Why is 2020 an Important Year for Memphis?

It’s 2020. The end of a decade. Why is 2020 such an important year? We have a few fun facts and events related to the significance of this year.

First off, there is only one time per century where the first two numbers of the year match the second two numbers… 2020. The last times were 1919, 1818, 1717, etc. Second, it is a leap year. This year will also be the year of the World Expo, which will be held in Dubai.

But for Memphians, the year 2020 has ushered in a “New Century of Soul.” The city celebrated its bicentennial (1819-2019) last year and is now looking forward to the new century.

“It’s 2020, and our community has experienced a unique moment: an opportunity to celebrate the past through our 200th anniversary while embracing the next 100 years,” according to the bicentennial website. “More than an anniversary, we extend an invitation to people locally and globally to join us as we honor our story, and the powerful next chapter that is about to be written.”

The city is still celebrating the centennial with an upcoming featured event, Classical Grit and Grind: Celebrating Memphis on January 25-26 at the Iris Orchestra. The event will feature classical composer and pianist, Conrad Tao. Tao was commissioned by the Iris Orchestra to compose and perform a piece, “Spoonfuls,” which celebrates the 200th anniversary of the city of Memphis. Buy tickets here.

The new decade is also bringing about a new development era in the city. The bicentennial celebration also includes 12 projects designed to benefit the citizens and visitors of the city. The largest scale project is the Crosstown Concourse, which was converted from the old Sears, Roebuck & Co. building, into a 1.2 million square-foot urban village. 

Memphians, look forward to great things in 2020! For more information on events related to the bicentennial check out our Culture page.

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