Autumn is in full swing, despite what the weather thinks. In mixed company, wondering what else there is to do in Memphis outside of Halloween-themed events could start a dramatic discussion. Instead, check out these events coming up this month that will surely make you more excited to throw on a scarf and appreciate the leaves changing color.
The Mid-South Fair is a Memphis staple, ever since 1856. Though its location has changed to the Landers Center in Southaven, there’s something nostalgic about going to the fair; the smell of the funnel cakes and wayward screaming of riders. Those of us over 13 get in for $12, but kids between 5 and 12 are priced at $6. (Tots under the age of 4 get in free with adult admission.)
Roundhouse Revival is back for round two. The event that’s helping folks get excited about the Fairgrounds again is back, featuring music, basketball, an antique car show, and wrestling — all for the whole family. The Revival is free, but donations are accepted. Expect the best of Memphis’ food trucks and the local beer will be flowing generously.
Did you think the Tennessee Brewery Revival was the last you’d see of beer pop-ups? I’m sorry (not sorry) to say you’re wrong, my friend. The same group that ran that project is back to focus on another structure in downtown Memphis: an old firehouse at the corner of Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and Third Street. The pop-up is opening Oct. 1st as a beer garden, hoping to cater to folks who love watching the Grizz or the Tigers scrap it out. The beer garden will feature four specialty beers, made locally by High Cotton, Memphis Made, Ghost River (the Boscos beer), and Tennessee Brew Works.
Speaking of Firehaus, guess who’s hosting the second year of our city’s Oktoberfest? High Cotton is hosting the celebratory beer holiday at the pop-up beer garden, slinging the golden liquid, eating Central BBQ, and rocking out to the Dead Soldiers. Tickets are all-inclusive and cost $40 in advance. (At the door, the price goes up to $50.) Designated drivers, great news: your ticket is only $10.
Bristerfest has come a long way since its humble beginnings. Now, in its fifth year, the festival will be in Overton Square’s Tower Courtyard. There will be local artists and all kinds of vendors in Bristerfest’s own marketplace on Trimble Street, and, of course, bands like Chinese Connection Dub Embassy, Zigadoo Moneyclips, Germantown’s School of Rock, and others will be playing constantly. The festival benefits GrowMemphis, an organization dedicated to urban gardening in our city.
The Pink Palace wheels and deals in knowledge, but the crafts fair at Audubon Park has been a Memphis tradition for over 40 years. Visitors can expect a ton of historic craft demonstrations, stage performances, museum displays, activities for the kids, all kinds of music, and rides, on top of everything else the fair has to offer. You can get a two-day pass for $15 or buy a single-day pass for $9. (Kids under 12 get in for $3.)
This one-day festival on McLemore Avenue is going to be a blowout. Three stages of live music will be showcasing the sound of folks like Black Rock Revival, Cameron Bethany, D’Monet, Nick Black, Preauxx, and others. There will be crafts, kids’ activities, and tons of vendors to peruse. This family-friendly event is free to the public.
Did you think beer time was over? Nope. You’ll be less like a rebel without a cause and more like a beer drinker with a cause at the Beerfest, since the festival is a fundraiser for the Cooper-Young Community Association. The beers featured will have been made with brewers within a day’s drive of the neighborhood. Tickets are $40 per person before Oct. 1, when they increase by $5, but that includes all-you-can-drink and a mug. Midtown Autowerks is the host again for the festival for the third year in a row. (Bonus: designated drivers get in for free.)
RiverArtsFest posters can be seen all throughout the city, and if you’re wondering where they come from, this year is the time to go. Artists from all across the United States gather in Memphis to show off and sell their work. The urban street festival is known for its multi-sensory experience: the food, the music (with over 40 live performances), and interactive experiences all make up RiverArtsFest on top of the vendors. The three-day event is also a bargain: Friday night’s celebrations are free, and Saturday and Sunday are only a $5 entry fee.
This one is kind of cheating since it is monsters after all, but the Time Warp Drive-In is so good, you have to go at least once. The final night of the year kicks off with Rocky Horror Picture Show, featuring the shadow cast Absent Friends, leading into Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, and finishing with Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein. Be sure to get there early for the pre-party, featuring music from The Conspiracy Theory. Tickets are $10 per person, but kids under 10 are free. (Don’t forget your dance moves for the Time Warp!)