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VOL. 132 | NO. 91 | Monday, May 8, 2017

The Week Ahead: May 8-14

Daily News staff

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Happy Monday, Memphis! Festival season rolls on this week with plenty of reasons to get outside, celebrate and … well, be festive. Plus, we’ve got details on a couple of great concerts to check out and the (completely unrelated) reason you might hear drumming around Mud Island in The Week Ahead…

Starting Monday you won’t find the trolley buses on the Main Street Mall any more. They will be on Front and Second streets. Meanwhile, the mall itself will be getting some repairs to the pavings stones and other parts of the rail infrastructure in anticipation of the return of the trolleys to the rails.

(By musicisentropy [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons)

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers play FedExForum Monday on a national tour marking 40 years for the band. The band made its first Memphis appearance a bit later, Sept. 19, 1978, at The Orpheum with Walter Egan opening, according to “Memphis Rocks” by Ron Hall. This time around, Joe Walsh is opening the Memphis date.

Almost four years after his death, Bobby Blue Bland gets a statue and a tribute concert this week. The statue is unveiled Friday at 11 a.m. at the corner of South Main Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue just around the corner from Beale Street, where Robert Calvin Bland became Bobby Blue Bland. The tribute concert that evening is at B.B. King’s, another blues legend who also got his start on Beale at the amateur night contests there.

The ninth Huey’s restaurant opens Monday in Millington at 8570 U.S. 51, making it the northernmost of the Memphis chain, which began in 1970 with a single location in Midtown and featured the then-bothersome toothpicks in the ceiling and occasional but witty – and even sophisticated – graffiti.

The annual Dragon Boat Races, a fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital hosted by Duncan-Williams Inc., are Saturday morning on the riverfront at Mud Island River Park. There are three heats on the 300-meter course with four lanes. The 42-foot-long boats feature 20 paddlers, one steerer and the all-important drummer. The drummer must be in sync with the lead paddlers and sits at the bow facing the crew. Some training goes into this in the week leading up to the event. So if you come by the river this week for RiverPlay or just to see the river rising and you hear drums... now you know.

Meanwhile, the Latino Memphis Festival is Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Overton Park Greensward. This year, the annual event will honor the country of Colombia, which is also the honored country for the Memphis in May International Festival. The Latino Memphis Festival features Futboleros, the “Harlem Globetrotters of Soccer,” and salsa dancing lessons for children and adults. Also Zumbathon, which, as it turns out, was invented in Colombia – Zumba, not the thon. The festival grounds include an outdoor marketplace, a Fiesta 5K through the Old Forest and the Memphis Salsa-Making Championship.

Speaking of festivals… the Memphis Greek Festival returns Friday and Saturday – Opa! Greek food, music, dancing, marketplace, kids’ activities, a food drive-thru and church tours are all part of the festivities. The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. both days at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 573 N. Highland St.

And the Dog-A-Roo Festival and 4K presented by Memphis Veterinary Specialists will be held at the Outback Off-Leash Dog Park at Shelby Farms Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The pup-friendly festival will offer a wide range of activities, including a talent and costume contest, rescue parades, the Four-Legged 4K Fun Run, gourmet pet treats, pet specialist information sessions and more.
For admission, a $5 donation to the Shelby Farms Park Conservancy will be collected from each car, but pre-registered Four-Legged 4K participants will be able to park for free.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has a busy Saturday in the city, speaking at the commencement ceremonies for both Christian Brothers University and Southwest Tennessee Community College at FedExForum.

Shelby County Schools leaders meet the public Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Shelby County Board of Education, 160 S. Hollywood St., for a budget hearing. The school system’s finances have stabilized after several years of historic change for the public school district and a year after SCS leaders successfully campaigned for more funding from Shelby County government. At this town hall meeting, superintendent Dorsey Hopson will lay out plans to add programs in schools and start to upgrade the conditions at some schools that otherwise would be closed. And don’t be surprised if he fields a few questions about the Germantown schools deal as well.

Flying Saucer Draught Emporium is continuing its monthlong collaboration with Pints for Prostates to raise prostate cancer awareness, culminating in a drawing for a beer trip for two to the Great British Beer Festival. During the month of May, Flying Saucer customers can buy raffle tickets at any location. Tickets are $10 each, $25 for three or $50 for seven. Each Flying Saucer also will host beer-themed events all month to help raise money. To date, the family of pubs has donated more than $130,000 to the cause. This year, Flying Saucer wants to raise $35,000 between all locations.

The Memphis Redbirds begin a homestand with a 7:05 p.m. game Thursday, another on Friday, and a 6:35 p.m. start Saturday. For Sunday’s 2:05 p.m. game, patrons can purchase a Mother’s Day package that includes a brunch and the opportunity for mom to play catch on the field and/or run the bases. The specialty tickets are $35 per person and space is limited. Tickets can be purchased here, at the AutoZone Park Box Office or via phone at 901-721-6000.

Overton Square and WKNO 91.1 FM Memphis will bring the world-renowned IRIS Orchestra to the Tower Courtyard for a spring concert on Saturday. The string quintet will provide a kid-friendly and interactive introduction to classical music, with artists from Vivaldi to Justin Timberlake. There will also be outdoor games, face painting, a photo booth, complimentary balloons and bubbles for the kids, and a Mother's Day card craft station from The Art Project Memphis. The IRIS concert is free and open to the public.

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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