Organized by the Center for Southern Folklore , the Memphis Music and Heritage Festival (901/525-3655, www.southernfolklore.com) held over Labor Day weekend sticks close to the roots of Memphis music. Performers include gospel singers, bona fide bluesmen and women, rock-a-billy superstars, and much more. Performances take place in the center’s shop and concert hall on Main Street, making them more intimate than other blockbuster music festivals.
End-of-summer fairs are a tradition for southern and rural communities all over the United States. The 10-day Mid-South Fair (www.midsouthfair.org) in September is a bonanza of attractions: livestock shows, rodeos, agricultural judging, concerts, beauty pageants, exhibitions, carnival rides, funnel cakes, and cotton candy. In 2008 it moved from the Mid-South Fairgrounds in southeast Memphis to a 150-acre site across the road from the Tunica, Mississippi, Welcome Center, about 30 miles from Memphis.
In mid-September, the Cooper-Young neighborhood throws its annual jamboree at the Cooper-Young Festival (www.cooperyoungfestival.com). There is an arts and crafts fair, live music, and food vendors at this street carnival.
© Susanna Henighan Potter from Moon Tennessee, 5th Edition