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A New Century of Possibilities: Memphis in May Hosts Celebrate Shelby Event

Earlier this year, our beloved city celebrated 200 years together at Tom Lee Park with the world’s longest picnic table, local music and food, and one of the largest fireworks displays ever seen on the Mississippi River at Memphis in May’s Celebrate Memphis event. This month, the bicentennial celebration continues with Celebrate Shelby, taking place Sunday, November 24 at Shelby Farms Park!

“Memphis in May is producing and programming the Celebrate Shelby Bicentennial event in partnership with Shelby County government, just like we did with the City of Memphis for the Celebrate Memphis Bicentennial on May 25,” said Robert Griffin, Vice President of Marketing at Memphis in May International Festival. “Part of the organization’s mission is to ‘promote and celebrate Memphis culture;’ Shelby County and the seven municipalities are influenced by Memphis culture, so this celebration event continues that aspect of our mission.”

Memphis in May has emphasized the communal power of music, food, culture, and diversity throughout all of its events for more than 40 years. From Beale Street Music Festival and the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest to the Great American River Run and International Week, there is a common thread of rich heritage and shared experiences, which cultivates deep community and economic impact in Memphis like no other organization of its kind.

This event, like the others, serves the same purpose and is a welcome reason to celebrate the different cultural elements that have contributed to Shelby County over the last two centuries.

“A fun element of this event is the opportunity to pick up your Shelby County passport and visit each of the seven municipalities in the park to discover the fascinating histories and features of our neighboring communities and explore all that they offer,” said Griffin.

Similar to Memphis in May’s other events, attendees will be able to enjoy live music from local artists, including Kevin and Bethany Paige, Marcella & Her Lovers and Savannah Brister, as well as a variety of food truck favorites, local vendors and craftsmen, a cornhole competition, activities for kids, and a finale of fireworks over Hyde Lake. While this event is new to the MIM calendar this year, there’s no doubt we can expect the same spectacular programming the organization has always delivered.

“Obviously, the main difference is the location, being in Shelby Farms rather than Tom Lee Park, as Shelby Farms moves the event a little closer to the other municipalities,” said Griffin.  “Because of the limited daylight hours, this will be a shorter event, from 1:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. However, just like Celebrate Memphis, this event is FREE to the public and will allow families to bring their coolers and picnic baskets, so everyone will feel invited and welcome to enjoy the event with their kids.”

Celebrate Shelby is for anyone and everyone who has called the Greater Memphis area home for a day, a week, a year or a lifetime.

“While we are proud to point out that ‘Memphis has momentum,’ this is a great opportunity to shine a light on all that is going on in Shelby County,” said Griffin. “This is the largest county in Tennessee and it’s filled with thriving communities, beautiful neighborhoods, successful businesses, rich history, and attractions and events that bring tourists to the area. This is the chance for Memphis and the other municipalities to learn more about their neighbors and rediscover what a great place Shelby County is to live and work!”

More information can be found at

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