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The East High Alumni Page presents:

Things to do in Memphis!
East High School, Memphis, Tennessee

With an emphasis on free or low cost events

A Best of the World Must See Place
Great Urban Weekend Escape
Among Top 20 Destinations in the World
Two of top 3 Best Iconic Attractions in USA
Fifth best USA City for Starting a Business
See the more about these accolades in the right column.

East alumnus during a visit back to his old home town and on a Jimmy Ogle history tour in downtown Memphis said it was  "... the best thing I've done in Memphis."
See tour information below.

Memphis: Best of the World 2013
National Geographic editors cite Memphis among the "Best of the World 2013," including it in the new year's 20 must-see places! ...[T]here’s something newly electric in the air."
Read the article: travel.nationalgeographic.com

Forbes names Memphis one of its "Great Urban Weekend Escapes"
- ...a fantastic choice for a weekend getaway... In fact, I had been to Memphis thrice before but was still shocked by how many stand-out attractions...  Memphis excels, and I mean really excels, in four distinct areas, each worth a visit: attractions, culture/museums, entertainment, and dining... [Read more]

Yet another source agrees, MSN Living is listing Memphis one of it's top 20 travel destinations in the world for 2013. "Today, Memphis is undergoing a revival." [Read more]

Graceland was named Best Iconic American Attraction in a 2013 USA Today and 10Best readers choice poll, garnering almost half of all votes in its category for a landslide victory. The National Civil Rights Museum took third place, making Memphis and San Francisco as the only cities with two attractions on the list. San Francisco’s cable cars just made the cut in 10th place. [read more: The Commercial Appeal or USA Today]

Beale Street voted America’s favorite iconic street in a USA Today and 10Best poll: USA Today

WalletHub.com rates Memphis as the fifth best USA city in which to start a business. wallethub.com

The list of accolades for Memphis could go on and on. Just know that your hometown of Memphis is making big waves in travel, entertainment and business.

New event(s) added April 18, 2014

Specific Events
Continuing Events/Exhibits
Jimmy Ogle History Tours (FREE)
The 2013 schedule of history tours is on this page, each type under its own heading

Tuesday Downtown History Walking Tours

Mississippi River Bridge Walks

Shelby County Courthouse Tours

Jimmy Ogle’s 2014 Downtown History Walking Tours (FREE)

It's fun, it's informative, it's free, and it's not to be missed. Jimmy Ogle continues to delight his walking tour audience with history and lore of Memphis from its early days through downtown's rebirth. Each tour begins at 11:45 a.m. and lasts about 45 minutes.
  • April 8 - Beale Street Landing (meet at 251 Riverside Drive)
  • April 15 - South Main Street (meet at Hotel Chisca, at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue)
  • April 22 - Pinch District (meet at Westy's, 346 North Main)
  • April 29 - Cobblestones (meet at Foot of Monroe, at Riverside Drive)
  • May 6 - Adams Avenue (meet at Front & Adams, Quiltsurround)
  • May 13 - Madison Avenue (meet at Front & Madison, University of Memphis Law School)
  • May 20 - Monroe Avenue (meet at Front & Monroe, Cossitt Library)May 27 - Court Square & Surroundings (meet at Court Square, Hebe Fountain)
  • June 3 - South November 6th Street (meet at Beale Street, between Second & Third)
  • June 10.- Union Avenue Manhole Cover & History Tour (meet at Front Street Deli, Union & Front)
There are two other sections of Jimmy Ogle events on this page, also. Don't miss those listings.

Ogle tour with 3 East alumni in attendanceThis photo is one of Jimmy Ogle's Downtown History Walking Tours with at least 3 East High alumni in attendance!

Africa in April (FREE*)
April 16-20, 2014
Robert Church Park, Beale Street and 4th Street
The 28th annual Africa in April festival honors the Republic of Burkina Faso with four days of fun in Robert Church Park. During the festival, the park will be packed with vendors, food, cultural activities, a parade, live music, and workshops on diversity, entrepreneurship, and health and wellness.Please check the website for additional information and schedule of events.

Easter Eve Concert: Myla Smith (FREE)
Saturday, April 19, 2014, 6-8 p.m.
Levitt (Overton Park) Shell, Overton Park
Enjoy a beautiful spring evening at the 5th annual Easter Eve Concert.  Enjoy a variety of live music by Memphis’ own talented singer/songwriter Myla Smith - performing with her band, songs from her solo albums, including her newest album, "Hiding Places."  An acoustic portion of the performance will also include songs from THE OUTLIERS  "Amid the Flood" album. This unique outdoor venue allows that you may bring your own chairs, blanket, a picnic dinner, etc. Please visit www.levittshell.org for more information on what is allowed.  Free popcorn will be available.

Book Talk with Dr. Blain Roberts (FREE)
April 17, 2014, 6 p.m.
Cotton Museum of Memphis, 65 Union Avenue
Dr. Blain Roberts will discuss her incisive new book, Pageants, Parlors, and Pretty Women: Race and Beauty in the Twentieth-Century South. The book reveals how the pursuit of beauty in the South was linked to the turbulent racial divides throughout our region. The book talk is the first installment of the Museum's art and lecture series Black, White, and Beauty: Confronting Race and Feminine Identity in the South. The event is free and open to the public and features a complimentary Museum tour and reception.

Black, White, and Beauty: An Exhibit of Paintings by Kiersten Williams, Opening Reception (FREE)
Friday, April 18, 2014 6-9 p.m.
The Cotton Museum,  65 Union Avenue
The Cotton Museum will celebrate the opening of a temporary exhibit of paintings by local artist Kiersten Nicole Williams on the evening of Friday, April 18. The event is a part of an ongoing art and lecture series Black, White, and Beauty: Confronting Race and Feminine Identity in the South.  Join us for an evening of live music from Candace Ivory, modern paintings by Kiersten Williams, and complimentary wine and local craft beer from High Cotton Brewery.  This event is free and open to the public.

Downtown Bicycle Ride (FREE)
Saturday, April 19, 2014, 9 a.m.
A 90-minute, leisurely paced ride from the Memphis Farmers Market through Downtown led by Bill Draper of the Memphis Hightailers. Helmets required. Ride starts at 9am sharp.

Kids Katch Youth Fishing Experience (FREE)
Saturday, April 19, 2014, 10 a.m.
Mud Island River Park
Kids Katch Youth Fishing Experience is a free event designed to provide our local youth (ages 12 and younger) with an opportunity to enjoy the sport of fishing in a safe, non-competitive environment. Our special guest emcee will lead an exciting cast of professional anglers, sportsmen, and volunteers on hand to assist the children with casting, baiting, and catching the fish. Other activities include prizes, random drawings, and lunch for all participants.

Organ Concert: Samuel Metzger (FREE)
Wednesday, April 23, 2014, 6:30 p.m.
Second Presbyterian Church, Sanctuary, 4055 Poplar Avenue
Samuel Metzger, Second Presbyterian's new organist will present his debut concert with a reception to follow. The program will feature a wide variety of musical styles, including Bach’s dazzling Prelude and Fugue in D Major by J. S. Bach, as well as Pedal Variations on a Theme of Paganini by Thalben-Ball, which is written to be played just by the feet. The program will also include Nimrod from Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations and Toccata on Thou Art the Rock by Henri Mulet.

Image Control: Photography, Fashion, and Black Feminine Identity (FREE)
April 24, 2014, 6 p.m.
The Cotton Museum, 65 Union Avenue
A lecture with Dr. Earnestine L. Jenkins entitled Image Control: Photography, Fashion, and Black Feminine Identity. Her lecture will be the third installment of our art event and lecture series, Black, White and Beauty: Confronting Race and Feminine Identity in the South. The series addresses the historic and cultural perceptions of beauty for black and white women – and how that history continues to influence our lives today. The event is free and open to the public and features a complimentary Museum tour, cocktails and reception.

City Auto Rajun Cajun Crawfish Festival (FREE*)
Sunday, April 27, 2014, 11:00 a.m - 6 p.m.
Wagner Place between Union Avenue and Beale Street
The annual City Auto Rajun Cajun Crawfish Festival, which benefits Porter-Leath, will again feature a large crawfish boil with more than 16,000 pounds of crawfish; the annual Monogram Foods Gumbo Cook-Off, and Zany Cajun Contests, including crawfish races, a crawfish-eating contest, crawfish toss, crawfish bobbing as well as the Orion Federal Credit Union Cornhole Tournament. Admission is free, but proceeds from event vendors go to Porter-Leath. Buckets of crawfish will be available for purchase for $20 beginning at noon.

Baseball Memphis  Presentation (FREE)
May 5, 2014, 7 p.m.
West Tennessee Historical Society meeting
Memphis University School, Wunderlich Auditorium, 6191 Park Ave, Memphis
A powerpoint presentation of some of JJ Guinozzo many artifacts and objects related to the of baseball in Memphis will be presented to the West Tennessee Historical Society at its May 5, 2014 meeting at MUS).   JJ is the author and annual updater of the Memphis Baseball Encyclopedia.  JJ has also served as the official scorer for the American Legion World Series each year for three decades and supervised scoring at over 600 games. He has recently been inducted into the Memphis Amateur Sports Hall Of Fame.
West Tennessee Historical Society meetings are free and open to the public.

East High School

East High School, circa 1967At least drive by the old school and look at the impressive architecture. But if I were you, I'd at least want to see the impressive marble lobby.If you wish to visit the campus or inside the school, contact the school's office.

The school underwent a $12.7-million dollar renovation in 2007. From the outside, the only notable distinction is the appearance of the first floor windows, where a heavy screen has been added. It makes the lower windows appear dark or even completely covered when you look at it from a distance. For more information about the renovation, see the "Photo tour of $12.8 million renovation as construction rushes toward completion."

By the way, the 2012-2013 was the last that East High was a Memphis City School. The city school system voluntarily surrendered its charter so all city schools became part of the Shelby County school district in the summer of 2013.

At last check, an intricate scale model of East High School (pictured to the right) is on temporary exhibit at the Memphis Railroad and Trolley Museum located in Central Station,  545 South Main, Suite 121. The model was commissioned by McVean Trading and Investments, LLC [Chas McVean ('61)] and built by  Jerry Michnewicz.
There is a fee for admission to the museum (except, perhaps, on Downtown Museum Day).

South Main Trolley Night (FREE)
When: last Friday, every month all year, 6-9 p.m.
Where: South Main Arts District - Memphis
Every last Friday of the month in the South Main Arts District. The ring of the trolley sounds as the shops, restaurants and galleries in the area open their doors to the throngs of Memphians and visitors who make Trolley Night on Main an fun downtown event. It's a good time to browse the stores and galleries for that unique piece of art, clothing or jewelry while sipping a glass of wine and partaking of the wide array of tasty party foods. Slip onto the trolley for a free ride to the next stop and more shops. Obviously, the merchandise is not free.

Alex Ward's Pig 'n' Whistle ShowAlex Ward's Pig 'n' Whistle 50's Rock 'n' Roll Party*
Every 3rd Sunday of the month)
TJ Mulligan's, 362 North Main Street
DJ Alex Ward plays oldies from the 1950's. "Bring your dancing shoes."
Obviously, food and beverages are not free, but the music is.

Farmers Market, downtownMemphis Farmers Market (Free)
Saturdays, April thru October, 7 am to 1 pm, rain or shine
Central Station, S. Front Street at GE Patterson in the Historic South Main District, Memphis
There are several farmers markets in the Memphis area but this one seems more like a party than most. Live music, cooking demonstrations, historic bicycle tours of downtown, kids activities, etc. The ambiance is free but the produce isn't.

Comedy Open Mic Night (FREE*)
Thursday, every Thursday night 9:00pm – 11:30pm
P&H Cafe, 1532 Madison Avenue
Free as in no cover, food and beverages cost. Open Mic Comedy features some of the best and worst comics in Memphis taking the stage every week at the famous P&H Cafe. All are welcome to test their comedy skills or just to come laugh and watch. Ages 21+
For more information:  901-726-0906 or PandHcomedy@gmail.com

Trivia Night at Huey's Downtown (FREE*)
Wednesday, June 19, 2013 (and every Wednesday), 8:30pm – 10:30pm
Huey's Downtown, 77 S. Second Street
Free as in no cover charge, food and beverages cost. Play trivia at Huey's Downtown. The winning team receives a Huey's gift card. All ages.

The Memphis Jazz Orchestra at Alfreds (FREE*)
Sundays, 6pm – 9pm
Alfred's on World Famous Beale Street
Free, as in no cover, but food and beverages cots. The orchestra performs weekly on Sunday's 6pm-9pm. Ages 21+

Memphis Tech Coffee
Every Tuesday morning,  7:30am – 9:30am
Republic Coffee, 2512 Union Avenue
A casual coffee meet up for the Memphis tech community. Come and go as you need to.

Sunset atop the Madison
Thursdays, 7 - 11pm (doors open at 6:30pm)
Madison Hotel Rooftop, 79 Madison Avenue, Memphis
Live entertainment, a special rooftop terrace menu created by eighty3 executive chef Connor O’Neill, a cash bar, and the best sunset view in Memphis!
This is not free, admission/cover $7, cash bar.
The Madison Hotel is in the renovated historic Tennessee Trust (Bank) building and is one of the city's finest hotels. This writer has never attended a rooftop party there but they sound like fun.
The rooftop parties are held every Thursday. According to one observation, "The rooftop is relatively small and has limited seating.  There is room to dance, but the crowd (which is more mature than that of some other rooftop parties) does get cozy."
Facebook site

Shelby County CourthouseJimmy’s Ogle's  2014 Tours of the Historic Shelby County Courthouse (FREE)
Meet at noon on the southwest steps of the courthouse located at Second Street and Adams Avenue.

  • Thursday, April 17
  • Thursday, May 22

Memphis-Arkansas BridgeJimmy Ogle's 2014 Memphis & Arkansas Bridge Walks & Talks (FREE)
There is a sidewalk across this Mississippi River bridge and the group will walk it. All these events start at 2 p.m. Meet at Crump Park, just south of I-55 on Metal Museum Drive.
  • Sunday, April 13
  • Sunday, May 18

Lorraine Motel, The National Civil Rights MuseumNational Civil Rights Museum
Located at the historic Lorraine Motel in downtown Memphis where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968. It chronicles the civil rights movement from 1619 to 2000 with historical exhibits, including Room 306, the hotel room where Dr. King stayed in April of 1968.
Free for TN residents w/ID  Mondays after 3 p.m. (museum closes at 5 p.m.)
Notice: The museum is undergoing renovations from November, 2012, through 2013. Certain parts will be closed during this time but some exhibits will remain available. Please see the web site for details.

Memphis ZooMemphis Zoo
Recognized as one of the top zoos in the nation - Free to TN residents with acceptable photo ID Tuesdays, 2 p.m. to close, except in March. If you do not attend when it is free, it is expensive and there is an additional parking fee if you park in the zoo's lot. The parking fee probably applies during the free admission period, also.

Pink Palace Museum
(the exhibits are not what remember from our childhood) - Free Tuesdays from 1-5pm. (Enchanted Forest, IMAX and Planetarium shows are not included)

Lichterman Nature Center
Free Tuesdays from 1 p.m. until closing

Brooks Museum of ArtBrooks Museum of Art
Overton Park
Near free, Wednesdays, you set your own admission fee! From a penny to any dollar amount.

Dixon Gardens & GalleryDixon Gallery & Gardens
Park Avenue & Cherry Road
Tuesday: 10am-4pm: Pay-What-You-Can
Saturday: 10am-noon: Free, galleries and gardens

Hiking in Shelby ForestShelby Forest State Park (now know as Shelby-Meman State Park & T.O. Fuller State Park
Tennessee state parks, free. Hiking, camping, picnicking, disk golf, fishing, biking, cabins, horseback riding (horse rental not available), swimming. Check individual park web sites for amenities available at each park.

Sun Studio - birthplace of Rock 'n' RollSun Studio
Union Avenue & Marshall Avenue
Where the first rock 'n' roll record was ever recorded, whether you believe that was Elvis's "That's all right," or Ike Turner and his Kings of Rhythm band's "Rocket 88". Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and once again an active recording studio. A National Historic Landmark  Not free except on rare occasions but highly recommended. The photo to the left shows the main entrance for visiting the studio, though it is and was then a restaurant, not the studio. The studio is next door.

Rock 'n' Soul Museum
Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, by the Smithsonian Institution
FedEx Forum
Tennessee residents free admission any Tuesdays 2-7 p.m.with photo ID with proof of residence.

Gibson Guitar Factory & StoreGibson Guitar Factory Tour
Second Street & Lt. George W. Lee Avenue, downtown Memphis, near Beale Street and the FedEx Forum. A tour is offered of the workshops where the guitars are made. Not free but it can be interesting, especially for musicians and woodworkers. There is also a retail store where the guitars are impressive and expensive!

Cotton Museum
Monday-Saturday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sunday: Noon - 5 p.m.
65 Union Avenue, Memphis
The main exhibit is located on the Historic trade floor of the Memphis Cotton Exchange- where cotton traders once stood at the center of the global cotton economy. This space is now filled with artifacts and exhibits that tell the story of "King Cotton" and its impact on the world. Highlights include original films, detailing specific aspects of the cotton industry, oral histories from individuals involved, and exciting temporary exhibits.

Elvis' home. Various tour packages. Expensive. Or as one person suggests, you can stand outside the pink Alabama fieldstone wall and driveway gate with the famous musical notes for free.

Overton ParkMajor local parks
Overton Park (FREE) - Golf course, trail through the Old Forest State Natural Area, Rainbow Lake, Overton Park Shell, etc. Some attractions are not free (Golf, some concerts at the shell, the zoo, etc.)

Shelby Farms - (you remember it as the Penal Farm!) (FREE) - good but mostly flat hiking, lakes, horseback riding rentals (not free), etc.

Memphis Botanic Gardens (Not free) - managed by former East High faculty member & coach Jim Duncan (Faculty 1966-70)

Greenlines & Rails to Trails (FREE):
Greater Memphis Greenline - http://greatermemphisgreenline.org/
Shelby Farms Greenline - website
Wolf River Greenway - website

Mississippi RiverMississippi River (FREE)
Pretty impressive site. Walk along the Bluff Trail (daylight hours only) or the sidewalks in the parks along/overlooking the river.
Mississippi River parks in Memphis - http://www.memphisriverfront.com/parks
River Walk & Bluff Walk - http://www.memphisriverfront.com/parks/riverwalk

Cooper-Young Night Out (FREE)
Every 1st Thursday, 5–9 p.m.
Live music, retail specials, and assorted cuisines in Midtown's historically hip district. Obviously food, drink, and merchandise is not free, but music venues often are.

2014 Free Music Concert Series (FREE)
Various dates
Levitt Shell, Overton Park
Every year, the Levitt Shell, formerly known as the Overton Park Shell, presents more than 50 free concerts in the heart of Midtown, Memphis. Concert start times can vary, but historically most start at 7:30 p.m. Any different start times will be noted when they are made available.
  • May 23: Big Star’s Third
  • May 24: The Hillbenders
  • May 25: Gedeon Luke & the People
  • May 29: Green River Ordinance
  • May 30: New Country Rehab
  • May 31: Ester Rada
  • June 1: SHEL
  • June 5: Katie Herzig
  • June 6: Kopecky Family Band
  • June 8: Amy LaVere & Friends
  • June 12: Davina & the Vagabonds
  • June 13: The Dynamites featuring Charles Walker
  • June 14: Rosanne Cash
  • June 15: The Dunwells
  • June 19: School of Rock
  • June 20: Playing for Change
  • June 21: Cedric Burnside
  • June 22: California Honeydrops
  • June 26: TBA
  • June 27: Cloud Cult
  • June 28: TBA
  • June 29: Stax Music Academy
  • July 3: Second Presbyterian Church presents: Patriotic Pops Concert
  • July 4: No Show
  • July 5: TBA
  • July 6: Black Cadillacs
  • July 10: Chubby Carrier & the Bayou Swamp Band
  • July 11: Cumberland Collective
  • July 12: TBA
  • July 13: Earphunk
  • July 17: TBA
  • July 18: Mike Farris & Roseland Rhythm Revue
  • July 19: Baskery
  • July 20: The Old 97’s

A late summer/autumn schedule of free concerts beginning Sept. 6 will be announced later in the year.

Comedy Open Mic Night (FREE*)
Every Thursday night, 9:00pm – 11:30pm
P&H Cafe, 1532 Madison Avenue
Free as in no cover, food and beverages cost. Open Mic Comedy features some of the best and worst comics in Memphis taking the stage every week at the famous P&H Cafe. All are welcome to test their comedy skills or just to come laugh and watch. Ages 21+
For more information:  901-726-0906 or PandHcomedy@gmail.com

Trivia Night at Huey's Downtown (FREE*)
Every Wednesday, 8:30pm – 10:30pm
Huey's Downtown, 77 S. Second Street
Free as in no cover charge, food and beverages cost. Play trivia at Huey's Downtown. The winning team receives a Huey's gift card. All ages.

The Memphis Jazz Orchestra at Alfreds (FREE*)
Sundays, 6pm – 9pm
Alfred's on World Famous Beale Street
Free, as in no cover, but food and beverages cots. The orchestra performs weekly on Sunday's 6pm-9pm. Ages 21+

Yoga at the Cotton Museum (pay what you can)
Every Tuesday, 2014, 7 a.m.
Cotton Museum, 65 Union Avenue
The community is invited to Yoga at the Cotton Museum every Tuesday morning in partnership with Evergreen Yoga Studio.

Mud Island River Park (FREE)
Mud Island Park, foot of Poplar Avenue at Front Street
April-October (closed Mondays)
Experience the River on The River!! See the Mighty Mississippi River up close. Hike down our 5 block long riverwalk model and see the Mississippi in miniature. Explore the 18-gallery Mississippi River Museum including two full size boat models you can board! (Museum is NOT free, tram ride is NOT free, bridge is free.)

* Admission is free, however, there are possible costs for some activites, i.e. food and beverages, produce, products. If you choose not to purchase those items/services, the entertainment/activity shouldn't cost you anything.

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