Memphis making plans to celebrate 200th birthday

Memphis making plans to celebrate 200th birthday

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The Bluff City faces a major milestone this year as Memphis turns 200!

The official city slogan marking the anniversary is “A New Century of Soul.”

Events are planned and are already underway for the city's big celebration, and in just a few months, Memphis in May kicks off.

Memphis in May is breaking tradition in 2019.

“Rather than honor a country’s culture and history, we’re going to honor the rich culture and history of the City of Memphis,” said Robert Griffin, director of marketing for Memphis in May.

Come May, Memphians and visitors from all over will celebrate the city’s bicentennial.

Favorites like Beale Street Music Festival and the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest will return, but new attractions are also coming.

"We’re working with the folks at Guinness to be able to host the world’s longest picnic table in Tom Lee Park,” Griffin said.

The City of Memphis and Shelby County are celebrating the past but also looking to the future.

A website called mem200 features bicentennial events.

Beverly Robertson, interim President and CEO of the Greater Memphis Chamber, said it’s time to celebrate the momentum behind Memphis.

"We are 200 years old if you can believe it and don't we look good as a city?" Robertson said.

In 2019, Robertson said the chamber plans to focus on growing small local businesses and celebrate economic development.

"In many ways while we’re celebrating 200 years, we’re looking to the future because that is a new renaissance for Memphis,” Robertson said.

Memphis in May will also have a fireworks display that works in conjunction with both bridge lights.

They’re also planning on having Memphis all-stars be featured at barbecue fest.

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