Community > Play > Festivals & Events
From world class traveling art exhibits to the wildest of street parties, Memphians can always find something to celebrate.
Year-round we celebrate our diversity, our southern roots, our obsessions with good food and even better music, and our love of Memphis’ natural surroundings.
Huge celebrations in February for Mardi Gras, and the Ragin’ Cajun Festival attract locals an every year. There is also a Memphis Music and Heritage Festival in September, and the International Blues Challenge in January.
All-night blues fest on Beale Street sound good? Or, is a symphony-serenaded picnic overlooking the Mississippi River more your speed? Either way, Memphis has an event to tempt the most stay-at-home sort of person.
Memphis in May International Festival is the city’s largest festival. The annual, month-long celebration of international culture, business, education, and fun honors a different country each year. The festival is centered in Tom Lee Park, overlooking the Mississippi River, and attracts an average of more than 500,000 people each year. Events include the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest Beale Street Music Festival and the Memphis Symphony Orchestra’s Sunset Symphony.
Africa in April Cultural Awareness Festival is an international cultural awareness celebration held throughout the month. The festival provides historical experiences highlighting various and diverse African-American disciplines via art, history, genealogy, crafts, musicology, dance, folklore and story-telling.
India Fest showcases and promotes awareness and appreciation of the vibrant art, culture, music, cuisine, and heritage of India among people of greater Memphis. This event, which brings in more than 8,000 people annually, helps foster multi-cultural interaction and education and provides a greater understanding and appreciation for the diversity of India’s culture.
Israel Festival is a family friendly annual event held that celebrates Jewish music, food, history and culture. The festival kicks off with a 5K Run/Walk and includes numerous contests, art and crafts, a petting zoo and many activities for your family. There are also tents where attendees can Ask the Rabbi, Ask the Israelis, receive travel tips, and find out interesting facts about Jewish culture and people. The annual 5K and festival are conducted in June at Audubon Park.
The Memphis International Jazz Festival is a city-wide celebration of Memphis' jazz legacy. It establishes as its trademark a deep respect for its elders—the creators of the Memphis jazz standard. This trademark establishes an insightful approach to presenting fresh, bold, creative and innovative twists to jazz standards while showing respect to Miles, Yardbird, Duke, Coltrane, Gillespie, and Monk. The festival offers a unique and historic exploration of that legacy in the South Main Historic Arts District in Downtown Memphis.
Mid-South Fair From opening day in 1856 through the ups and downs of the present, the Mid-South Fair is dedicated to educating and connecting the region to it agricultural heritage; promoting local industry; providing safe, fun, family-oriented entertainment; and rewarding agricultural and craft achievement through an annual exposition.
Mid-South Pride Festival is the single largest LGBT gathering in the Mid-South, and the goal is to promote self-esteem and pride in members of the LGBT community on a personal level as well as foster understanding and acceptance in the community as a whole. In just eight years, the Mid-South Pride attendance has grown from less than 500 people to well over 5,000. The Festival is the second largest Pride festival in the state of Tennessee, and the only Pride festival in the Mid-South region. The most important goal of Mid-South Pride has been an unwavering desire for inclusion; encouraging support and participation regardless of race, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, age, or disability. The festival is a fun-filled, family event, free and open to the public.