In 2009, after a series of excessively hot and humid summers, the decision was made to follow the lead of other major cities in the south, including Atlanta and Dallas, and move the celebration to the fall.
Over time, we learned that the weather conditions in late September did not differ significantly from those in early June. With minimal relief from heat and humidity, and with Pride Month gaining more mainstream attention, the board decided the best way to continue expanding the celebrations while still prioritizing safety and comfort of participants was to host the event during the first week of June.
While there are no age restrictions for the open festival area or the Parade, certain areas of the park, like the RedZone and VIP Areas, do require you to be 18+ or 21+
Yes! We love our four legged friends, but sometimes the weather is a little warm, and they will be doing A LOT of walking, so take the recommended precautions to be sure they don’t overheat. (See the ASPCA Hot Weather Safety Tips for Pets) Also, be mindful of other festival-goers and ensure they are on a leash and you clean up behind them.
The parade stage (located near the center of the route adjacent to the VIP viewing area at Beale St. and Rufus Thomas Blvd) is where the biggest thrills happen. It features local celebrity Emcees, a panel of judges and occasional shenanigans and performances by competitive parade participants. Prizes are awarded in 6 categories, including Best Newcomer, Best Walking Group, Best Rolling Group, Best Float, Best Performing Arts Group, and the grand prize, Best in Show. We recommend not to gather too close to the step-off point (4th & Beale Street).
Memphis began celebrating Pride nearly a half-century ago. The first Pride celebration on record was in the early 70’s. For the full story, read The History of Pride in Memphis.
Yes, Memphis has 2 Pride Flags, each with a story to tell. The official Memphis Flag is known as the “Founder’s Flag” in honor of Mid-South Pride’s founder, Gary Wilkerson (1962-2007). The second flag is the “Sea-to-Sea Flag”, which was gifted to Mid-South Pride by Gilbert Baker (1951-2017), the actual designer of the original Rainbow Flag we all know today.
The Sea-to-Sea flag has a unique feature that makes it easy to distinguish from the Memphis Pride Flag. For the full story, read The History of Pride in Memphis.
Visit midsouthpride.org/participate – there you will find information on ways to participate, including Sponsorship, Vendor & Parade Entry, VIP Access Passes, Volunteer Opportunities and more!
Absolutely! And we are grateful for every penny! Your one-time or monthly donation will help Memphis Pride Fest continue to flourish , improve and serve the community in specific ways. Click Here to Learn More
Visit our Sponsorship Options Page for more information on sponsorship opportunities and links to register.
Another benefit is that it allows our community the opportunity to celebrate Pride all over – by hosting Memphis Pride Fest in September, it gives everyone the chance to visit other festivals without having to miss their hometown celebration.
Vendor space sells out quickly, sometimes a month or more in advance, so we recommend registering at least 30 days before the event, if not sooner. Click Here to Register
Vendors may start setting up at 7:00am the day of the festival, but all cars must be off the grounds by 9:00am. Due to the safety of festival-goers, we ask that no cars are brought on the park grounds to load out until 5:00pm
Should you need to set up earlier than the posted time, please contact us to make arrangements.
Booth locations are typically sent out 2 to 3 weeks in advance. Please do not be alarmed if you do not receive information by then – our layout can change until the last minute to accommodate everyone looking to participate. As the festival grows closer, we will post this and other information on our website. See the Vendor Setup Instructions page and review it for last minute changes a day or two before the event.
For Parade Entries
We accept parade entries until we reach capacity (About 120 units), or approximately 10 days prior to the event (Whichever comes first). We may however take last minute entries under some circumstances. For more information, contact us.
Usually the parade steps off at 1pm, but check the Parade Lineup & Instructions in case there are last-minute changes.
While the parade route varies from year to year, it is typically less than a half mile. See the Parade Lineup once it’s posted for a better estimate.
Parade winners are announced from the main stage at the festival about an hour or so after the parade ends. Trophies will be ready sixty days after the parade. (Please ensure that you leave proper contact information so we can get the awards to you.)