Now is the Time. Memphis is the Place.

Local Festivals and Events We Hope Happen in 2020

Photo: Erica Haskett

A couple months ago, we released a lineup of festivals happening in 2020, but COVID-19 came right on in and pulled the rug from under our feet. Now we know things are up in the air right now, but we all deserve something to look forward to—so how’s about we pencil a few things in and hope for the best?

June

The Southern Hot Wing Festival is now the World Championship Hot Wing Contest and Festival. This event, hosted at Tiger Lane, will benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Memphis. Get ready to pack the street with the sweet smell of hot wings, terrific music and entertainment that the whole family can enjoy.

Get your best friends together and sample some of the best margs in town at Memphis Flyer’s annual Margarita Fest! Your ticket gets you entry to the event and 15 margarita samples from your favorite restaurants, with awesome entertainment. Food will be available for purchase, and there will also be a cash bar with full-sized drinks available. This festival, held in the new Boxlot space in the Edge District, is guaranteed ​to be awesome squared, rimmed with salt, and served up chill!

The 9th Annual 2020 Shelby Forest Spring Fest will be held April 18 in the old UA Moore Ballpark (Shelby Forest State Park). There will be live music, food, arts and crafts vendors, wildlife and cultural exhibits, and a corn hole tourney! New things are being added every day, so stay tuned for more.

Meet local health experts, watch cooking demonstrations and try a free fitness class at the 2020 Healthy 901 Festival at Overton Square. This health education event is free and family-friendly.

The Memphis Flyer’s new Crafts & Drafts: Spring Shop event will showcase local artists and makers in a fun and exciting setting in midtown Memphis. Join your fellow Memphians and take over the Overton Square Courtyard and Trimble Street for a fun day of shopping local, along with fun family activities and local beers on tap!


July

Celebrating brunch with some of Memphis’s best restaurants in the brunch game, with some of the best bloody marys, mimosas, beer and cider in town. Stop by for an afternoon of fun games, live music, a DJ and the best meal there is.

Memphis Brewfest is back for its 11th year of food trucks, live music, games, vendors and, of course, unlimited beer samples from incredible local, national and international breweries. This year, attendees can get a VIP experience, presented by Crosstown Brewing Company, which will take place in the Tiger Home Locker room and feature a pop-up taproom from Crosstown.

Will Tiger Woods finally be joining us? Only time will tell! The WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational invites you to witness unforgettable moments when some of the world’s best golfers come to TPC Southwind to putt their skills to the test.


August

  • Elvis Week: Saturday, August 18- Sunday, August 16

Each year, Elvis fans from around the world gather for a celebration of the music, movies and legacy of Elvis Presley. Elvis Week features concerts, panel discussions, dances and much more – plus traditional Elvis Week events such as the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest and the annual Candlelight Vigil.

The annual MFW puts a spotlight on the exceptional talent and swagger that exists in this city.  Emerging designers, established local talent, and major designers from other parts of the country come together to put on a packed itinerary of runway shows, special events, and some sought-after VIP shopping opportunities.


September

Celebrate all things cool in the Edge District with some block party vibes as we get back to our normal routines! This will be a free festival for all ages to enjoy with live music, vendors, food trucks and more. Final Date is contingent upon when it’s safe to host large events again.

The mission of the Southern Heritage Classic is to provide an annual cultural celebration as the premier sports and entertainment event in Memphis that creates a strong economic impact and promotes higher education.

Cazateatro invites you to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at their Annual Latin Fest! The family-oriented Latin festival provides a place to gather with family and friends to listen and dance to live Latin music, taste some Latin food and drinks, also crafts for kids, vendors and fun for everyone in an open social space.

Join WISEACRE Brewing Co. Saturday, September 12th for their biggest party of the year! The annual event will feature 35 breweries from all over the country. Your ticket gets you a wristband, taster glass and four hours of unlimited drinking, as well as live music, food trucks and other nonsense for all to enjoy.

The Cooper-Young Festival, hosted by the Cooper-Young Business Association, is one of Memphis’s most anticipated outdoor celebrations. Held in Memphis’ largest historic district, the Cooper-Young Festival celebrates its 33rd year Saturday, September 19. Stop by and catch some of your favorite local artists, live performers, craftspeople and food trucks.

Gonerfest is an annual music festival hosted by Goner Records, an independent record label in Memphis. The festival showcases bands from around the world across a diverse range of genres. More information coming soon!

The 48th annual Pink Palace Crafts Fair is set to take place September 25-27! This event is the largest juried arts and crafts fair in the Mid-South. Guests will enjoy shopping, demonstrations, food, entertainment and activities for the whole family.

This long-standing Mid-South tradition started as a small pastry sale and has grown into a full-fledged two-day festival boasting over 10,000 attendees every year. Go for the kabobs, baklava, and bevy of other tasty delights. Stay for the dancing!

Mid-South Pride is an annual free festival and parade. Celebrate the local LGBTQ+ community with your fellow Memphians, enjoying live entertainment, a kids area, food and merchandise vendors, a brunch event and more.


October

All the fun of Memphis in May is coming at us in October! From Pronto Pups, bbq nachos, musical performances, and more, we’re gonna throw down in October to make up for missed time in May.

    • World Championship Barbecue Cooking Competition
      • September 30-October 3
    • Beale Street Music Festival
      • October 16-18
    • Great American River Run
      • Dates TBD

Art in the Loop is a three-day festival at Ridgeway Loop Road and Briarcrest Avenue in East Memphis that showcases original artwork across multiple mediums, such as metal, glass, wood, clay, jewelry, painting, photography and more. Guests will also enjoy fare by the town’s top food trucks, and performances of classical music by area youth ensembles.

At the Memphis Flyer’s 5th annual Bacon & Bourbon Festival, guests will find creative bacon-inspired dishes of all kinds from some great Memphis restaurants, plus a vast array of distilled spirits to tempt your tastebuds. There will also be live music from Graber Grass and all sorts of party activities. A portion of all proceeds will go to the Memphis Farmers Market.

This 17th annual event, which takes place each fall at Agricenter International, is free to the public and attracts over 4,000 people. There will be pumpkin-painting, kid’s activities, arts and crafts, hayrides and educational stations. Entertainment will be provided by Grassfire bluegrass band and concessions are available.

MCX is one of the few remaining creator-focused conventions that shines a spotlight on artists and writers in the world of comics. Bringing you the best in local and regional talent, up and coming creators, and of course, the big names. There’s something for everyone with over 50,000 square feet of comics, a cosplay contest, video game tournament, vendors, artists & writers, food, drinks, and more!

The 23rd annual Indie Memphis Film Festival presented by Duncan-Williams, Inc., transforms the city into a connecting point for filmmakers, musicians, artists and audiences from October 21-26, 2020. The festival brings a range of independent features, documentaries, and short films to Memphis from all corners of the world.

RiverArtsFest is a street celebration of fine arts and fine local music with live artist demonstrations and hands-on art activities for all ages! More than 180 artists from around the country and right here in Memphis gather to exhibit and sell their latest works of original fine arts in what’s become the largest outdoor juried artist market and urban street festival in the Mid-South.


November

This 6th annual Crafts & Drafts event will be hosted again at the Crosstown Concourse on Saturday, November 14, from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Attracting thousands of shoppers this year, the Memphis Flyer will host 85+ local artists and makers in this indoor/outdoor holiday shopping event. With live entertainment, Santa visits, and multiple beer gardens, this is sure to be a fun day at Crosstown for the whole family.

The Craft Food & Wine Festival brings 40+ local artisanal food and beverage makers together under one roof for a tasting experience you won’t want to miss. Sample from bountiful charcuterie boards and all the accompanying jams, honey, sauces, and such plus desserts, specialty snacks, and more.

We’ll be updating this list as updates come! Let us know if we missed anything in the comments.

Facebook Comments