Beale Street Festival was the highlight of the Spring, with major musical headliners.
Alice in Wonderland and Elvis
Pride!, a new hotel, and LOVE
Yo Gotti performs and a new speakeasy opens downtown.
Food, Art and Reptiles!
Memphis remains strong, a cool corn maze opens for Halloween, and GloRilla performs at her old high school.
A Concert, Colorful Balls and Stranger Things
French Toast, Otters, and Young Dolph
Christmas Lights, Gift-wrapping, and a Parade
APRIL MOMENTS: Beale Street Festival was the highlight of the Spring, with major musical headliners.
After a two-year hiatus because of COVID-19, Beale Street Music Festival returned on April 29. Crowds began gathering Friday afternoon at the festival’s new and one-time location at the Fairgrounds in Liberty Park. Headliners this year included Megan Thee Stallion, Modest Mouse, and other performers.
MAY MOMENTS: Alice in Wonderland and Elvis
Alice’s Adventure’s at the Garden was a new Alice in Wonderland themed horticulture exhibit, hosted by Memphis Botanic Garden. The exhibit opened to the public on May 8, with a special preview for members on May 6 and 7. Alice, The Chess Set, The Red Queen, and the Cheshire Cat, were the feet tall sculptures that were on display.
Elvis Presley’s Graceland opened a new exhibit called Elvis : Dressed To Rock on May 7. The exhibit showcased over 100 pieces of Elvis’ on-stage wardrobe, from 1969-1977. Some of the pieces on display included jewelry, belts, jumpsuits, and more of his iconic pieces that Elvis wore on stage during that time.
Methodist Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital revealed a new, two-acre green space, Le Bonheur Green, on the hospital’s front lawn on May 25. This included a serenity garden with art and a wind chime installation. The area serves as a space for family, children, and staff to enjoy fresh air and relaxation.
JUNE MOMENTS: Pride!, a new hotel, and LOVE
Caption by Hyatt, is a brand new 136-room hotel located on the corner of Beale Street and Front Street, and it opened on June 22. This hotel offers a fitness center, beer garden, furniture with electric outlets, local beers on tap, and a key that will pair with Apple wallet. There is also a bar, grab n go, and local food for guests to enjoy.
Urban Art Commission revealed a new mural in Whitehaven on June 3, by artist Tony Hawkins. In partnership with the City of Memphis, UAC commissioned Hawkins to create various murals in different areas of Whitehaven that show the pride and the strength of the community. The mural can be seen at Whitehaven Community Center’s splash pad.
After a 2-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Mid-South Pride Parade was back on Beale Street and it was fabulous.
In June of 2022, Rise Up: Stonewall and the LGBTQ Rights Movement, a national traveling exhibit created by the Newseum in Washington, D.C., opened at MOSH. It explored how the police raided the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village in NYC, in June of 1969. This marked the beginning of the modern gay rights movement in the United States.
After receiving a letter on his door that expressed hate and racism, a resident of the Laurelwood community created this sculpture. He welcomed his neighbors to stop by and sign their own messages of positivity.
JULY MOMENTS: Yo Gotti performs and a new speakeasy opens downtown.
Yo Gotti performed at the FedEx Forum for his Birthday Bash. Other surprise performances of the night included Boosie, Moneybagg Yo, Lil Uzi Vert, and Glorilla.
July of 2022, Downtown Memphis Commission, along with Material Bank, hosted a Hip Hop Architecture Camp, to support the education of underrepresented youth in architecture and design. Throughout the week, campers designed small models of buildings, by hand and electronically. They also had the opportunity to meet local rappers, such as NLE Choppa, Big 30, and more, and perform their original songs to the group.
Lucky Cowboy is a new pop-up bar downtown. It officially opened July 29th. It started out as a selfie museum, and the owner, Jared Welch, felt that trend had shifted, but thought the concept was still current for content creators.
AUGUST MOMENTS: Food, Art and Reptiles!
Stephanie Feng and her husband are the owners of Dynamic Duo and the Memphis AF Burrito. Dynamic Duo had been in business for two months. Feng was laid off in March and her husband's place of business had been affected by Covid, so Feng wanted to get the ball rolling on this idea, that had been 7 years in the making. The Memphis AF Burrito consists of cherry wood smoked pork, scrambled egg, smoked poblano cheese sauce, fire roasted corn, and mol-e-que sauce.
Repticon is an animal and reptile convention that comes to the Landers Center every August and December. Animals, reptiles, cages, feeders, and other supplies were up for purchase at last year's event.
Sporting Fashion: Outdoor Girls 1800 to 1960, explored the athletic wear women wore during the 19th and 20th centuries. Ramona Sonin, Flowerful: Fashioning the Armored Feminine, explored Sonin's dedication to couture design.
Inches Taco Shop and Bar is a new Mexican styled restaurant that opened last summer in Harbor Town. Owners are Jose Ortega and Jeffrey Smith. Jose and his parents are from a city in Mexico called Guanajuato, and with their menu, they are committed to giving guests the authentic taste of food from there.
SEPTEMBER MOMENTS: Memphis remains strong, a cool corn maze opens for Halloween, and GloRilla performs at her old high school.
In light of a few nights before when Memphis experienced a mass shooter, we wanted to shine a positive light on the city, so we asked some of our fellow Memphians, what does #memphisstrong mean to them?
The Southern Heritage Classic was held the weekend of September 10. The Classic is presented by FedEx, and is an annual football game for HBCU colleges : Jackson State University and Tennessee State University. This marked the 33rd game for the Classic and kicked off the day in Orange Mound with a parade, followed by Battle of the Bands at Whitehaven High School and ended with the football game at Liberty Park, with JSU taking home the win.
Friday, September 9, Backstreet Boys made a stop in Memphis at the FedEx Forum for their DNA Tour.
Makeda's Cookies on Airways had their grand opening September of 2022. This came around 10 months after the tragic shooting of Memphis rapper, Young Dolph. Originally, the company said they would not be reopening the location right off I-240. Since the shooting, the boarded-up storefront had been adorned with memorials. Makeda's Cookies said during that time, they've been renovating the Airways location in preparation for September 17th's reopening.
The stadium formerly known as just the "Liberty Bowl" has undergone recent renovations. For starters, ticketing and parking passes are all digital this year at the "Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium." Attendees are encouraged to have both tickets and parking passes downloaded to their phones before arriving to games. Fans will also be passing through metal detectors as added security as they enter the stadium.
The Mid-South Corn Maze opened Friday, September 16 on Smythe Farm Road, next to the Agricenter. It was open until October 31st. It was a 10-acre maze that was designed by GPS technology using robots. This was the first time, in its 21 years, that the maze was designed this way, as other methods have been old-fashioned.
Memphis rapper GloRilla paid a special visit to the students at MLK Prep Academy in Frayser Thursday, September 22. It's her old high school and the rapper, who’s given name is Gloria Woods, said she felt it was only right to go back and pay homage to the school. The rapper donated $25,000 to the school - $12,500 towards senior dues and $12,500 toward the music department.
The retirement community held its annual fashion show, where residents and volunteers rallied on the runway. This year, they partnered with Coming Attractions Boutique. Attendees were able to purchase items on the spot. Proceeds went towards Trezevant Manor's garden fund. It's a way for them to improve their outdoor space for residents.
OCTOBER MOMENTS: A Concert, Colorful Balls and Stranger Things
Mempho Fest concluded October 1. Some of the performances were The Black Keys, Bette Smith Music, and Widespread Panic. The event took place at the Radians Amphitheater, behind Memphis Botanic Garden.
Brooks Outside : Evanescent, was an outdoor installation at the Brooks Museum. The installation was on display until October 21, and it was described as "an immersive, outdoor light and sound experience inspired by the beauty, fragility, and transience of the natural world."
Wednesday, October 5th, the Grizzlies had a night of fun with fans as they hosted 'Grizz Bowl' to bring in the 2022-23 season. Despite their bowling skills, after COVID temporarily stopped the event in years past, every player on the team showed up to play games, give hugs, and take pictures with Grizzlies fans.
Paint Memphis Festival was held the weekend of October 8th on Broad Avenue. This event marked their 8th year. 150 artists, some local, came together to showcase their talents.
Zoo Boo took a trip to the Upside Down this year with their Stranger Things theme. Zoo Boo ran select nights from October 14 through 31, from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Families could dress for the fun, and bring along trick-or-treat bags to keep hold of some sweet treats.
Unique treasures for those who seek," is the tagline for the new gift shop that opened on Cooper Street. Robbie Johnson Weinberg and her daughter Fannie Weinberg, are the owners of Paradox at PeCo. The official opening date was Saturday, October 15.
Wicked Ways Haunted House is the largest haunted house in Memphis. It is located at 160 Cumberland Street, and has been operating for 11 years, and has been at their Cumberland location for 9 years. During this years Haunted House, there was a Tormented Virtual Reality Room and a 5-minute Escape Room.
Over Halloween Weekend, the stars of General Hospital visited Graceland to interact with fans during a GH inspired Halloween costume contest. Laura Wright, who stars as Carly Spencer, Donnell Turner, who stars as Curtis Ashford, Brook Kerr, who stars as Dr. Portia Robinson, along with Executive Producer Frank Valentini, were in Memphis for the three-day event, and it included exclusive events at the entertainment and exhibit center, as well as The Guest House at Graceland.
NOVEMBER MOMENTS: French Toast, Otters, and Young Dolph
The Millennium Tour made a stop in Memphis at the FedEx Forum the weekend of November 5. It was a night of nostalgia and classic hits, featuring performances by Sammie, Ying Yang Twins, Bobby V, Bow Wow, Keri Hilson, and Lil Scrappy.
The Teremana Tequila Mana Mobile visited Saint Francis- Bartlett hospital Friday, November 11, as it traveled around the nation recognizing first responders and healthcare workers. The Mana Mobile provided free French Toast to healthcare workers, who spent time looking for the owner of the food truck - Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
A giant river otter will be among the wildlife that'll be part of River Play, the new children's playground at Tom Lee Park. In fact, there will be two giant wooden otters among a slightly smaller sturgeon, a salamander, and a caterpillar as part of an obstacle route children will be able to run along while also learning about regional ecology.
Thursday, November 17, the Castalia community held a balloon release to honor the legacy of Young Dolph and to pay respects to lives lost to violence.
“There were a lot of calls to the mall about the tree. Later it was brought to my attention that the tree wasn’t completed yet. I don’t know if that’s true or not,” said Walker. She said the tree was taken down after many complained about its look, but the group, Respect the HAVEN, was determined not to go tree-less.
DECEMBER MOMENTS: Christmas Lights, Gift-wrapping, and a Parade
Starry Nights opened on select nights during the holiday season at Shelby Farms Park. Customers took a drive through the park and got a chance to look at all the displays along the side of the roads.
University of Memphis Tigers Athletics teamed up with Youth Villages' Holiday Heroes to host their Tigers student-athletes gift-wrapping party. The campaign’s goal was to bring holiday joy to many underserved children and families across the country, including 1,200 children and families in West Tennessee. This was the second year the U of M sponsored several children.
JoJo's Espresso started in July 2020 as a mobile coffee shop. They built and customized a trailer from the ground up, and wanted it to look like a "coffee shop on wheels." The business started during the pandemic but was actually successful for the Whiddon family. "Even during the pandemic, people were coming to food trucks, since it was more of a carry out kind of business and everything," said owner Taylor Whiddon.
Zoo lights returned to the Memphis zoo on select nights. Throughout the zoo were various displays of themes and animals.
The East Memphis location is a much bigger space, which allowed the owners to be able to do more with it. "We know that there's so much to offer in the market , and we just found this space, and we were like you know what, let's go ahead and give more, to Memphis, to the kids, to the general public of Memphis," said Zahra Umlani, one of the owners of Sweet Noshings.
As the temperature dropped, the need for warm clothing was urgent. So FedEx Cares volunteers gave 560 new winter coats to kids who needed them at Fox Meadows Elementary. The event was a collaboration with Operation Warm, a non-profit that makes clothes and shoes for kids in need.
ABC24 partnered with Vitalant and the Sickle Cell Foundation to host our Give Blood Share Joy campaign, with the final blood drive being at Crosstown Concourse, Friday, December 16.
Tuesday, December 20, Coach Penny Hardaway, Mayor Jim Strickland, and the Tigers Basketball team, hosted a toy giveaway for pre-selected families at the Davis Community Center. The toys were provided by Memphis Tigers fans who donated the toys so children in Memphis could enjoy Christmas this year.
Tuesday, December 27, the AutoZone Liberty Bowl Parade took place on Beale Street. Fans from Kansas and Arkansas lined up along Beale to cheer on 58 floats and show their support for the University of Arkansas and University of Kansas.