For 42 years, Memphis in May has brought the world to Memphis by saluting the cultures of 38 different countries. But this year, instead of saluting a country, Memphis in May will honor a city. A city with a rich heritage and colorful history. A city whose culture has impacted the world, and is poised for an even greater brighter, future. For 2019, Memphis in May’s annual salute will honor our hometown, the city of Memphis!
2019 will mark a momentous milestone for Memphis, and Memphis in May will join in celebrating our city’s 200th anniversary and welcoming the next 100 years to come. This is an opportunity to further elevate Memphis with our global reach sharing the history, culture, and vision of Memphis and Shelby County.
Memphis has changed the world and will continue to do so. We’re a city of doers, dreamers, and believers. We create, we invent, we experiment, and this year we invite the world to experience our beautiful home on the banks of the Mississippi River. The Bluff City, home of the blues, soul, and rock-n-roll. A city where grit and grind are more than our team’s slogans, they are who we are. Determined, passionate, authentic, soulful, and unstoppable.
A new theme, a new century
The bicentennial isn’t just a celebration of the last 200 years. It’s a celebration of the things to come. And there are a lot of things coming for the city. From billions of dollars in construction to new business partners and a growing economy, there is much to look forward to in the years to come.
That is why the theme for the celebration is “A New Century of Soul.”
Memphis has always been about its heart. From the very founding of the city to where it is today, the heart and soul of its citizens are the lifeblood, pumping new ideas from its core. A New Century of Soul is a celebration of exactly that.
Kicking it off
The bicentennial celebration is set to kick off on April 26. This begins a two-day festival in which those interested can take part in the world-famous Tennessee Whiskey Trail. At the main location of the festival, distillers from not just Memphis but around the state will come to show off their finest products. It’s an opportunity to experience some of the best American-produced spirits.
For those who are not whiskey enthusiasts, there will still be plenty of other activities to take part in on April 26 and 27.
May 22 is the official birthday of Memphis. The birthday will be hosted by the United Way Mid-South, and volunteers will come together on this day to provide aid to areas around Memphis. Whether it’s help cleaning up portions of the city or other donations, United Way wants to help Memphis residents beautify the city.
Now, everything comes to a head on May 25. This is geared to be the largest celebration the city of Memphis has every seen. More information on everything (and everyone) taking part on May 25th will come out as the date approaches. However, it will be hosted by Memphis in May and will take place in Tom Lee Park.
The beginning of the celebration will honor all the people and neighborhoods that have made Memphis what it is today.
Continuing the celebration
Of course, the bicentennial celebration is not just one day. It’s an entire year. It continues on for the Audacity Fest, which kicks off on September 27.
Then the official last day of the celebration (right before the winter holidays) is November 24, where Shelby County 200 and each municipality will come together to close out the ceremony and the year at Shelby Farms Park.
Join us as we celebrate what makes Memphis unique. From it’s iconic music to it’s contribution to global cuisine. We’ll salute our innovators and creators. The attractions and soulful spirit of Memphis that draws millions from around the world to our city.