Festival hits record numbers

By Tamara Walker
It was an outstanding weekend in Cooper-Young! Art lovers flocked to the Art Invitational and Festival Kickoff Party, held at David Perry Smith Gallery the Thursday before the Festival. Attendees were packed in shoulder to shoulder just thirty minutes after doors opened and remained that way throughout the duration of the evening. In addition, the CYCA hosted over 1800 runners in the 4 Miler race the Friday before the Festival. And even though temperatures hit record highs on Saturday, the police estimated over 100,000 attendees at this year’s Festival. Needless to say, it was a huge success for our neighborhood.
I was standing in the middle of the street Saturday night after the Festival, directing vendors to travel south on Cooper Street as they left the neighborhood. I had dozens of artists stop to tell me excitedly that they had completely sold out this year. On Monday, several neighborhood businesses called to tell me how much they made and how thankful they are for this annual Festival. The support of businesses, artists, residents, and others in the Memphis area help make this one of the largest summer events in the city. All of this makes me very proud for Cooper-Young.
I always like to look back and hope that I can remember everyone who helped make this weekend a reality. First, I would like to thank the Festival Committee, Bill Stemmler, Stephen Crump, Charlie Ryan, Lizi Beard-Ward, Ken Whitehead, Cameron Mann, and Chuck Parr, for their countless volunteer hours. These are the people that worked tirelessly before, during, and after Festival day. They are the backbone of this event and have been for many years.
I also want to thank everyone else that helped make this great day happen, big or small, it takes us all. If I miss someone, I am truly sorry.

  • Pam Hardin
  • Richard Sullivan – Comm-Trans
  • Dale Henderson – Signworks
  • Theresa Clinton – Party Concepts
  • Bret James – Decade Properties
  • Tiger Bryant – Young Avenue Deli
  • D.J. Naylor – Celtic Crossing
  • Zac Ives and Eric Friedl – Goner Records
  • Central BBQ – Craig and Elizabeth Blondis
  • Café Ole – Reggie Frazier
  • Lou Savarin – Lou’s Pizza
  • Bill Pritchard
  • Lamplighter staff
  • Julie Terry and the Civitans
  • Mary Long-Postal
  • Frank Roberts – Café Palladio
  • Jim and Nancy Pettit – Memphis Drum Shop
  • Cece Palazola – Memphis College of Art
  • Tom Wilson – Art Supply Center
  • David Bratton and Connie Buchanan – Bratton Construction
  • Corey Sanders and the musicians, artists, sound techs, and marketing students of Visible School
  • Paul Averwater and Rico Heard
  • Bumper Dunn and his amazing clean up crew
  • Lt. Chalmers and officers – Cooper-Young Co-Act Police Unit
  • Officer Barbara Davis and her reserve officers
  • Eric Babb and Joey Price – Wilson-Babb Upholstery
  • Lucia Kaminsky and the Recording Academy
  • Julia Hicks – First Congo Church
  • Ken Whitehead
  • David Meredith – The Reef
  • Glen Melton – Melton & Heath
  • Pro Show Systems
  • Jeff, Jamie, and Ray Todd – High Electric
  • John Bennett – Bennett Creative
  • Milton Grant – Wyndham Apartments
  • Sallie Johnson – Memphis Literacy Council
  • David Perry Smith Gallery
  • Gene Lucchesi, Jr. – Delta Wholesale

I also wish to extend a special thank you to all of our sponsors who donated money and other items to help offset the cost of this huge event. Our sponsors this year were A. S. Barboro, Lenny’s Sub Shop, Commercial Appeal, Memphis Grizzlies, Sam’s Town, Comcast, Albert Cook Plumbing, Terminix, Bank of America, McAlister’s Deli, Pro Show Systems Memphis, Chick-Fil-A on Union Avenue, Southland Park Gaming & Racing, Salvation Army – Kroc Center, Summer Winds Resorts, T-Mobile, WMC TV5, WRVR, Classic Hits KQK, ESPN FM, Toof Commercial Printing, Methodist Healthcare, Delta Ice Services, and Zebra Marketing.
Please mark your calendar for next year’s Festival on September 17, 2011! See you then!
Tamara Walker is director of the CY Business Association.

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