Closures and economic impacts expected for MLK50

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A week from Wednesday, Memphis will commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination.

Tens of thousands of people are expected to be in Memphis for the big day. The city is expected to close several roads downtown at the request of the National Civil Rights Museum.

With less than two weeks until April 4, Downtown Memphis businesses are also gearing up.

"We're getting ready for it, and getting the team ready for it, building more people so we can get service in and out," Will Nash, owner of 99cent Soul Food Express said.

Nash said he's ready to welcome the tens of thousands of visitors headed to the Bluff City.

The plan is to shut down several streets in preparation for the day-long event outside of the National Civil Rights Museum on April 4.

The following streets will be closed to the public starting at midnight on Tuesday, April 3 to midnight on Thursday, April 5:

  • GE Patterson and 2nd Street to GE Patterson and Main Street Intersections
  • GE Patterson/Main Street to Main Street/Talbot Ave.
  • Main Street and Talbot Ave.  to Talbot Ave. and 2nd Intersections
  • 2nd Street back to GE Patterson

"We were doing a happy dance, we love it, I mean, it's a lot of opportunities for us to meet new people, see new things, and vice versa," Rebecca Dyer, co-owner of South Main Market, said.

The South Main Market is within walking distance of the National Civil Rights Museum, and Dyer said she's excited to nearly triple her normal customer base.

"We're just excited to see all this life downtown, it's great," Dyer said.

Despite the road closures and parking headaches, residents in the downtown district said it's worth it.

"It's a little hectic every May, again it's a wonderful way to celebrate our city so we can take some traffic," downtown resident VickiCarayiannis said.

WMC Action News 5 will have full coverage of MLK50 events.

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