Five things to do this weekend in Memphis: September 17-19

ByDavid M. Conte

Sep 16, 2021

Overton Place, 2101 Madison

Friday September 17th, 6-9 p.m.

Put on your best (painted) face for another edition of Memphis Flyer ‘s Tequila Festival in Overton Square. You know the exercise, taste over 30 different types of tequila. This festival is guaranteed to get you in the spirit of the season with dance music from local DJs, spooky makeup, costume photo booth, and more. Did I mention that dressing is definitely encouraged? He is.

Hunger? Food will be available for purchase from local food vendors.

Each ticket buyer will be able to choose 15 tequilas to sample from, so choose wisely. There are many more samples than 15.

Still thirsty? There will be a cash bar with beer, wine, and mixed drinks available for purchase.

I’m sure you will be happy to know that you are doing your part to help the community while having fun. This event supports Volunteer Memphis, so every sip counts.


Circuit Playhouse, 51 S. Cooper

Open Friday, September 17 at 8 p.m., continues from Thursday to Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. until October 10

Enjoy live theater at Circuit Playhouse once again with the regional premiere of a play that challenges fact, fiction and journalistic integrity – fake news, tempt you?

The play, written by Jeremy Kareken, David Murrell and Gordon Farrell is based on the book by Jim Fingal and Jon D’Agata. The screenplay features a demanding magazine editor who has the opportunity to publish an essay written by a famous author. For this editor, checking the facts of sources is a routine afterthought, unless you’ve hired an enthusiastic Millennial who focuses on factual accuracy.

This fast-paced comedy foreshadows the question, what is truth? Or, more importantly, who cares? Performers Ann Marie Hall, Greg Boller, and Will Graber will entertain you on this comedic and timely journey through the evolution of fact and fiction.

Special ticket prices are available for the opening weekend and an à la carte performance is scheduled for September 23.


Cooper-Young, Cooper and Young Historic District

Saturday September 18. 9 am-7pm

The Cooper-Young Festival is here again. The open-air celebration in Memphis’s largest historic district is celebrating its 33rd year with a mix of arts, music and crafts presented by more than 435 artisans from across the country.

The poster designer for 2021 is Evelina Dillon, a Cooper-Young business owner whose studio is located in the Old Pie Factory condominiums on Young. A first generation immigrant, Dillon was born and raised in Uzbekistan and moved to the United States in 1996. Her art is an expression of her life experiences, her love of nature and the celebration of people. She is a member of Oil Painters of America and has shown her art in exhibitions individually and jointly across the greater Mid-South. Evelina is the winner of the Memphis in May 2019 Art Poster Competition as well as the Collierville 1870-2020 Art Poster Competition. You may still have time to attend the poster party on Thursday, September 16 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Jay Etkin Gallery, 942 South Cooper, where the original 2020 poster by local artist John McIntire and Dillion’s original 2021 poster will be sold at a silent auction.

If you miss the silent auction, be sure to pick up a copy at the Saturday Festival where the musical headliner will be The Justus Brothers, a new contemporary jazz group. And don’t forget the Friday 4-Miler to benefit the Cooper-Young Community Association.


Crosstown Concourse, 1350 Concourse

Saturday September 18, 5-7 p.m.

In the fall, Vietnamese culture celebrates a good harvest for the season. In Vietnam, adults typically spend a lot of time in the fields during harvest, leaving little time to spend with their families. After the harvest, the celebration provides an opportunity to spend time with family and participate in traditional festivities. This event is a cultural experience organized in partnership with the Vietnamese Association of Memphis. Enjoy activities like lantern painting and enjoy the full moon with delicious moon cakes while learning about Vietnamese culture.

Have fun, enjoy the fruits of your labor, and celebrate the end of the harvest season with moon cakes, live music, food, crafts, face painting and more.

Free and open to the public. Masks are mandatory.


Levitt Shell, 1928 Poplar

Saturday September 18, 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.

WLOK Stone Soul Picnic celebrates 46 years of hosting big names in gospel music. This year, the Memphis Bar-Kays will anchor the event with their ever-popular soul and rhythm and blues performances that have transcended three generations of music lovers. Some of the many local and national artists familiar to WLOK listeners include The Mellowtones, Uncle Richard’s Puppets, U-Turn, and The Echoaires. Other featured artists include Sierra Ward-Pope, Team Mt. Moriah East Praise, Chinese Connection Dub Embassy, ​​and Ekpe & The Afrikan Jazz Ensemble. Food trucks and entertainment for children will also be on site throughout the event at Levitt Shell.

“Generations have enjoyed WLOK Stone Soul Picnic since its inception in 1974, primarily because it is an annual event filled with music, fun and camaraderie linked by the heartfelt and uplifting sounds of pure gospel”, – Art Gilliam, President and CEO of WLOK Radio and the Gilliam Foundation.

This outdoor family event pays homage to Memphis music lovers and their support for WLOK, which graced Memphis radio waves for nearly half a century. WLOK is the first Black-owned radio station in Memphis and the only Black-owned FM radio station in the city.

You can read more about Art Gilliam and the evolution of WLOK Stone Soul Picnic in this 2019 Memphis magazine article titled “A Conversation with Art Gilliam” by Jon W. Sparks.


For a full list of what’s happening this weekend in and around Memphis, check out our Event calendar. Also, be sure to tag your favorite Memphis Instagram photos when you’re on the go with the hashtag #memphismagazine. Hope you have a good weekend.


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