Memphis in May to remain in Tom Lee Park for 2021 festival; park redesign postponed

Memphis in May to remain in Tom Lee Park for 2021 festival; park redesign postponed
Memphis in May

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Memphis in May has announced the annual international festival will remain on the downtown riverfront in Tom Lee Park next year!

The Memphis River Parks Partnership told MIM organizers any development work planned for Tom Lee Park would be held off until after the 2021 festival.

The MRPP faced contention during 2019 due to the first renderings of the park’s redesign. Festival organizers believed the new layout wouldn’t accommodate Beale Street Music Festival and the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest.

MIM not on board with proposed redesign

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland sent both groups in mediation, announcing the two had come to an agreement in December 2019. The agreement allowed for the festival to be held at Tom Lee Park in 2020 and at a different location the following year, then back at Tom Lee in 2022.

Second round of renderings for Tom Lee Park redesign expected by May

Now that MRPP has confirmed the redesign will happen after the 2021 festival, organizers are excited to welcome festival-goers to Memphis.

“Thousands of our patrons from across the country and around the world make plans months in advance to travel to Memphis for our events and now we can let them know we will be in our Tom Lee Park home again next year,” said James L. Holt, president and CEO of Memphis in May. “We are excited to be able to confirm that our events in 2021 will take place along the Mississippi riverfront in downtown Memphis as they have for over four decades."

This year’s festival, which was postponed due to the worldwide health crisis, will still be held at Tom Lee Park. The World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest will take place Sept. 30 through Oct. 3, Beale Street Music Festival will take place Oct. 16 through Oct. 18 and the Great American River Run will be Oct. 24.

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