MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – Memphis officially turned 200-years-old Wednesday, and to honor the historic milestone, city leaders and residents spent the day giving back.
The city of Memphis kicked off its bicentennial celebration at 8:00 a.m. at the Pipkin Building before groups departed to different parts of the city for service projects.
Communications Officer for the city Ursula Madden said giving back was fitting to mark the occasion because it’s what Memphians are all about.
“We’re just thrilled that we have this moment in time to celebrate all things Memphis. Memphis is the city where originality and soul come together to create change and this city has changed the world over and over again,” Madden said.
Groups spent the morning at Greenbelt Park cleaning up trash. Others packaged meals at the food bank, painted rails on the bluff and took part in a tire clean up near T.O. Fuller Park.
“We’re the most generous city in the country and there’s nothing better that we can do than serve other people. By pulling weeds or picking up trash, we’re serving our fellow Memphian and making our city beautiful,” Mayor Jim Strickland said.
The iconic community of Orange Mound also celebrated an anniversary as part of the bicentennial. Wednesday, the city recognized its 100th anniversary of being officially part of Memphis.
Orange Mound is one of Memphis’s most historic neighborhoods. It was the first one built completely by, and for, African-Americans.
“They’re so important to us, historically and also because they love their community so much,” Madden said.
A celebration and proclamation reading were held at the Orange Mound Gallery.
The city is wrapping up its day of events with a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a massive new “Memphis” sign located down on the south field of Mud Island. The sign stands 10 feet tall and stretches 50 feet across. It weights a combined 18,000 pounds of steel.
“I think it’s a really nice addition for tourists and for Memphians to kind of, basically, take a picture and say, ‘Yes, I’m in Memphis. I’m proud to be here. This is a great city,’” Strickland said.
Local 24 is a proud supporting partner of ‘A New Century of Soul,’ the official Memphis bicentennial celebrations.
Join us on Saturday, May 25, 2019, for a live two-hour prime-time special, ‘Celebrate Memphis’, in association with Memphis in May.