When we talk about politics, we often refer to the lack of politicians fulfilling their duties, corruption, and our distrust for them. Some people even go as far as not voting because of all of the uncertainty that surrounds the process but last year a new face entered into the political ring with integrity, a heart for people, a plan for change, and a genuine soul. Even before this individual announced that she would be running for City Council for District 4 I watched as she ran a nonprofit, educate those who have been misinformed, teach our youth, connected with the people of Memphis, listened as she encouraged former Orange Mound residents to move back as she had done, and displayed her desire for making Memphis a better city for all. This was new for me, I had never seen someone with such an amazing spirit run for an elected position nor had I been able to witness them do the groundwork of politics. When it was finally announced that Britney Thornton would be running for City Council in District 4 I was excited, hopeful, but also worried. Getting the opportunity to get to know Britney personally, I knew firsthand how pure her heart was so I worried about how people would treat her and if they would try to discourage her from running. I didn’t want the vibrant person I had come to know and love to fall victim to the evils of politics. However, I quickly realized that when you are fulfilling your mission according to God’s will and way there is nothing man can do to stop or discourage you. After that, I knew she would be taken care of and that with the right support she could get through anything that came her way.
As election day approaches, I hope that she not only wins the seat that she has worked so hard for but that she knows that she has inspired so many others to fight for a better Memphis. I hope that she knows that she has the support of so many of her peers and that no matter what she is considered a hometown hero. Britney has shown us what type of leadership we need and I couldn’t be more proud of her! I wish I could vote for my sis but I’m not in her district so this blog is a continuation of my support for Britney! I encourage everyone to exercise their right to vote! If you are in District 4 or know someone who lives in District 4 and has yet to cast their vote be sure to tell them about Britney Thornton! Britney Thornton the native Memphian, licensed educator and social worker, graduate of Baylor University and the University of Pennsylvania, founder of JUICE Orange Mound, and a community activist! She’s going to fight for the residents of her district and bring change to EVERY neighborhood she represents!
Britney, we love you and there is only more success to come! Job well done!
For more information on Britney (because she needs a separate blog just to talk about all the work she’s done) please click on the highlighted links provided! SUPPORT HER, FOLLOW HER, GET TO KNOW HER! Sending you good vibes and good people only Brit!
Britney Thornton for Memphis
JUICE Orange Mound
October 3rd is election day and polls are open from 7 am to 7 pm! Please get out and exercise your right to vote. I’ll be sure to provide links for checking on registration, voting locations, and the viewing of sample ballots.
Shelby County Vote
There has been a rise in Memphis millennials working to bring change to our beloved city. We are aware of the issues and have acknowledged that it is time for new leadership so we are taking action. We will no longer wait for things to be done nor beg for progress, we are going to make it happen! I’ve been so inspired by my peers and I am looking forward to seeing what the future Memphis looks like. I hope we continue to support each other and know that our work is never done but it will be worth. We are truly better together! To all others out there doing the work and being an inspiration, I see you and I’m proud of you as well! Here’s to a progressive Memphis better for ALL!
If you're having trouble viewing the calendar on your mobile device click the drop-down arrow to the left and select pin board or agenda for a new viewing option!! I hope I'm supplying you with all the events you need to live your best life!
All rights to the photos used for these events belong to original photographer. Description of events are directly quoted from, event website.
Hey Memphis! So, I recently learned about a new annual event that will be taking place in the city and just from looking at the pictures used for marketing this event I had to share. Imagine a night where you get to eat some delectable treats, sit under the stars admiring nature, talking and enjoying others company all with a common purpose! Well, that perfect night has just been created!
This fall Edible Memphis and the Central Gardens Association will bring Memphis its first-ever seven-course, farm to table style neighborhood dinner. Dinner in the Gardens will be a night of full of food, fun, and fellowship, started with the purpose of bringing individuals from different backgrounds together to promote unity, build bridges between community leaders and residents, with the opportunity of giving back with a portion of the proceeds being donated to the surrounding communities. This 1,000+ person farm-to-table dinner will also be prepared for you by five of Memphis' very own extraordinary chefs, giving us all of those amazing taste and flavors we love so much.
Tickets are now on sale for $200 per person, there is a VIP option for $2,500 that includes the entry of 10 guest and admission to a pre-party. You may receive a $50 discount per ticket by supporting the Central Gardens Association for just $25. Seat selection is automatically assigned upon purchase however you do have the option to edit your seat assignment and instructions on how to do so can be found on the event website.
This event is 21+ so libations will be in attendance, you can expect a welcoming cocktail the amazing Old Dominick Distillery as well as unlimited beer, wine and soft drinks. Dinner in the Gardens will be a perfect night for networking, an opportunity to meet new people with a heart for their local community, or a just chance for a date night under the stars in amazing company. Whatever option you decide it will make October 19th a day you will never forget.
The dinner will take place on Belvedere Blvd. (between Peabody Avenue and Glenwood Place) from 5:30 PM – 9:30 PM on October 19, 2019. Guest are encouraged to take an Uber or Lyft if they do not live in walking distance, there is parking available but it is limited because there is only street parking. Tickets are nonrefundable but organizers do have a rain date available, it is October 20th. Please don't miss out on an unforgettable night and opportunity to make a difference in the city we all love. So many businesses and organization are coming up with new innovative ways to not only give back but to show Memphis in a different light while creating a once in a lifetime experience. Do yourself a favor and take a chance on making new memories that will last a lifetime.
" We in Central Gardens are looking forward to sitting down with members of our surrounding communities to continue the community spirit and perseverance of this historic boulevard, using the dinner proceeds to provide a little financial boost to help those same communities we've invited to the table. It's going to be a beautiful evening.”
~Mark Fleischer, President of the Central Gardens Association
To learn more about Edible Memphis, Central Gardens Association, or Dinner in the Gardens please click on each name for the website link and follow the social media accounts.
Instgram: @ediblememphis @centralgardens
Hey Memphis! Here are your top 10 things for the month! Some are a little late but still needed info!
The Juicy Crab
Memphis now has a Juicy Crab and it is officially open! Located at 7680 Winchester Road The Juicy Crab is a Cajun seafood boil style restaurants with lots of tasty things on the menu for you to try. If you love seafood as much as I do you’ve been waiting for this day since you saw the sign that they were opening!
Big Cypress Lodge Hotel
Big Cypress Lodge Hotel will be adding a rooftop patio this fall! This patio will be adding another rooftop to Downtown Memphis which I love! Big Cypress Lodge Hotel is in our beloved Pyramid (Now Bass Pro Shop) at 1 Bass Pro Drive. I can’t wait to sit out and enjoy some good fall weather, view, vibes, and drinks! This will be in addition to the Lookout at the pyramid also located in the same building. See Big Cypress Lodge Hotel’s Instagram page (@bigcypresslodge) for more information and updates.
In May a $40 million building permit was filed for Downtown’s One Beale project. This project is actually 13 years in the making and has had a couple of different plans submitted throughout the years but finally, 33 Beale Street will become the huge mixed-use development it always needed to be. One Beale is expected to house a parking garbage, apartments, restaurants, a 230 room Hyatt hotel, and an office tower. If you’ve been on Front Street you’ve seen that the construction which started this spring is well underway. I honestly can’t wait to see the finished product and other things they bring to it in the future. Check out the Memphis Business Journal for more information on the project.
If you google Dream Hotel you’ll begin to understand why it is so dope and exciting that Memphis is getting its own Dream Hotel. These hotels are gorgeous modern luxury hotels that anyone would love to stay in! Memphis’ Dream Hotel is expected to open in 2022 at 122 S. Main Street (historic royal furniture building). The New York-based hotel group will be building a 178 room midrise tower with dining and nightlife venues, a restaurant lobby lounge, coffee shop, and (my favorite) a rooftop bar with indoor and outdoor space. I definitely think this will be a popular selection with tourist and residents! For more information please see the Daily Memphian article provided.
This spring the city signed a letter of intent with Loews Hotel for a 500- room convention center hotel at 140 N Main Street. This convention center hotel will include 30,000 square feet of meeting space, restaurants, retail, and ballrooms. Construction for the Loews hotel could start this fall. Originally the Loews development was supposed to take place at 100 N Main and can possibly become the location again helping Memphis get rid of one it’s biggest blighted buildings. For more information on the Loews Hotel Convention Center Hotel please click the link provided.
The Container Store
Before today I had no idea what the Container Store was but now after reading about it I feel a little more educated. The Container Store is a Texas-based retailer that sells storage and organization products and soon Memphis will have one. You may purchase things such as drawer organizers, custom closet projects, file cabinets, items for your office, and so much more. The new store will be located on Exeter Road next to the recently opened Trader Joe’s. The 19, 300 square feet space will officially be opened for new customers on September 14th. For more details on products and the store click the website link provided.
So, if this one isn’t creativity at its best, I don’t know what is! Soon we will have our very own micro-retail and music lounge made out of shipping containers. Set to “UnBox” in September, Boxlot will be bringing the edge district temporary locally owned pop up shops at 607 Monroe. This project was designed to help small businesses expand, network, and gain profits to assist them in moving their business in their own brick and mortar. Please click the link provided to learn more about this amazing new concept!
Raleigh Farmers Market and Park
According to a WREG News Channel 3 article, there may soon be a Farmers Market and park on a vacant lot in Raleigh. The Corner of Austin Peay and Raleigh Millington Road will be used to address some of the neighborhoods food desert issues as well as clear out blight in an area that is overdue for some TLC. We all know the importance of a healthy and well-balanced diet so I hope that this plan comes to reality soon. Everyone needs and deserves access to fresh foods and produce so having residents live in areas that don’t have real grocery stores is unacceptable. See the article for more information and updates.
The Haven has all kinds of restaurants popping up! The latest is called Bala Bistro and is located at 2160 East Raines. Bala Bistro was opened in May by West African native Bala Tounkara and will be filling your bellies with some delicious West African treats as well some of your American favorites. Please click the link provided to the article by the Daily Memphian for more information on Bala Bistro!
I can’t believe I didn’t post this one sooner but in April construction started on the new Aloft Hotel. Located in Downtown Memphis at 161 Jefferson Ave the 156 guest room hotel is set to open in the summer of next year. It will include a full-service restaurant, three banquet facilities, a W XYZ Bar, an indoor swimming pool, a large fitness center, 6, 000 square feet of retail space and a private viewing theater. Memphis Business Journal can give you more details if you just click on the link provided.
According to an article in the High Ground, The University of Memphis will soon have a new initiative called Access Memphis dedicated to making secondary education more affordable to students who live in households earning under $50,000 annually. Please see link for the full article.
The University of Memphis finally built a pedestrian bridge over the tracks on southern and walker so that students won’t have to wait on the train or hop the train trying to get to class. They are having a bridge lighting ceremony tonight, August 30, at 7 pm with treats for you to purchase! Join the Tigers tonight at 3270 Alumni Avenue!
The Waffle Iron is now located at 4969 Park Avenue after a fire in the old building. I will definitely be sending them good energy and prayers. I hope they find even more success with their new location
So, it's almost the end of the summer, things feel like they are slowing down and the big events and festivals seem to be coming to a close but not for Memphis. We still have quite a few things to go to before the year is up and one of the city's must-attend events for all of my seafood lovers is Vintage901's second Underground Low Country Seafood Boil. Staying true to their mission of community, culture, and purpose, Vintage901 is throwing yet another event that will fill your bellies as well as give you the opportunity to socialize among your peers in your community and learn more about the culinary and wine culture. Vintage901 will be partnering with Common Table Health Alliance, a community-based, non-profit, regional health and healthcare improvement collaborative serving Memphis, Shelby County, and the Mid-South Region, for an intimate evening of live music, wines, craft beer, seafood, and many other treats.
On September 28, 2019, from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, you can expect to indulge in wines from West Tennessee Crown, regional craft beer by Jackalope Brewing, Rock’N Dough, Crosstown Brewing and Diamond Bear Brewing Co., some Central BBQ and Nikki’s Hot Products, MemPOPS Moscow Mule and Strawberry Margarita “adult” popsicles, and even witness a live art installment by Jamond Bullock of AlivePaint, which will be auctioned at the end of the evening. Vintage 901 is creating the ultimate backyard community seafood boil and putting our little cookouts to shame. My advice to you would be to take a break from eating that entire day and not starting back until the event starts so that you can get the full experience and all of the flavors!
Tickets are on sale now so make plans to get out of the house to enjoy some fall weather and purchase your tickets while they last! General admission is $75 and includes family-style seating under cafe lights. A limited amount of VIP tickets are priced at $125, they include reserved indoor seating with table service and take-aways by Pop-ARoos. There is also a reserved corporate table option for $1,000 or you could be a sponsor, for those who are interested in those two options please email Vintage901 at firstname.lastname@example.org. New vendors and other announcements about the event can be found on Vintage901's social media pages so follow them on Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter. Please remember that the event location is not disclosed until 48 hours before the actual event!
For more information about both Vintage901 and Common Table Health Alliance please click on the links proved below. Please be sure to drink responsibly and never drink and drive. Guest may always use Uber or Lyft for transportation as well as Vintage901 selected luxury car service Guardian Concierge car service (mention Vintage901 for an event discount). New vendors and other announcements about the event can be found on Vintage 901's social media pages so follow them on Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter (socila media handles are pictured below). Please remember that the event location is not disclosed until 48 hours before the actual event! Tickets can be purchased by clicking here.
I've been slacking on informing you all of what is going on but I'm going to do better. This list is full of all recent finds but I'll be posting another top things you need to know with some older finds! New things are happening everyday and I hope you all are in the know!
The Ground Up Initiative + 275 Food Project
Soon Memphis will have a culinary mentoring program geared towards helping food professionals of color own their own business. The Ground Up Initiative is an 18-month program and partnership between 275 Food project and Chef David Krog and his wife Amanda Krog. It will be giving participants access to tools, training, and the financing they would need to acquire a business. The location will be a shipping container restaurant in South Memphis at 939 Walker Ave with an outdoor area for games and mingling. The first round of the selection process will be in August of this year. Successful candidates will have the opportunity to apply their talents as chefs in residence in partner restaurants that offer great value in the community that they serve. For more information check out Daily Memphian article written by Elle Perry and the 275 Food project website.
Daily Memphian 275 Food Project
A new seafood restaurant has opened where the old Indian Pass used to be. 2059 Madison Avenue is now Saltwater Crab. Saltwater Crab will be giving us coastal dining with a taste of the south as well as offering some land dishes for those who want other options besides seafood. The menu is coastal seafood-focused including sushi and seafood boils. There will be a covered patio, a full bar with fresh ingredients and seasonal cocktails. Saltwater Crab will be opened until 1 AM on Fridays and Saturdays giving Midtown a little late night seafood. Check out the here to access the Commericial Appeal article for more information.
El Mero Taco
Popular food truck El Mero Taco will open its first restaurant on today. El Mero Taco will be located at 8100 Macon Station Drive Suite 102. They will be offering vegetarian and vegan options, beer, wine, and cocktails. Restaurant hours are Tuesday – Thursday 11 AM – 9 PM and Friday – Saturday 9 AM – 10 pm.
Coastal Fish & Cheffie's Café
Late last year we lost one of my favorite hideaways, The Kitchen, located in Shelby Farms. The Kitchen closed after being open for only two years and I was super sad. However, last week I read that soon there will be 2 new restaurants taking up for the absence I feel from the missing one. Cheffie’s Café, a grab and go option and Coastal Fish Company which will have a similar dining style to The Kitchen serving dinner, lunch, and brunch. The two restaurants are set to open this fall.
Bar Ware & Juice Brothers
Last Friday Downtown got a new restaurant (bar) and juice (smoothie) bar duo! Bar Ware and Juice Brothers are sharing building 276 S. Front Street bringing health and relaxation all in the same building. While Bar Ware will be serving up trendy cocktails with not your average small plated bar foods Juice Brothers will be giving you all the fresh produce and vitamins your body can handle. Both businesses offer brunch on Sundays as well.
In May Whitehaven welcomed Trap Fusion into the neighborhood! Located at 4637 Boeingshire Drive Trap Fusion offers you southern flavor with healthier food options. Trap Fusion was opened to give residents more to choose from then fast food while still giving food with flavor.
Last week it was announced that soon Downtown Memphis would be getting a literature café and I’m geeked. Café Lit will be a three-story lounge highlighting the work of African American writers/artist such as Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni, and more. The location is set to be 111 Madison Ave but there is no completion date at this time but if all grants and incentives are approved construction and renovation of the building could start next month. Café Lit will have live music, an open mic night(s), food and cocktails. Hopefully, they will include a bookstore so that I can live my best life.
Last Month Cooper Young got the cutest wine bar! Knife Bird is located at 2155 Central Ave next door to Urban Outfitters so that they can get even more of your money. Its chic modern-day décor is perfect for a girls night out or date night. The ambiance creates great opportunities for nice photos with cute outfits with you sitting at the bar or one of the cute tables posing for your “off-guard”
3rd & Court Diner
Hotel Indigo, one of Downtown’s newest hotels added a diner last month. This upscale diner serves some of your breakfast favorites as well as lunch with everyday specials. The diner is located on the ground floor of the hotel at 24 N. BB King Boulevard. The diner is opened weekly from 6:30 AM – 11:00 PM, weekends 6:30 AM – 12:00 AM with daily Lunch specials is from 11 AM - 2 PM.
Porch & Parlor
Porch and Parlor will be taking over the space that once housed Bar Louie. If you’ve passed by 2125 Madison Ave you’ve seen the sign and construction. Purchased by the owners of Flight Restaurant and Bar and Southern Social, Porch and Parlor will also be fine dining with the restaurant design channeling energy from the glamorous styles of the 1920s.
It’s 2019 and we are in the age of seeking alternative options to assist us in obtaining great mental and physical health. We, especially the black community, are paying more attention to how we feel and what we put into our bodies. That’s why when I heard about Elle’s Elixirs I had to know more and even tell you all about it. Founded in April of 2019, Elle’s Elixirs is a wellness & lifestyle brand that provides creative health solutions, started by Memphis’ very own Lauren Williams-Batiste. Lauren, a 32-year-old mother, wife, and holder of two degrees, a Bachelors of Arts in History focused on African American Studies and a Masters of Science in Educational Theory and Practice, wanted to bring the women in the City of Memphis (and region) something that would give them a renewed sense of wellness by offering 3 innovative approaches to promote relaxation, creativity, and fulfillment. These gems are natural, hand bended, loose leaf tea mixtures that can be sipped, soaked in or smoked.
“I want to bring women in our city and region a renewed sense of wellness by discovering how the beneficial properties of natural wellness alternatives such as our herbal elixirs, hemp, and CBD can bring vitality, balance, relief & calmness into their busy lives. We are a lifestyle brand that knows self-care and wellness look different for different women. We provide creative solutions making self-care simple and attainable.”
Containing hemp and CBD these teas are for those looking to lessen anxiety, stress, soreness, inflammation, and pain. They have also been said to assist with sleep deprivation, improve your moods and weight loss with most regular users finding relief within 48 hours. You can pair the Elixirs with other herbs, sip as tea, make your bath a spa day by adding them to your water or burn as incense. When you order from Elle’s Elixirs you can expect a small batch of organically sourced herbal based products and don’t worry each purchase comes with an instruction card to aid you in using the products. Some of the Elixirs you have to choose from are Elixir No. 1 (hibiscus, peppermint, raspberry leaf & roses) priced at $12, Elixir No.2 (hibiscus, peppermint, raspberry leaf, blue cornflower & hemp which has 143 mg of CBD per serving sizes) priced at $22 plus tax and shipping, and one other CBD product, CBD (25 mg) bath bombs.
Talking to Lauren was extremely educational. After hearing all of this I was geeked! I’m not sure if I’m the only one that was late to the tea party, but my mind was blown. I had never heard of wellness teas that you could sip, soak, or smoke! I love to drink tea and know that there a certain type of teas to help with sleep and relaxation but I never really thought about its real power or that it could be used in a form of medicine. I’m very open when it comes to new ideas that strengthen you mentally, physically, and spiritually. I believe that when it comes to healing the body there are many natural solutions to solving our problems so finding Elle’s Elixirs was perfect for me. I don’t have a lot of ailments but I know others who suffer from inflammation and pain. I’m always googling natural supplements for family members and encouraging them to try new things. Prescribed medication often times have side effects that make things worse, so I encourage everyone to do more research and find new natural ways to deal with ailments.
Elle’s Elixirs is a company founded on love, inspiration, wellness and the desire to help others. Named after some of the women who have been an inspiration in Lauren’s life, Elle’s Elixirs is a business built on family values, strength, entrepreneurship, and tradition.
“Ada [Lauren’s daughter] is named after my maternal great grandmother, Ada Johnson (Elle is her sister's nickname) an entrepreneur who rose from the plantation fields of Mississippi as a sharecropper into a political organizer and entrepreneur/small business owner in her North Memphis Community. They are the inspiration, namesake & the motivation behind Elle’s Elixirs.”
Be sure to follow Elle’s Elixirs on the social media platforms listed below, buy some elixirs, share this post and spread the word! We need more individuals taking concern with the well-being of others and finding new solutions for living a healthier happier life! You can purchase products on the official website elleselixirs.com. You can also purchase products in person at local pop up shops, markets & community wellness events. If you have any questions, feel free to email them at email@example.com. If you are a local business and would like to wholesale or retail Elle's Elixirs in your store contact Elle's Elixirs by email address as well. Lauren is a hemp extraction specialist and can create custom formulations for businesses that are looking to incorporate hemp (CBD) into their product offerings.
Elle's Elixirs social media handle is @elleselixirs on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Pinterest & Elles_Elixirs on Twitter.
Spirits and Soul Festival
"Spirits & Soul is a 2-Day Festival that brings the Tennessee Whiskey Trail to downtown Memphis, TN as part of the kick-off to the city’s Bicentennial Celebration, A New Century of Soul."
Mid-South Food Truck Fest
"70+ trucks from cities along the mighty Mississippi River and beyond come together to celebrate food and help local non-profits raise funds for their organization. This is an event to encourage people from all over to visit Memphis, TN and see that the city has a lot to offer. "
Taste the Rarity Wiseacre Brewing Co.
"TASTE the RARITY will feature the release of UNICORNUCOPIA 2019. Live Music from Mighty Souls Brass Band, Obruni Dance Band, the Griz Line, circus acts, some surprise entertainment, and more with backyard games and food trucks."
Foster Care Awareness Community Festival and Parade
"Vendors from the health care industry, government agencies and private sector will be onsite to provide free services and support to the residents of our community."
Lucy Music & Arts Festival
"Vendors will be selling food, art, and other home-made crafts. There will be a variety of fun games for children to participate in. We will also be featuring a number of musical acts from various musical styles and genres. This event is FREE"
Grind City Flow Festival
"The Grind City Flow Festival is a one day festival that will include workshops throughout the day in a variety of flow arts, aerial, yoga, and dance. The goal is to create a welcoming environment in which all performance artists, beginners and experts, can practice their craft safely under the guidance of trained professionals."
CommUnity Festival at Snowden
"Free to attend, there will be free food, a dunk tank, rock climbing, face painting, an obstacle course, food trucks, Mempops, local businesses and vendors, and other fun activities as well!!"
Rajun Cajun Crawfish Festival
"Enjoy live music on three stages from nationally-known and local award-winning artists in Memphis, games including crawfish bobbing, eating, and racing, arts & crafts vendors, and a play zone for children ages 12 and under all for FREE."
Memphis in May International Festival
May 3rd-5th, 15th-18th, & 25th
(Multiple dates in May. Please click the link below for full event list)
"The mission of Memphis in May International Festival is to promote and celebrate Memphis culture, foster economic growth, and enhance international awareness through education"
Cinco de Mayo Popup Festival
"A Cinco De Mayo Popup Festival at Primas Bakery and Boutique!
The festival will host local artists and makers in the outdoor space directly next door to Primas Bakery and Boutique! There will be Cinco de Mayo deals and dessert specials inside Primas!"
Memphis Greek Festival
"This will be a two day festival filled with delicious Greek food, music, dancing, pastries, activities for the children, and more"
Water Lantern Festival
Water Lantern Festival is filled with fun, happiness, hope, and great memories that you'll cherish for a lifetime. This is a family friendly event that can be shared by everyone.
Memphis Margarita Festival
"The festival includes 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. "
"Memphis BrewFest highlights quality beers from the local region and beyond. The festival features a wide variety of American craft beers as well as exotic international brews, with a background of live music and the scenery of downtown Memphis."
Memphis Local Music Festival
"The Memphis Local Music Festival is a Celebration of Memphis’s Greatest Natural Resource - Our Talent! Come out and enjoy a day of Fun, Local Memphis Food, and Great Local Music!"
Ruby Bridges Reading Fest
"Children pre-K through elementary school receive free books at the festival, enjoy storytelling and entertainment. Educators, with their valid school ID, can also get free books for their classroom. The event will feature fun activities including face painting, balloon animals, dance and musical performances and food trucks."
Hattiloo Black Arts Festival
"Free festival showcases the diversity, energy, and exceptional talent of various local Black arts groups and artists."
Memphis Italian Festival
May 30th-June 1st
"The Memphis Italian Festival presents family-oriented fun in music, food, events, games, and more for the benefit of the children of Holy Rosary Parish School."
Tour de' Toast
"Tour Dé Toast is designed to educate a diverse group of cultured individuals in the community about champagne through a physical tasting while enjoying food curated by local chefs, libations, musical entertainment and art all under the sun and green lawn of the historic Pink Palace Museum."
Juneteenth Urban Music festival
"This free three-day festival provides fellowship, fanfare and a great time. Don't miss the Ultimate Juneteenth Showdown featuring majorettes, drummers, cheerleaders and steppers. They'll be a Kids Zone and health and wellness stations, rap, R&B, pop, hip-hop and gospel music entertainment."
Craft Food and Wine Festival
"It'll be a day of tastings of artisan breads, cheeses, fruit preserves, cured meats, oils and more paired with beer, wine and cider. Craft Food and Wine Festival benefits Church Health so you will be enjoying your favorite craft foods and beverages for a great cause!"
Mid-South International Festival
June 29th-June 30th
"Come celebrate the many cultures of the world! Marvel at the performances of traditional dancing and costumes. Eat and drink from an International menu. Shop through clothing and jewelry!"
"CAPA will host an APA Festival with Asian Cuisine, Music, Culture activities and traditions shared by multi-generations as community celebration and family fun day."
Bacon & bourbon Festival
"Bacon & Bourbon Festival hosted by the Memphis Flyer, we have creative bacon-inspired dishes of all kinds from some of Memphis' best restaurants, plus a vast array of distilled spirits to tempt your tastebuds. Music and entertainment provided"
Beale Street Cigar Festival
"Relax, eat, drink, smoke and play at the 5th Annual Beale Street Cigar Festival! Whether you’re a serious cigar connoisseur or new to the joy of a smooth smoke, you will appreciate this festival during Labor Day Weekend."
Cooper Young Festival
"Held in Memphis' largest historic district, guests will enjoy an appealing mix of art, music and crafts presented by over 435 artisans from around the country. "
September 27th- 29th
"This festival is the safe space for black and brown travelers from around the world, to build ideas, meet travel influencers, and experience parts of the world through on site activations. The day includes panels, one-on-one fireside chats, international music & DJs, celebrity appearances, food, vendors, and community love."
Memphis Japan Festival
"A family-friendly, interactive and hands-on experience of Japanese culture featuring food,
entertainment, games, crafts and more!"
Soulsville USA Festival
"One of the goals of the Soulsville USA Festival is to educate the city about those who have contributed to Memphis's soulful musical history and introduce them to those of us who are contributing to the city's soulful future."
Mempho Music Festival
October 19th-October 20th
"Mempho Music Festival blends today's top performers with Memphis' rich musical history, creating a festival experience filled with music, food, and nature for people of all ages."
All descriptions quoted from the actual event websites
Alright fellow food and wine lovers, this one is for you! 2019 is bringing you Memphis' first ever Craft Food and Wines Festival and you don't want to miss it! On June 23, 2019 from 4 pm - 9 pm you will be able to enjoy some locally- produced breads, cheeses, fruit preserves, cured meats, and more from 40 vendors. Located at Columns at One Commerce Square, 40 S. Main Street Memphis, TN 38103, this event will have shops for you to purchase what you've sampled, cheeseboards, and more. The festival will be split into two 2 hour tasting sessions, 4 pm and 6:30 pm to make sure that attendees get the most out of their visit.
. Since there is alcohol consumption you do have to be 21 or older to attend this event. There will be live entertainment brought to you by Will Lang Jazz Trio and DJ Crystal Mercedes.
In addition to pleasing your palate your ticket purchase will help support Church Health in continuing its mission of providing clinical services! Church Health is a faith-based healthcare organization founded in 1987 with the mission of providing affordable healthcare to individuals with no access to affordable healthcare. Church Health also offers training, education, community cooking classes and more. Take the opportunity to festival with a purpose and support organizations in your city that support you. To learn more about Church Health click the link provided. www.https://churchhealth.org/
Tickets are currently on sale at www.craftfoodandwinefestival.com. Prices range from $60-$115 but you can catch the early bird special of $55 until February 28th. Be sure to follow the festival sponsors for more information on this event, similar events and other activity options. I have included sponsor links below.
Downtown Memphis Commission, City Tasting Tours, Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits of TN, &
Edible Memphis as the event Media Partner.
Listed are some of the event vendors:
Church Health, City Block Butchers, Crosstown Brewing Co, Dave's Bagels, My Cup of Tea, Pontotoc, Primas Bakery + Boutique, Rizzo's, and so many more.
"Eating local is going to a whole new level with this festival and I’m glad about it. You will meet the happy pig farmers, the lady who grows the peppers to make her jelly, the baker making artisan desserts and breads, the butcher who cure the meats, the chefs who shop local for their products and make their own products, the dairy farmers who make fantastic cheeses, the wood workers and so much more."
Event organizer, Cristina McCarter
Tom Lee Park
In 2020 Tom Lee Park as we know it will no longer exist. On February 2nd I attended the Tom Lee Park Engagement Center Grand Opening. I was able to see a model of the park, read about the history and future of the park, test out a pair of super cool virtual reality goggles, and give my opinion of what I think Downtown Memphis needs more/less of. I want Memphis to make no moves without me knowing so if there is something to see or discuss I try to be there. If you too are interested in doing the same head to Beale Street Landing on Wednesdays (4 pm - 7 pm) and Saturdays(12 pm - 3 pm)to see the design, ask questions, and learn more about the future of the riverfront. Also, the South Main Association and Memphis River Parks Partnership is having a meeting on February 12 at 6 pm - 7 pm discussing the redesign.
St. Jude just celebrated its 57th anniversary and at 57 years they show no sign of them slowing down. They continue to expand and make more efforts to support the families that travel to them from all over the world for treatment. Soon St. Jude will start construction on its new patient family housing project in the Pinch District. In 2016 they purchased the Downtown Animal Hospital and Promedica Clinic that was located in that area for this project. With more construction to come St. Jude is moving forward with its 6 six year expansion plan mentioned in previous Top Things You Need to Know blog. I have yet to hear or read any information about a completion date.
Swanky's + Chisca
Last year Lyfe Kitchen surprisingly closed both of its locations. The Poplar location was immediately turned into a Central BBQ but I wondered what would replace the downtown location that was connected to The Chisca On Main. While on a City Tasting Food Tour, which is a must experience, the founder, Cristina McCarter informed me that Swanky's Taco Shop may be taking over. I wasn't too hype about it because I was hoping something different would be coming and maybe even another vegan option to add to the list. However, Cristina would be right and Swanky's would be taking over. By April of this year, Downtown should have it's own Swanky's Taco Shop located at 272 S. Main Street with the cutest outdoor patio for all your summer night adventures.
We Are Memphis
We Are Memphis is looking for Memphians who are making a difference in the city! In honor of Memphis' bicentennial celebration, you may nominate a "Next Century Memphian" by clicking on the link below and filling out the form. I'm down for anything that shines a positive light on the city so when I saw this I had to share. "We Are Memphis" is Powered by the Memphis Brand Initiative, a collection of organizations and individuals with the intent to "elevating Memphis, captivating audiences locally and globally, to create catalytic positive change" according to the website.
LeMoyne- Owen College + Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.
When I read that my beloved organization pledged 100,000 to Lemoyne-Owen College I had to post about it. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. has implemented AKA-HBCU Endowment Fund with the purpose of investing in the future of the youth and helping to sustain HBCUs such as LeMoyne. As I continued to read I started to wonder how we have a whole HBCU but people barely know. I think Memphis often tosses things to the side after it feels there isn't much need for it anymore. LeMoyne wasn't even an option to me for college and a lot of times I made jokes about how it was barely a school. But why wasn't it an option? Why hasn't it been cared for like other Historical black colleges and universities have? It may not be as popular or advanced as others but it's still a gem and it's still apart of our history. I'm sure their leadership has played a part in things as well but I hope in the future we support and protect it more!
Orange Mound is hosting its own Black Restaurant Week! It starts today, February 11th and continues until February 15th. Currently, the participating businesses are Pop's Hot Tamales, Smacker's, The Wing Factory, and Toney's Corner Grocery Store. I have included the flyer with more details about the week and addresses of the participating businesses. Go out and show the businesses in my old neighborhood some support!
MATA will be offering free bus and rail trolley rides on April 25, 2019. I know this date is a little far off so I'll be sure to repost this to my page when the date is closer.
l'll definitely be getting a free trolley ride that day!
Culture & Cocktails
This Wednesday, DMaze & Rob Love will be hosting Culture & Cocktails Writers Block Edition with Steph Jones & Underground Poet Society at LOVE. I'm a sucker for poetry, vibes, a good happy hour, and food, so I was happy to find out that Culture and Cocktails have all of the above! I went to the first Culture & Cocktails Writers Block and had a great time! If you're looking for more things centered around the arts or to just vibe with your friend this is your spot. You can even treat bae to a pre-valentines day adventure with some spoken word and witness some of Memphis' most talented poets. Happy hour is from 4 pm - 7 pm and you don't want to miss it. LOVE is located at 7144 Winchester Ave. See flyer for information on booths and tables.
Midtown has a new donut shop. Midtown donuts, located at 1776 Union Ave, opened on February 9th. It is replacing Midtown's old Donald's Donuts. Midtown Donuts will be serving lunch items and coffee in addition to the donuts. They will be opened Monday - Sunday from 4 am to 7 pm.
Last year I shared this program that the City of Memphis started called Manhood University. It was started to assist the men in Memphis with finding jobs, creating better relationships, stress the importance of them building up their communities, and more. Manhood University is facilitated by a partnership with the faith-based community and is a six-week program. The curriculum topics will be developing goal-setting, time management, financial literacy, conflict resolution, job readiness, and communication skills. The program is for males between the ages of 16 and above. If you know someone who would benefit from this program click on the link provided to register online. I also have a copy of the application and I can send it to whoever needs it.
Saturday, February 16, 2019, THE University of Memphis NPHC (National Pan-Hellenic Council) presents its Black History Month step show at the Elma Roane Field House. Doors open at 6 pm and the show starts at 7 pm. Tickets are $10 for students, 15 for general admission, and $20 the day of the show. If you plan to attend you may want to get there early for a good seat.
"The Fieldhouse" as it is often referred to is located on the University of Memphis campus. If you're familiar with the campus then the fieldhouse is next to the Rose Theatre. If you are not familiar with the campus please go to the University Center for directions. Put 499 University St Memphis, TN 38152 in your GPS and it will take you right to it.
So usually for potholes, trash on the highways, an abandoned vehicle, or other issues we report to the city we dial 311 but there is actually an app for it. It was created in 2013 as a more convenient option for Memphians to report issues. I downloaded and it seems to be user-friendly. In addition to you being able to submit your own request, there is an option for you to see all the issues/service request that has been issued in the city. Go to your designated app store to download it and help fix the issues in the city.
The first State of the County address will be given by Mayor Lee Harris on Friday February 15th at 3 pm. The location is Halloran Centre, 225 S Main Street Memphis, TN 38103. You can RSVP to Deon.firstname.lastname@example.org or 901-222-2000