Bicentennial Events

We stand at a unique moment in time to reflect on the City of Memphis and Shelby County’s past 200 years and, more importantly, celebrate the potential for our next 100 – A New Century of Soul. Entire communities are joining in and finding new and existing ways to be part of the celebration; from community service activations to city-wide celebrations, there’s room for everyone to be involved.

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OTHER FEATURED EVENTS

City of Memphis Bicentennial Gala

In the kick off to the Mid-South region’s “Bicentennial Summer,” the City of Memphis’ celebration gala will be held on the official 200th anniversary of the city’s founding, May 22, 2018. Seating is limited for this exclusive event which will feature live music and a decadent menu.

Shelby County Finale

Capping off our region’s bicentennial festivities, we’ll honor the official bicentennial of Shelby County November 24, 2018 with a night of culture.

Pink Palace “Making Memphis: 200 Years of Community” Exhibit Opening

Coming March 2019, the Pink Palace Family of Museums has a special exhibit planned for Memphis’ bicentennial: “Making Memphis: 200 Years of Community.” The exhibit will bring together stories of Memphis’ past and present through technology to showcase our future.

Upcoming Bicentennial Events

New Ballet’s Nut Remix

November 15 – November 17, 2019
New Ballet’s 17th annual Nut Remix kicks off the holiday season at the Cannon Center November 15-17! Every holiday season Nut Remix delights Memphis’ audiences with a modern reinvention of Tchaikovsky’s classic Nutcracker.

Celebrate Shelby

November 24, 2019
Capping off our region’s bicentennial festivities, we’ll honor the official bicentennial of Shelby County November 24, 2019 with a night of culture from across the community at Shelby Farms Park.

St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend

December 7, 2019
The St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend is the single-largest one-day fundraising event for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, one of the world’s premier pediatric cancer research centers. Participants can register to run the marathon, half marathon, 10K or 5K as a St. Jude Hero or general participant. Taking place this year on December 7, 2019, each race starts and finishes in historic downtown Memphis, with course highlights including the St. Jude campus and Mississippi River views. In 2018, more than 26,000 participants raised $11.5 million to support St. Jude’s lifesaving mission: Finding cures. Saving children.

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Previous Bicentennial Events

TEDxMemphis 2019

February 2, 2019
TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks. TEDx are local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks from live speakers and video combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group.

200 Years of Race & Place

February 18, 2019
Join us at Clayborn Temple for a time of reflection on race and class in Memphis, in honor of our city’s bicentennial. This event is free, but space is limited.

St. Jude Spirit of the Dream

February 22, 2019
Join us for St. Jude Spirit of the Dream, the festive party celebrating the achievements of African Americans in building the St. Jude legacy. Guests will enjoy cocktails, dinner, dancing and live entertainment as we celebrate the City of Memphis’ 200th birthday.

Memphis in May Fine Arts Poster Unveil

March 19, 2019
Memphis in May International Festival unveils the 2019 Fine Arts Poster that salutes the city of Memphis!

Behind The Citizens Series

March 21, 2019
From scientists to social workers, each episode will highlight a citizen of Memphis who is ushering in ourNewCentury ofSoul, creating ongoing coverage and visibility of Memphis and Shelby County change-makers and world-shakers.

Birth of the Bluff City: 1865-1900

March 23, 2019
Join us as we take a tour through the history of the bluff city. Using drawings, photographs, and historical maps from the library’s collections, we’ll explore the streets of Memphis as the city reeled from the effects of war, yellow fever, and bankruptcy.

Pink Palace “Making Memphis: 200 Years of Community” Exhibit Opening

March 2019
Coming March 2019, the Pink Palace Family of Museums has a special exhibit planned for Memphis’ bicentennial: “Making Memphis: 200 Years of Community.” The exhibit will bring together stories of Memphis’ past and present through technology to showcase our future.

New Century of Beer at Crosstown Brewing Company

March 30, 2019
Join Crosstown Brewery for a day of music, beer, food, and friends as they Celebrate Memphis’ 200th birthday. They will also be introducing the Ocansey Pale Ale, a nod to famous Memphian Isaac Hayes.

Night to Unite: 95th Anniversary Party

April 5, 2019
The entire community is invited to join United Way Mid-South in the fight against poverty and celebrate 95 years of creating lasting impact in this community!

Memphis Fashion Week

April 10 – April 13, 2019
Memphis Fashion Week showcases Spring/Summer collections each year with local designers, models, photographers, and stylists. The only fashion event of its kind in Memphis.

Bookstock

April 13, 2019
Bookstock is a Memphis area authors’ festival that will be open to the public. This year’s theme will be the Bicentennial Celebration of Memphis as we celebrate Memphis’ bright future and 200 years of history.

The Art of Beale Street Music Festival

April 18 – July 15, 2019
Twenty original works of art by George Hunt commissioned by the Beale Street Music Festival will be on display for this exhibition.

“Bringing the world to Memphis…”

April 15 – June 15, 2019
On display in the Vasco A. Smith Administration Building of Shelby County government is a retrospective of the award-winning education program of the nation’s largest of its kind – the Memphis In May International Festival!

A Taste of Memphis – Neighborhoods Celebrating a New Century of Soul

April 18, 2019
On Friday, April 18, 2019, from 5p-10p, neighborhoods, faith-based organizations, community development corporations (CDC) and many others come together as we celebrate a New Century of Soul.

Jam for Justice

April 20, 2019
Great local bands giving back to a great local cause! Come rock with John Paul Keith, Grace Askew, and Cameron Bethany of the Unapologetics and support access to justice for all!

The Road to We

April 20, 2019
The event will host a lively discussion with local leaders and experts as they share their experience, thoughts and vision for Memphis’ future, while advocating for action around Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Six Principles of Nonviolence. The event will be filmed by documentary filmmaker Lakethen Mason.

SCS is 901: The Big Event

April 25, 2019
A night of food, fun, and live performances as Shelby County Schools screens their 901 story series for the first time ever!

Watch “Walk the Line” at Orpheum Theatre

April 26, 2019
We’re excited to celebrate Memphis’ bicentennial with the screening of Walk the Line, which features the historic Orpheum Theatre along with other local landmarks. A chronicle of country music legend Johnny Cash’s life, from his early days on an Arkansas cotton farm to his rise to fame with Sun Records in Memphis, where he recorded alongside Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins. Rated PG-13.

Spirits & Soul Festival

April 26 – April 27, 2019
Spirits & Soul is a 2-Day Festival that brings the Tennessee Whiskey Trail to downtown Memphis, TN as part of the kick-off to the city’s Bicentennial Celebration, A New Century of Soul.

2019 Beale Street Music Festival

May 3, 2019
Just announced: Memphis in May’s Beale Street Music Festival lineup! Get your tickets before they sell out!

Tour of Elmwood

May 3, 2019
A new mural in Elmwood has been created in honor of Memphis’ Bicentennial. Join Wiseacre Brewing Company on May 3rd, 2019 as they celebrate Memphis. $30 gets you two beers, a shuttle over, and a guided walk through of the property.

Architects of the World Series

May 7, 2019
David Basulto, founder and Editor-in-Chief of ArchDaily to speak on Memphis’ place in global architecture on May 7, 2019.

Symphony in the Gardens

May 12, 2019
Bring your picnic blankets, chairs, food, wine, and beer and enjoy a night on the South Lawn. Big Band music performed by the Memphis Symphony Orchestra.

Open Late: Meet the Artist Opening Reception

May 16, 2019
Memphis Urban Sketchers is the Mid-South chapter of an international network of artists whose drawings reflect the cities in which they live and travel. Working in a variety of media, including graphite, watercolor, pen, and colored pencil, the more than twenty artists featured in First Saturdays capture honest observations of everyday life. When showcased together, their works document a particular time and place in Memphis history and create a shared narrative that speaks to the collective experience of the group, and Memphians alike.

Bicentennial Beatdown

May 17, 2019
The Bicentennial Beatdown is a Professional Boxing event that will feature Orange Mound native, Ladarius “Memphis” Miller showcasing his skills in the ring against his opponent. The Bicentennial is in commemoration of Memphis’ 200th year anniversary. Six-time female world champion Ava Knight along with other world class boxers are also fighting. The event is scheduled on Friday, May 17th at the FedEx Forum. This will be a historical event with visitors and celebrities around the country attending. There will be special performances by well-known Memphis entertainers along with a guest appearance by Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr.

Memphis Walking Tours led by Jimmy Ogle

May 4 – May 18, 2019
Memphis in May presents a series of 90-minute walking tours with Shelby County Historian Jimmy Ogle on the sidewalks, alleys, parks, and plazas of Downtown Memphis that covers all aspects of historical events and places, tall buildings and limitless facts throughout Downtown.

Yes, We’re Open! Family Day

May 4 – May 18, 2019
Explore the Dixon’s exciting new Liz and Tommy Farnsworth Education Building and the new surrounding gardens! Get to know the new spaces through experiential areas, games, demonstrations and performances. Meet program instructors, reconnect with friends, and experience the Dixon like never before. Free admission

World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest

May 15 – May 18, 2019
Recognized by USAToday as the “Most Prestigious Barbecue Contest”, the Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest is a four-day competition held in Tom Lee Park on the banks of the Mississippi River in downtown Memphis, TN.

200 has a Lot to Say: Memphis Stories

May 18, 2019
Celebrate Memphis’s birthday with a day of live storytelling and performances highlighting specific people, events and communities in our city’s history. This family friendly event is free with general museum admission.

Salute to Memphis Cinema

May 1 – May 29, 2019
Memphis in May partners with Indie Memphis and the Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission to present this salute to Memphis film.

Leadership Memphis 40th

May 21, 2019
Honoring the original founders of LM, including Fred Smith, Pitt Hyde, W.W. Herenton, Sonia Walker, Jack Belz, and Kate Gooch. This event will also include a presentation of the inaugural 40 Changemakers.

A New Century of Service

May 22, 2019
On May 22, join like-minded Memphians for a day of service and celebrating all that is good in the city by taking time to give back. United Way of the Mid-South and Volunteer Odyssey are hosting service projects across the city and we invite you to participate.

Memphis’s 200th Birthday Party!

May 22, 2019
Celebrate with the best Bluff City beats, treats, and front row seats at Railgarten on May 22nd.

Bicentennial Gala Presented By Memphis In May

May 22, 2019
In the kick off to the Mid-South region’s “Bicentennial Summer,” the City of Memphis’ celebration gala will be held on the official 200th anniversary of the city’s founding, May 22, 2019. Seating is limited for this exclusive event which will feature live music and a decadent menu.

FEATURED EVENT: Celebrate Memphis!

May 25, 2019
Join the celebration as Memphis in May Festival salutes Memphis Tennessee. We’ll salute our innovators and creators. The attractions and soulful spirit of Memphis that draws millions from around the world to our city

Great American River Run

May 25, 2019
The Great American River Run is a half marathon and 5K race taking place in downtown Memphis on Memorial Day weekend.

Larry D. Return to Burn Tour

May 25, 2019
An amazing night of FUN, FUNK and SOUL with Larry D. formerly of The Legendary Bar-Kays and Confunkshun live in concert on The Return to Burn Tour!

Culinary Arts of Memphis

Weekends in May 2019
Each weekend in May, a celebrated culinary artist who has chosen Memphis as home will create a special “Salute to Memphis” themed menu to interpret their own Salute to Memphis. Check back in April for dates and prix fixe menu details.

Greater Memphis IT Council – Memphis in May Business Series Luncheon

May 31, 2019
Theme: Memphis has Momentum: A Smart City on the Move – A luncheon to showcase the promise of smart technology to improve the City of Memphis – past, present and future.

“Currents”

May 1 – May 31, 2019
Jay Etkin Gallery presents “Currents”, Selected Works by local Artists, Pam Cobb and Marc Rouillard. Each artist uniquely interprets Mississippi River themes.

International Paper Children’s Salute to Memphis Art Exhibit

May 1 – May 31, 2019
Check out this Memphis in May festival event and check out Memphis art.

Salvage: Reclaiming Memphis’ Black Aesthetic

May 1 – May 31, 2019
This exhibition seeks to explore those relationships, as we fight to salvage and reclaim Memphis’ Black aesthetic. Salvage will also exclusively exhibit work from local Black artists that have not yet been displayed anywhere else in the city; curated CLTV The Collective.

Visions of Memphis

May 1 – May 31, 2019
Memphis in May Festival help an open call to all Memphis-based artists to submit an original work of art as part of our Visions of Memphis campaign.

The Story of Memphis Water

May 1 – May 31, 2019
Check out this Memphis in May festival event and learn about the story of Memphis water.

Springboard Festival

May 31 – June 2, 2019
The Springboard Festival brings together the most talented, hard working MUSICIANS – from around the country for the OPPORTUNITY to receive mentorship, network and pitch their music to some of the industry’s top executives – creating a monumental IMPACT on their careers and our surrounding community and partners.

Orange Mound 100

June 1, 2019
It’s a one of a kind birthday present for the city of Memphis itself. Orange Mound is celebrating the 100th anniversary of their annexation into the city and wants you to celebrate with them.

Night at the Lorraine

June 8, 2019
The celebration the vibrant history of the Lorraine Motel is happening again. The nostalgic event that takes you back in time with an evening of food, music and fun reminiscent of the Lorraine Motel.

New Century of Soul Night at Theatre Memphis

June 13, 2019
Theatre Memphis presents New Century of Soul Night during its production of Hairspray!

History around Memphis Poetry Slam

June 15, 2019
Come be inspired by local poets as they collaborate in a performance designed to provide community engagement leading up to the Memphis tour of HAMILTON.

Soulin’ on the River ft Tonya Dyson

June 16, 2019
With the mighty Mississippi River as the backdrop, “Soulin’ on the River” is a sample of the new sound of Memphis soul featuring five great bands June-August in The Grove on Mud Island! FEATURED ARTIST: Tonya Dyson

Soulin’ on the River ft Nick Black

June 21, 2019
With the mighty Mississippi River as the backdrop, “Soulin’ on the River” is a sample of the new sound of Memphis soul featuring five great bands June-August in The Grove on Mud Island! FEATURED ARTIST: Nick Black

2019 Craft Food & Wine Festival

June 23, 2019
Join the Craft Food and Wine Festival in celebration of culinary delight on June 23, 2019.

biSoultennial

June 30, 2019
Help celebrate Memphis’ 200th birthday & Stax Museum of American Soul Music’s 16th birthday by voting for your top Memphis soul songs!

Soulin’ on the River ft Black Cream

July 12, 2019
With the mighty Mississippi River as the backdrop, “Soulin’ on the River” is a sample of the new sound of Memphis soul featuring five great bands June-August in The Grove on Mud Island! FEATURED ARTIST: Black Cream

World Golf Championships – FedEx St. Jude Invitational

July 24 – July 28, 2019
Witness unforgettable moments from the world’s best players when the World Golf Championships heads to Memphis, Tennessee at historic TPC Southwind, July 24-28.

Soulin’ on the River ft Katrina Anderson

July 26, 2019
With the mighty Mississippi River as the backdrop, “Soulin’ on the River” is a sample of the new sound of Memphis soul featuring five great bands June-August in The Grove on Mud Island! FEATURED ARTIST: Katrina Anderson

Soulin’ on the River ft Lucky 7 Brass Band

August 9, 2019
With the mighty Mississippi River as the backdrop, “Soulin’ on the River” is a sample of the new sound of Memphis soul featuring five great bands June-August in The Grove on Mud Island! FEATURED ARTIST: Lucky 7 Brass Band

BiSoultennial top ten announcement party

August 15, 2019
The culmination of the biSoultennial contest will be a party at the Stax Museum where the Top Ten songs will be announced on Thursday, August 15 at 7pm. Local DJs will spin Memphis classics all night long and current Memphis musicians will announce the Top Ten and present an award to a musician, writer, producer, or family member associated with each of the Top Ten recordings chosen.

10th Annual Breakaway Bardog 5K

August 18, 2019
Downtown Memphis’ greatest 5K and race afterparty, benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

The Bar-Kays Reloaded: 55th anniversary celebration

August 23, 2019
See the Bar-Kays live at the Halloran Centre on August 23, 2019.

HARLEM WEEK

July 28 – August 31, 2019
NYC/Harlem honors Memphis! A celebration that pays tribute to both iconic municipalities’ cultural impact on food and music throughout the world.

Exposure with New Memphis Institute

August 29, 2019
It’s a celebration of all things Memphis with more than 150 organizations sharing how they make Memphis a better place. It’s a great time to Celebrate Your City.

3:30 on A Wednesday Can Release Party

August 31, 2019
Come and celebrate the can release of 3:30 on A Wednesday, a Honey Wheat Ale made by Memphis Made Brewing Co.

Delta Fair & Music Fest

August 30 – September 8, 2019
The Delta Fair has live music almost all day everyday! With 2 stages and several other scheduled locations throughout the park, music is in the air!

Indie Memphis Youth Film Festival 2019

September 7, 2019
The 4th Annual Indie Memphis Youth Film Fest is an all-day event showcasing short films from Memphis youth and across the country. The FREE event includes several presentations and workshops hosted by professional filmmakers.

Germantown Festival

September 7 – September 8, 2019
One of the longest, continuously run festivals in the area, the 48th Annual Germantown Festival will once again provide a Free Family Fun Weekend for all. On Saturday, September 7th, 2019 from 9:30 to 6pm and Sunday, September 8th, 2019 from Noon to 6pm, the community will once again gather in Germantown Civic Club Complex (7745 Poplar Pike) in Germantown for the best in arts and crafts, children’s activities, rides and games, live stage entertainment, car exhibits, community displays, the Running of the Weenies Dachshund race and festival foods for all tastes.

Zoo Rendevous

September 7, 2019
Memphis’ biggest party of the year is back! A night of fine dining, live music laughs, and more! Tickets go on sale Friday, July 12.

St. Jude Gold Luncheon

September 12, 2019
In honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, please join us for the fifth annual St. Jude Gold Luncheon, presented by First Tennessee Foundation. Enjoy a catered lunch and a panel presentation celebrating the Memphis Bicentennial emceed by Kontji Anthony.

Cooper Young Festival New Century of Soul Stage

September 14, 2019
Cooper Young was named one of the “Top 10 Great Neighborhoods in America” by the American Planning Association in 2012. Come join us for the party and get to know why Cooper Young is Midtown!

Southern Heritage Classic

September 11 – September 14, 2019
Southern Heritage Classic® – is music, fun, football, bands, tailgate party, golf, fashion, reception, all rolled up into a cultural event that plays out over a week long celebration in Memphis. Come and enjoy the fun!

AUDACITY Fest

September 27 – September 29, 2019
Created by NOMADNESS Travel Tribe, AUDACITY Fest is the gathering of like minds in travel and culture. This festival is the safe space for black and brown travelers from around the world, to build ideas, meet travel influencers, and experience parts of the world through on site activations. The day includes panels, one-on-one fireside chats, international music & DJs, celebrity appearances, food, vendors, and community love.

St. Jude Walk/Run

September 28, 2019
The St. Jude Walk/Run is an inspiring, family-friendly event that brings together supporters in communities across the nation during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. This September, thousands of runners and walkers will participate in 64 communities to raise money for the kids of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, whose families never receive a bill for treatment, travel, housing or food—because all a family should have to worry about is helping their child live. In 2018, 83,000 St. Jude Walk/Run participants on 7,600 teams raised more than $11 million in support of St. Jude’s lifesaving mission: Finding cures. Saving children.

Lakeland LAMP concert series

September 28, 2019
Live Music at The LAMP featuring Jerry Patton!
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