Memphis is a fun place all year-round — the music, the vibe, the food, the people, Graceland, and the famous Beale Street. Things don’t slow down in winter. Several festivals and events liven things up all through the winter season.
Jingle Bell Run – Nov. 12
Get a bunch of runners together, dress them up in holiday costumes and jingle bells, make it for a good cause, and you’ve got one fun and festive fundraiser! The Jingle Bell Run is a 5K fun race / 1-mile walk that gets the holiday spirit going while raising funds for the Arthritis Foundation. It starts and ends at Audubon Park, where you’ll be entertained by Santa giving runners warm-up exercises, live music, and kids’ activities. The entry fee is $30. Finally, your ugly Christmas sweater can be put to good use.
66th Annual Holiday Bazaar & Fundraiser – Nov. 18-19
For the 66th year running, the Memphis College of Art (MCA) will hold its annual art sale and fundraiser. This is Memphis’ original art market, attracting art and craft lovers since 1936. Handmade jewelry, ceramics, sculptures, photography, paintings, and hanging artwork all tug at the purse strings. This community event kicks off the holiday shopping season in Memphis. The Preview and Purchase Party costs $25 to attend, but admission to the Open Market is free. All proceeds benefit MCA’s scholarship fund.
Sesame Street Live! – Dec. 10-11
Nothing is more joyful for the little ones than watching their beloved Sesame Street characters dancing right in front of their eyes. Elmo tries to do “the robot,” and Cookie Monster wants to teach everyone to dance. It’s an interactive dance show where all your favorite characters join you on the floor in a night that promises to be oodles of fun for everyone. Catch the cast in two shows at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10, and another at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 11 at the Cannon Center for Performing Arts. Tickets prices range from $15.50 to $38.50.
Elvis Birthday Celebration – Jan. 5-8
Can Elvis ever be forgotten? His legacy lives on, especially in Memphis. Elvis was born on Jan. 8, 1935, which would have made him 81 years old this year. Every year, Memphis holds the Elvis Birthday Celebration, and loyal fans make the pilgrimage. Be treated to tours of Graceland, conversations with friends of Elvis, and an auction of genuine Elvis artifacts and memorabilia. And no birthday party is complete without a cake, right? Yep, there’ll be a special cake-cutting ceremony as well.
International Blues Challenge – Jan. 31-Feb. 4
We can’t wrap up without a mention of what Memphis is famous for — the blues. This popular blues competition draws performers from across the globe and is must-do for lovers of jazz and blues music. Competition rounds take place at various venues on Beale Street. The price tag is a hefty $100, but this ticket pass covers the full five days. Extra fees apply to attend the KBA Brunch on Feb. 3 ($50) or to secure premium seats at the Finals on Feb. 4 ($25).
So if you’re still undecided about where to travel to this winter, take a trip to Memphis. The winter line-up promises not to disappoint, with something for everyone.