Cooper-Young Takes Center Stage: Historic neighborhood is the star of 29th annual street festival


Join us for the annual Evolve Bank & Trust Cooper-Young Festival on Saturday, September 17th from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. The Cooper-Young Festival is a free, family-friendly, music, arts and crafts street festival which draws over 135,000 people to the 117-year-old historic Cooper-Young District for a day of music, art, shopping, people watching, and dining. The festival, now in its 29th year, is the city’s largest, single-day annual event. The celebration of life, music, arts, and history is the biggest party of the summer!

Cooper-Young is where art, culture, cuisine, and commerce intersect in a fabric that weaves its way throughout this historic neighborhood to create a lifestyle district all its own. The highlight of the year is the Cooper-Young Festival! Festival day is when the local merchants as well as over 435 guest artists from all over the country and local Memphis musicians offer up the best fun in the South.

It’s one and only fundraiser, the Cooper-Young Business Association hosts the festival to promote the district both locally, nationally and draw homeowners and merchants into the neighborhood. The proceeds from the festival are redistributed back into neighborhood infrastructure, business websites, and community non-profit organizations. Home to over 187 independently owned businesses in Memphis; Cooper-Young is home grown, local led, and community raised.

Shuttle services and parking are being offered by our partners, Ride the Roo and Christian Brothers University. Park your car in the CBU parking lot entering off Central Avenue and catch the Roo shuttle service over to the entrance of the festival. Handicap parking is also available. Shuttle services will run from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. So pack up the strollers and head over for some Memphis College of Art fun in the Children’s Area. Hosted annually by the Civitians, the area will offer an assortment of hands-on art projects, bouncing activities, and slides as well as games of chance and prizes. All proceeds from the Children’s Area go toward helping people in our community with developmental disabilities.

Bike Walk Memphis and Innovate Memphis encourage you to ride your bike and park it in their “Bike Corral” hosted by Bluff City Sports just on the right as you enter the Festival site at Central Avenue. Volunteers will be on-hand to make sure your bike stays safe and is waiting for you when you get ready to leave.

Each year the festival is preceded by some popular pre-events and contests:

The Art Invitational will be Thursday, September 15th at CoWork Memphis located at 902 South Cooper Street. The Art Invitational featuring over 20 artists is a festival tradition and highlights the talent of local CY artists. This event is free to the public; please join us for wine/cheese, Miller Lite beer, and music by local musician Justin Bloss from 6 to 9 p.m.

On Friday, September 16th, the Festival 4-Miler, a competitive race through the streets of Cooper-Young accompanied by colorful Light the Way parties at which residents spur on the runners, is scheduled to begin at Midtown Autowerks at 795 South Cooper at 7 p.m.

For the month leading up to the festival, radio station Rock 103 is proud to present “The Cooper-Young Festival’s Music for the Next 50. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Midtown recording facility Ardent Studios, Rock 103 is going to give exposure to new local artists on “Memphis Made,” its Sunday night local music show hosted by Catrina Guttery. Newly formed bands and or solo artists who submit music before September 15th will be considered for free studio time at the world famous Ardent. Submissions must be made on the “Memphis Made” Facebook page, @MemphisMadeRocks, or at Winners will be announced live on stage during the Cooper-Young Festival on September 17th and featured on an upcoming Memphis Made show with Catrina. All rules available at

Be sure to stop by booth A204 at the corner of Cooper and Evelyn for an opportunity to be on a new television game show, “The Wall.” Casting directors from Los Angeles, CA, will be on-hand to interview and ask questions of you and friends for a possible invitation to be on the show. Each episode one deserving two-person team plays for a chance to win a “life-changing amount of cash” that will be won or lost based on trivia — and the bounce of a ball. Who knows? Being interviewed at this year’s festival could make you a millionaire.

Author: LampLighter

The voice of Cooper-Young, a vibrant, diverse neighborhood to live, work and play, in the heart of Midtown Memphis, Tennessee.

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