Rainbow colors soar at Memphis Pride Parade

More than 100 organizations and thousands of attendees gathered at Robert Church Park and Beale Street Saturday, June 3 for the Memphis Pride Festival and Pride Parade hosted by Mid-South Pride.

The festival comes on the third day of Pride Month and on the same day Federal Judge Thomas L. Parker ruled against the Adult Entertainment Act, more commonly referred to as the drag ban and passed by Tennessee legislators, as unconstitutional.

Vanessa Rodley is the president of Mid-South Pride. Rodley said Memphis LGBTQ activists have been organizing Pride events in some form or another since 1976 and the parade has grown exponentially since.

Patio Porkers, Rib King bring the barbecue competition to Beale Street. Here’s who won.

Downtown Memphis was hazy Saturday afternoon, with a combination of smoke and overcast skies. Just off Beale Street, people walked in and out of Handy Park and popped over to the various tents where contestants in this year’s Patio Porkers competition were cooking.

The Patio Porkers division of the Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest was dropped this year due to space constraints in the redesigned Tom Lee Park, but that did not stop teams from 15 different tents from competing on the same street where the barbecue competition first began in 1978.

The 2023 edition of Patio Porkers, a sanctioned Kansas City Barbecue Society competition, saw teams face off in a one-day event Saturday in Handy Park to determine the best of the backyard barbecuers, with each team cooking ribs for the judges.

New owners to transform now-shuttered iconic shop on Beale Street

After months, even years of anticipation, the Downtown Memphis Commission made a major announcement about a new business coming to Beale Street. The new shop will occupy an old space that holds a special place in many hearts: Tater Red’s Lucky Mojos, where you could find fun and funky gifts for 30 years.

The store struggled during the pandemic and ultimately closed in 2021. With the dense uncertainty of the global shutdown, many stores closed their doors. But on Friday, May 19, the DMC revealed the plans for this valuable real estate on one of the country’s most famous streets. And Action News 5 got to meet the new tenants.

Ashley Parham and Daryl Andrews are transforming iconic Tater Red’s into a new pop-up gift shop and incubator for local artists.

“We have big shoes to fill,” Parham told Action News 5 about taking control of the store, “These people need a space. They need help with telling their story. They need help with branding, ideation and getting the word out about their art.”

A. Schwab digital scavenger hunt brings basement archives to life

A. Schwab Dry Goods has digitized nearly 5,000 items from its basement archives and is celebrating with an online scavenger hunt to help Memphians win prizes and learn more about the historic retailer.

The project is a collaboration between Schwab’s, Storyboard Memphis and DIG Memphis. Storyboard is a nonprofit multimedia organization that highlights local arts and culture, and DIG is the digital archive of Memphis Public Libraries.

‘Blues Stage on Beale’: The story behind Memphis in May’s big change and what to expect

On May 5, the Memphis in May Beale Street Music Festival will launch a new stage in its history.

Literally.

The “Memphis Tourism Blues Stage on Beale” relocates the festival’s popular Blues Tent theme from Tom Lee Park to the gently sloped lawn and built-in outdoor performance space at Handy Park, in the center of the Beale Street Entertainment District, about three blocks east of the Mississippi River park where the other three music festival stages will operate, as usual.

The new blues stage is free, making it an open-to-all complement to the music festival as well as a component of the paid-admission main event.

A Brass Note on Beale for Omar Higgins

Omar Higgins, the trailblazing bass player and front man of Chinese Connection Dub Embassy and Negro Terror, will receive a posthumous Brass Note at Handy Park on Beale Street at 5 p.m. on April 18th, with a celebration concert to follow.

Higgins died suddenly of septic shock on April 18th, 2019 at the age of 37. Shortly thereafter, the Memphis Flyer‘s Chris McCoy published this remembrance of him and this story on how the Memphis music community reacted to his death.

Jeghetto and the ‘Superheroes Puppet Parade’ marched down Beale Street

Famous puppeteer “Jeghetto” and his youth crew displayed their puppeteering talents earlier today on Beale Street.

The “Superheroes Puppet Parade” ran from Fourth to Second and then to Handy Park on Saturday.

Jaghetto is a Memphis-based puppeteer who said that puppetry is “the ultimate story telling medium.”

“When you see live actors, you could have issues with that person, but to have someone focus on in inanimate object where you can’t project anything onto it but what they are experiencing  — that’s the magic of it,” he said.

Silky O’Sullivan’s rolls out 50th St. Patrick’s parade

Despite a forecast of cool and rainy weather, cars, dancers and floats filled Beale Street Saturday, March 11, 2023, for the 50th annual Silky O’Sullivan’s St. Patrick’s parade.

Thousands of spectators came out to celebrate the upcoming St. Patrick’s holiday and Memphis’ biggest parade, with many adorned in green apparel from sparkling shamrock top hats and T-shirts to green Mardi Gras beads.

Participating organizations for this year’s parade include the Christian Brothers High School Band, Shriner’s Hospitals for Children, Murphy’s of Midtown Memphis, Carnival Memphis and River City Peddlers.