Beale Street Wine Race unofficially kicks off Memphis in May

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The countdown is on. We are just days away from kick off of the Memphis in May International Festival.

This year's honored country is the Czech Republic.

People were dancing in the sunny Sunday weather downtown, enjoying the Beale Street Wine Race--an event that's exactly as it sounds, a race with wine.

"I've seen some awesome spills. One girl spilled everything and caught it right before it hit the ground and drunk it. That was probably my favorite one," Robert McRae said.

The event pits servers from different restaurants against each other for a competition of speed and caution. You could call it the unofficial start to Memphis in May.

"For all the industry workers to kind of have one last weekend before we get completely slammed next month," McRae said.

Blocks away, Riverside Drive is down to one lane each direction as workers get the stages ready for next weekend, with a jam packed Beale Street Music Festival.

"Because the weather's been so fantastic this week, we got a jump start on getting everything together in the park today," Robert Griffin said.

David Doebler knows exactly how much work it takes to put on the world renowned music festival. He used to be one the workers who helped it all together.

"A lot of long, hard hours you put in. But it all pays off because once the festival gets here, you see thousands of people come from all over," he said.

While these folks are enjoying the first complete sunny weekend of 2018, there's plenty more fun, and hopefully more sunshine ahead for arguably the best month in Memphis.

"We are ready to go!" Carol Kilgore said.

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