will be there to answer any questions you may have. The Market runs every Saturday under the pavilion behind Malco Powerhouse at Front and G.E. Patterson, 8 AM to 1 PM.

Chris D’Elia comes to the Orpheum June 27.  One of the most in-demand performers in comedy today, I became aware of this show when several of my service industry friends said they were taking the night off work to go see it. Tickets are $28-58.

There will be a dance party all day tomorrow (11 AM-11 PM) on the lawn at 31 N. Front Street. The event is presented by a group named “Memphis Loves Chicago House Music” and DJs will include TJ Carter, Kelly Whigham, Rawhouse, Dantz King and Brandon. They will play Afro, Soulful Disco, and House music.

Nick Black will play the Soulin’ on the River concert series at Mud Island River Park on Friday, June 21. Free for all to attend and gates open at 6 PM. Music at 7. Lawn chairs, picnic baskets, blankets, and coolers are welcome.

Rizzo’s is having a Coppola Wine Dinner next Wednesday, May 29. Menu has not been released yet but any Michael Patrick dinner is bound to be a good dinner.

A dedication of the first historical market in Memphis recognizing Chinese immigrants’ contributions to Downtown Memphis will happen at the FedExForum plaza at noon on Saturday. Specifically the marker will commemorate the Lung Kong Tin Yee Association founded in the 1920s in Downtown Memphis. Following the dedication there will be a reception at Center for Southern Folklore. Parking at 110 Peabody Place, with a $2 discount if you have the Center for Southern Folklore stamp.

There’s a young professionals’ happy hour at Blind Bear tonight 5:30-8:30. This is a chance to socialize, make connections, build your professional network. The past several events have filled the entire bar with young professionals.

Some of these posts on the Save Tom Lee Park & The Festivals Facebook page are getting a bit ridiculous. “I traced the lineage back 33 generations to 698 A.D. and discovered that Carol Coletta is a distant cousin of Al Capone! Clearly her plan is to funnel Tom Lee Park construction money through The Outfit, the Chicago crime syndicate.” I’m exaggerating here but not by very much. Come on people, be better than that. You have a strong argument for leaving the park as it is. Resorting to personal attacks and loony accusations weakens your credibility.

Scroll down to read about Wiseacre’s groundbreaking on their Downtown facility this afternoon. Back tomorrow with more news.