The Week Ahead: May 9-15

Daily News staff

Alright, Memphis, grab your calendars! Whether you want to book it over to the Ruby Bridges Reading Festival or just baste in the scent of barbecue, there’s plenty to do this week. Here’s our roundup...

Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest

If you hear hammering sounds mixed with electric saws and you are near the Mississippi River, the smoke and scent of slow-cooked pork will probably soon follow. Or you may have wandered into the area of South Main where all of the new apartments are being built.
As you read this, the construction work already should be underway in Tom Lee Park for the Memphis In May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest that opens in Tom Lee Park Thursday as the cooking begins.
This is the 39th year of the contest, which began with a few grills in a parking lot north of The Orpheum Theatre.
The multistory structures that rise and fall in the park in less than a week are a far cry from the simplicity of grill on asphalt where this all began when pant legs flared, Jimmy Carter was president and there were still “pay phones.”
The Super Bowl of Swine has a Ms. Piggie competition, best booth contest, and all the meat you can eat. Call 901-525-4611 or visit

Internationally acclaimed photographer Sally Mann will present a lecture Monday evening at Memphis College of Art, 1930 Poplar Ave. Mann will read from her recently released book, “HOLD STILL: A Memoir with Photographs,” at 7 p.m. at the Callicott Auditorium with a reception and book signing to follow. The event is free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase.

Also on Monday, Shelby County Commissioners meet at 3 p.m. for a relatively light budget season agenda. Third and final reading of commissioner Walter Bailey’s ordinance to put on the ballot a move to wipe out term limits in county government could be on the agenda. Bailey is likely to count votes just before Monday’s meeting to see if he has enough to pass it. The ordinance has failed on the first two readings. Under the commission’s rules, an ordinance defeated on one or both of the first two readings advances to third reading anyway.

With nearly $2.4 billion currently invested in major recreational, medical, industrial, retail, educational, tourism and lifestyle-oriented projects, Memphis is doing something right.
New Memphis Institute will highlight the city’s big projects and big players at its Celebrate What’s Right luncheon on Tuesday, starting at 11 a.m.
Andy Cates, CEO of RVC Outdoor Destinations, will summarize some of these major investments and moderate a panel discussion with some of Memphis’ development leaders.
The panel includes Chase Carlisle, whose company Carlisle Corp. is developing the One Beale towers; Anna Holtzclaw, director at ULI Memphis; Tommy Pacello, special project manager for U3 Advisors, which is working toward a full-scale revitalization of the Memphis Medical Center; Rick Shadyac, CEO of ALSAC; and Terence Patterson, president of the Downtown Memphis Commission.
The event is held at the Holiday Inn University of Memphis, 3700 Central Ave. Tickets are available through New Memphis Institute.

Dunavant Award recipients Mark Norris and Lisa Geater

The annual Bobby Dunavant Public Servant Awards luncheon is Wednesday at the Holiday Inn University of Memphis.
The awards by the Rotary Club of Memphis East are sponsored by The Daily News and go to one local elected official and one local non-elected official.
The recipients this year are state Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris of Collierville and Lisa Geater, chief of staff to Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland. Geater’s award is for her service of 27 years in the Memphis City Council office. She had been the administrator, or the person who runs that office, for 20 of those years.

Here’s a sentence we don’t think we’ve ever written before: a superhero/supervillain-themed food truck party is set for next week.
The event – on Wednesday, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. – will take place at Memphis Botanic Garden, 750 Cherry Road. There will be live music from Star & Micey and food from Cariflavor, Say Cheese!, Central BBQ, El Mero Taco and MemPops.
Local vendors will have comics and illustrations to take home. In addition to lawn games and other activities, kids can get their faces painted at the Memphis Parent Play Zone.
Tickets, available at the gate, are $5 for Memphis Botanic Garden members and $10 for nonmembers. The cost includes one drink, and a cash bar is available.

Land Use Control Board will review two South Main applications at its Thursday meeting.
Property owner Henry Ellis, of Machine Tools of Memphis Inc., is seeking approvals to pave a vacant lot at 287 S. Front St. Surface parking lots are not permitted within the South Main district unless they are accompanied by a commercial use.
Also, a new homebuilding company, Hamilton & Holliman, will present its proposal for residences at the corner of Carolina Avenue and South Main.
Their development, bearing the address 27 Carolina Ave., includes townhouses, warehouse lofts and shipping-container units across a 1.2-acre parcel.
The meeting begins at 10 a.m. in the Memphis City Council chambers, 125 N. Main St.

In Collierville Friday, leaders break ground on the new $93 million Collierville High School.
With a capacity of 3,000 students, the school will be big enough to be the city’s comprehensive high school. Collierville High has been in a couple of locations in recent years and there had been talk about two high schools in C’ville.
Ultimately, the decision was one high school for the city as a rallying point for the community.

Ruby Bridges-Hall was last in the city in August as one of the recipients of the Freedom Awards given annually by the National Civil Rights Museum.
And she returns Saturday for the Ruby Bridges Reading Festival in the courtyard of the museum.
As a child, Bridges-Hall integrated public schools in New Orleans in 1960. The moment was memorialized in an iconic Norman Rockwell painting. The painting now hangs in The White House. Bridges-Hall is among the many historic figures with a place in the story the museum tells.
These days she has her own foundation and one of its events is a reading festival.
The Memphis festival includes Bridges-Hall, Memphis actress Kathy Bates and others reading to children. Children at the festival also can select one or two books for free. Add food trucks, music and, of course, face painting, and you have the perfect day regardless of the weather.

The folks at the Bikesmith shop are having a grand opening event Saturday for their new pump track at 509 N. Hollywood St.
Owner Jim Steffen and Bikesmith mechanic David Evans have been making plans for the 4,500-square-foot track all winter. A so-called pump track is one on which bicyclists don’t have to pedal – it’s built so that the momentum from gliding along it carries them forward.
The track is also one more element of what Bikesmith wants to be – a community gathering place that sells craft beer and has a mobile component and that has hosted yoga at the shop, among other things.
Saturday’s grand opening runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Memphis Redbirds

The Memphis Redbirds will be in action at AutoZone Park with a 6:35 p.m. game Saturday that includes fireworks afterward. On Sunday, first pitch is a 2:05 p.m. The AutoZone Park box office is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday on non-game days and opens at 10 a.m. on game days. You can also call for tickets at 901-721-6000 or go to for tickets and detailed information about promotions and discounts.

The River Series at Harbor Town is back on Saturday at Harbor Town Amphitheater, 740 Harbor Bend. This benefit for Maria Montessori School will include live music by the original lineup of Greg Cartwright's Reigning Sound, performing for the first time in 10 years, as well as Robby Grant and DJ Hot Tub Eric; food from Miss Cordelia's; and beer from Wiseacre Brewing.
Music by DJ Hot Tub Eric begins when the doors open at 6 p.m., Robby Grant plays at 7 p.m. and Reigning Sound hits the stage at 8 p.m. A $5 minimum donation is requested at the door. 901-527-3444,

Also on Saturday, check out “Pairings.” Craft beer meets craft dance at this Ballet Memphis fundraiser, where Memphis's local brew scene provides inspiration for aspiring young artists. Each beer tasting is paired with a creative, contemporary, new short dance work on the site of Ballet Memphis's future home. Begins at 7 p.m. at the corner of Madison & Cooper, 901-737-7322,

The Daily News staff compiles The Week Ahead for you, our readers, every week. You'll receive it as part of our Monday online edition. Email associate editor Kate Simone at if you have items for consideration.