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Memphis Moments

A Day of Merrymaking

Indie Memphis Film Festival Preview Party

Japan Festival

 

Mad Hatter's Tea Party

Mistletoe Merchants

Wine on the River


Stories and Photos by Emily Adams Keplinger, Virginia M. Davis and Gaye Swan.

 
 

A Day of Merrymaking

Benefiting Overton Park Conservancy

Overton Park Conservancy recently hosted A Day of Merrymaking to draw people to the Greensward at Overton Park. “The area was designed by George Kessler in 1901 as a place for people to play, explore, and enjoy the beauty of open fields and ancient forest,” explained Tina Sullivan, executive director of the conservancy. The event drew a large crowd who enjoyed live performances ranging from Overton High School Concert Band’s tribute to Stevie Wonder, to the original choreography of Company d, to the reggae rock of Chinese Connection Dub Embassy. There was also a dance performance by Danza Azteca Quetzalcoatl de Memphis showcasing pre-Hispanic dance and music.  Food trucks offered their fare, Memphis Made Brewing was on tap, and Echo Systems sponsored the beer garden. The Hollywood Feed Spooktacular featured dogs in the finest of Halloween fashions. There were hula hoops, inflatables and bungie jumps for those who dared and vendor booths with artisans and educational information. 

 

 
 

Indie Memphis Film Festival Preview Party

Lovers of Film Get Their Fill 

Indie Memphis threw a huge party at the Rec Room to preview its 2018 Film Festival. Early arrivals got dibs on the best seats, comfy sofas set right below four large screens. By the time film trailers started rolling the room was packed with guests eager to view the 34 entries on the playlist. The festival annually draws a broad range of independent features, documentaries and short films from around the country, with daily screenings at local venues. Also slated are social events, a forum and an awards ceremony for films entered in several competition categories. The event was presented by Duncan-Williams Inc. with support provided by more than 50 sponsoring organizations and individuals. Indie Memphis is a nonprofit arts association with a two-fold mission to create community through independent film and support development of filmmakers.

     
 

Japan Festival

A Celebration of Japanese Culture

The Memphis Japan Festival brought a taste of authentic Japanese culture to Memphis. Featuring contemporary and traditional touches, the event at Memphis Botanic Garden was family friendly and interactive. Children enjoyed bouncy houses, face painting, and a family circus. The wandering Japanese “candyman” was a hit with all ages, as were the martial arts demonstrations and music and dance performances. Food trucks offering sushi, ices, and other treats lined the festival grounds. Vendors were on hand with bead art, anime, artisan soaps, clothing and more. Guests enjoyed access to the Botanic Garden and their outdoor exhibition, Origami in the Garden, as well as tours of the Japanese Garden of Tranquility. The event was sponsored and co-hosted by the Japan-America Society of Tennessee and the Consulate General of Japan in Nashville.

     
 

Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

Benefiting the Woodruff-Fontaine House

The diminutive Gingerbread House (also known as the Handwerker Cottage), located in the garden behind the Woodruff-Fontaine House in Victorian Village, offered a fairytale-style location for a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. The charming fundraiser was chaired by Joelle Pittman, a board member of the APTA (Association for the Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities). Guests were invited to take “a trip down the rabbit hole” for a tea party. The Alice in Wonderland-themed event included unicorn cheesecakes from Chef Josh at Strano, cake batter cookies, miniature cupcakes on individual serving stands tagged with the words “Eat Me” and a Funfetti cake with icing resembling blue roses. Water bottles marked with “Drink Me” were given to guests and additional beverages included Prosecco served in tea cups. A scavenger hunt through the house museum, and lawn games such as croquet, lawn chess, and lawn bowling provided entertainment options for the afternoon.

 

Mistletoe Merchants 

Shop, Sip and Be Merry

The Agricenter International was transformed into a shopping destination when more than 200 merchants set up booths at the 15th annual Mistletoe Merchants event. From women’s and children’s boutique items to home and holiday decor, gourmet foods, toys, and fashion accessories, there was something for everyone. Even Santa Claus joined the festivities and was on hand to visit with little children. “This year we hosted several signature events; Margaritas & Mistletoe with signature glasses, Muffins & Mimosas, and Cupcakes & Cocktails,” said Kristi Rowan, co-founder of Mistletoe Merchants, along with her husband Brian. “Also, we had market totes for the first 100 people at each of these special events. And in addition to helping shoppers complete their holiday shopping lists, we had a silent auction of more than 200 gifts donated by our merchants, with all of the auction proceeds benefiting the National Kidney Foundation of West Tennessee.”

 

Wine on the River

Cheers to Best Buddies

The sunset glow viewed from the banks of the Mississippi River at Downtown Memphis is a fine experience as autumn light tilts southward. One of the best views is from Mud Island River Park across the Wolf River Harbor from Downtown’s North End. The park was the setting for the annual Phillip R. Bowden M.D. Wine on the River, a fundraiser for Best Buddies. Hundreds of guests promenaded along the park’s walkways as they sampled wines and other beverages from regions around the globe. The event also featured live musical entertainment and food. Wine and spirits were provided by West Tennessee Crown Distributing Co. Best Buddies International is a nonprofit organization that works to create opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.