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VOL. 132 | NO. 86 | Monday, May 1, 2017

The Week Ahead: May 1-7

Daily News staff

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Happy Monday, Memphis! May has arrived, which means it’s time to kick off the Memphis in May International Festival with the always-popular Beale Street Music Festival – and that’s just one of the events music lovers will enjoy this week. Plus, check out where to celebrate Star Wars fans’ favorite holiday and other happenings you need to know about in The Week Ahead... 

For those of you who don’t understand what’s happening when you’re greeted Thursday with encouragements of “May the Fourth be with You” – well, first of all, ask yourself why you’re not a fan of joy or pop culture. It’s that time again... time to celebrate all the things related to a certain geeky galaxy far, far away.
Head on over to Rec Room Thursday, Star Wars fans, for a celebration of the franchise. It runs from 4 p.m. to midnight at 3000 Broad Ave. and will include a movie marathon on giant screens, special Star Wars-themed drinks and Star Wars video games available to play.

The force will also be strong Thursday at Cooper-Young’s Two Rivers Bookstore, 2172 Young Ave. Patrons dressed in Star Wars cosplay or a Star Wars T-shirt will get 15 percent off anything in the store. Two Rivers – which is Memphis’ only dedicated sci-fi and fantasy bookstore – also will offer a newly expanded selection of Star Wars gifts and both new and old Star Wars books.

Nothing says brunch in the Big Easy like beignets and mimosa, and on Saturday, Memphians can get a taste of New Orleans life at Café du Memphis at the Park. The annual NOLA-themed party will be held at Overton Park from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and will benefit the Dorothy Day House of Hospitality. In addition to the beignets and mimosa, other classics like café au lait and shrimp and grits will be served.

Get ready to rock out at the Beale Street Music Festival, which runs Friday through Sunday in Tom Lee Park. The annual kickoff to the Memphis in May International Festival features three main stages, a blues tent and dozens of diverse artists from A (Ani DiFranco) to Z (Ziggy Marley).

Dixon Gallery & Gardens is hosting Symphony in the Gardens, an evening of big band music performed by the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Saturday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Advanced tickets to the event at 4339 Park Ave. are $15 for symphony subscribers, $7 for children, and $20 for nonsubscribers and any tickets purchased on the day of the event. Tables and picnic-area seating are available.

Joe Walsh once lived in Memphis, making a few albums here after his time with the Eagles, before the reunions and regroupings. And he still comes through here kind of frequently. He’ll be playing a show Saturday in the Guest House at Graceland’s theater, and on Sunday, he’ll be opening for Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers at FedExForum.

The Memphis Redbirds wrap up a five-game homestand with an 11:05 a.m. game on Monday vs. Round Rock. Go ahead, skip out of the first day of the work week for a three-hour lunch. Hot dogs. Beer. And Babe Ruth would approve because it’s America’s pastime and, well, because it’s hot dogs and beer.

For college baseball action, check out University of Memphis baseball playing the Cincinnati Bearcats in a three-game American Athletic Conference series at FedExPark. First pitch Friday is 6:30 p.m. with game times of 2 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.

Organic vegetarian restaurant Mama Gaia is donating 20 percent of its sales Monday to its Crosstown Concourse neighbor Church Health. That’s also the first day the restaurant will open at 7 a.m. on weekdays to serve breakfast – think oatmeal, parfaits, cold-pressed juices, smoothies, organic coffee, etc.

Hear ye, Hear ye: The Memphis City Council opens hearings on Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland’s budget proposals – operating and capital – Tuesday afternoon at City Hall with the first of two days of hearings on the capital budget. The council’s budget committee will spend most of its time on the $680 million operating budget starting Thursday and running through May 30.

Shelby County Commissioners, meanwhile, are starting their own budget process with a summit Saturday at the Shelby Farms Park FedEx Event Center overlooking Hyde Lake. While the city council’s committee room does feature lovely artwork and past Memphis in May posters, we think the commission wins in the scenery department.

Early voting opens Friday in the second in a series of special elections on the local political scene to fill unexpected vacancies in the Shelby County body politic. In this case, it is a vacancy on the Lakeland board of commissioners. Ordinarily the group would appoint someone to serve until the next regular election. But Lakeland has another rule that requires a special election if more than one seat on a board is vacant … and that’s the case here. The contenders are Maurice Denbow, Billy C. Rodgers Jr. and Wesley Alan Wright. Election day in Lakeland is May 25. DEMOCRACY.

The Lantern Light Festival is extending its Memphis run at Agricenter International – meaning you have a few more chances to take in this celebration of Chinese culture that features massive hand-built lanterns, Chinese acrobats, dragon rides, a Forbidden City maze and plenty of other activities, plus authentic Chinese cuisine and more. 
The festival is open Thursdays through Sundays until May 21, with the gates opening at 6 p.m. each night.

Find out how to keep your portfolio at The Daily News’ Money & Markets Seminar, where financial experts will be sharing investment strategies to take advantage of the bullish stock markets while also providing protection from potential volatility. Thursday’s seminar starts at 3:30 p.m. at Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, 1934 Poplar Ave.

The Professional Network on Aging’s 2017 Senior Expo is Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Agricenter International, 7777 Walnut Grove Road. Many vendors will be on site promoting services, programs and goods tailored specifically to the senior market.

Weekends start on Thursday nights through Aug. 17, with hot bands, cool drinks, and sky-high views of sunsets on the Mississippi River. Yes, it’s The Peabody Rooftop Party series, running from 6 to 10 p.m. every Thursday.

The Courtyard at Overton Square gets chalked in the annual Chalk The Courtyard event Sunday from 10 a.m. to noon. The event is a fundraiser for Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital art therapy programs. There is complimentary chalk provided by the Art Project and your donations to the Le Bonheur cause can include art supplies as well as Play-Doh, colored pencils, adult coloring books and art kits because art heals.

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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