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VOL. 131 | NO. 207 | Monday, October 17, 2016

The Week Ahead: October 17-23

By Kate Simone

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This will be a historic week for Memphis, so mark your calendar for Saturday, Oct. 22, when a boardwalk across the Harahan Bridge opens to the public that will give Memphians and visitors alike an intimate experience with the Mighty Mississippi. The Big River Crossing also will link Memphis to West Memphis, Arkansas, and provide bicycle enthusiasts miles of trails along the river levee that will be unique in the world. There’s only one Mississippi River, the world’s second-largest inland waterway, and there’s only one Memphis! This crossing will be an unmatched amenity for the city for years to come.   

It’s just part of a very busy Saturday Downtown, specifically on the south end of Downtown. The centerpiece 1 p.m. opening of Big River Crossing, a nearly one-mile pedestrian and bicycle boardwalk across the Mississippi on the northern side of the Harahan Bridge, will include parties on both ends of the boardwalk, with food trucks and live music in Martyr’s Park on the Memphis side. On the West Memphis landing there will also be food tents and live music.
And Union Pacific railroad, which owns the bridge itself, is bringing its “Living Legend” No. 844 steam locomotive to town for the event. It is the last steam engine built for Union Pacific in 1944. The locomotive was recently restored, a process that took three years.
There is also a 7 p.m. debut of the LED lighting system for the crossing that includes a fireworks display.

Meanwhile, Saturday is Day Two of the three-day RiverArts Festival in the South Main Historic Arts District that opens Friday evening with The Rockin’ RiverArts Show & Artists Market Preview, featuring Squirrel Nut Zippers.
The festival known for being a place to not only browse, but also talk to the artists. The demonstrations on Saturday and Sunday range from papermaking to wheel pottery to metal sculpture. And there is an interactive art center for children to create their own art. More than 180 fine artists from around the country will gather on South Main between Huling and Webster, riverartsmemphis.org.

The other big event Downtown Saturday – actually Friday and Saturday – is the St. Jude Ride Memphis at Tom Lee Park. The St. Jude fundraiser includes six-hour and a 24-hour bicycle relay races.

Military veterans across Tennessee have a chance to land a job Tuesday at the state’s largest one-day hiring event. Paychecks for Patriots will give Tennessee veterans and their family members a chance to meet with more than three dozen employers, many of which will be conducting on-site interviews and hiring on the spot.
Attendees should dress for an interview and bring resumes to leave with potential employers. Job seekers can pre-register online at tn.gov/paychecks4patriots, or they can register at the door.

In other matters this week, the Shelby County Commission meets Monday at 3 p.m. and Tuesday, it is the Memphis City Council’s turn at 3:30 p.m. at City Hall, with committee sessions starting at 8:30 that morning.

Early voting in advance of the Nov. 8 election day begins Wednesday at 21 locations across Shelby County. See shelbyvote.com, the website of the Shelby County Election Commission, for the locations and hours. You can vote at any of the early voting locations no matter where you live and have the district races that apply to you on your ballot. That’s right – there are other races on the ballot aside from the presidential general election. The Tennessee ballot also features nine presidential tickets including the Democratic and Republican contenders you might have been following or seen a few items about.
The presidential general election is the most popular election cycle in Shelby County in terms of voter turnout. It is the only election cycle that regularly draws more than half of the registered voters in the county.
We will be following the early voter turnout on a daily basis, with stories and updates @tdnpols, twitter.com/tdnpols. But it will be a bit more difficult to read the tea leaves on who benefits from the turnout.

The National Civil Rights Museum honors seven recipients at its annual Freedom Award ceremony Thursday with several events, including a student forum that morning at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church and a banquet that evening at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts. This is the 25th anniversary of the awards as well as the museum.
This year’s seven recipients are: Yemeni journalist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Tawakkol Karman; civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump; federal appeals court judge Damon Keith; WNBA player Swin Cash; former Mississippi Gov. William Winter; social justice activist Bryan Stevenson; and journalist Soledad O’Brien.

For all those people who never travel far without a little Big Star, a bash set for Thursday at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art will be right up your alley.
It will celebrate the release of “Isolated in the Light,” a limited-edition book of photography focused on the iconic Memphis power pop group. The event, kicking off at 5:30 p.m., will include representatives of First Third Books, Big Star drummer Jody Stephens and selected photographers.
The book’s release coincides with the 50th anniversary of Ardent Studios, the label and recording studio that Big Star called home. It also comes just days after the reissue of Big Star’s enigmatic “Third” record, a set of 69 tracks on 3 CDs as well as digital that includes every demo, rough mix, outtake, alternative take and final master known to exist from the sessions for Big Star’s final album. 

Also on Thursday, Project Homeless Connect Memphis will hold a citywide effort to provide necessary services to homeless and disadvantaged individuals – vital resources that include health evaluations, referrals, counseling, donated goods, screenings and legal assistance. It is  organized by Community Alliance for the Homeless. Event runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Cook Convention Center, 901-527-1302, cafth.org.

Anyone wanting to take a break from enjoying the sights and sounds of Overton Square can enjoy the history of some of those sights and sounds on Sunday.
Historian and tour guide Jimmy Ogle will host a tour focused on the history of Overton Square – spanning its 20th-century roots to the district’s 1970s revival, decline and rebirth in 2014.
The tour departs Sunday at 4:30 p.m. from the Gyroscopic Sculpture at the corner of Madison and Cooper. It’s free to attend, but the tour is limited to 20 participants.

And the Fall Book Sale at Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library will be held Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. There are books, magazines, CDs, DVDs, and sheet music — all priced to move at $2 and less. Contacts are 901-415-2700, or memphislibrary.org for more information.

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 ksimone@memphisdailynews.com if you have items for consideration.

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