THERE’S A PARTY DOWNTOWN IN MEMPHIS
You know the bit about the Mississippi Delta beginning in the lobby of The Peabody Memphis. And many agree that the view from the lobby – of the architecture; the décor; that floral arrangement that’s always fresh and must weigh a half-ton; the global parade of people (and ducks) marching through – is a scene to behold. This time of year, there’s a second scene for you to slip into: The Peabody Hotel Rooftop Parties. (And, just across the street, AutoZone Park throws block parties and other wave-worthy promos all season long – more on that in a bit.)
Up on the roof
The Peabody Hotel Rooftop Parties are thoroughly modern these days, but there’s a sense of tradition in all things at this landmark you just can’t shake (no matter how hard you’re dancing). The Rooftop Parties date to 1939 when “Sunset Serenades” occupied a supper club on the east end of the hotel roof. Big names, including Tommy Dorsey, performed.
This season, you’ll hear a mix of international to local pop, rock, dance, funk and cover acts (Canadian crush Carly Rae Jepsen opened the season on April 11; Nashville’s Hot Chelle Rae performs April 18; American Idol’s Stefano Langone guests May 2). The parties happen every Thursday night from 6-11 p.m. through Aug. 15. From the lobby of The Peabody, hit the elevators and head all the way up – and keep these party tips in mind:
- Admission to The Peabody Rooftop Parties is $10 ($15 on April 18), which includes one free drink. Ladies and hotel guests get in free until 7 p.m.
- If you think you’ll return often, purchase a VIP pass when you reach the roof. The pass includes admission to all parties (with one free drink at each); access to the rooftop VIP lounge; discounts on Peabody merchandise and dining; valet parking – and an express elevator ride to the roof ($125 for the season).
- If you’ll be in Memphis July 4, plan to be here that evening – the Rooftop Party will offer a choice view (and vibe) as fireworks flash over the city.
- Love a freebie? Select Friday and Saturday evenings (4:30-8:30 p.m.) from Memorial Day through Labor Day, The Peabody hosts Sunset Happy Hours on its roof. You’ll pay for your drinks, but admission and the views are free. Call the hotel (901-529-4000) to confirm dates.
Down on the block
Back on the ground, just across Union Avenue from The Peabody, a season-long celebration underscores the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds baseball season, which opened April 4. You can view the full promo calendar here (hint: there’s a discount or giveaway available nearly every home game), but note my best bets:
- At Tuesday home games, you’ll find select two-for-one ticket specials and hot dogs, sodas and popcorn for $2 each (on “Wet Your Whistle” Wednesdays, $10 gets you a Field Box ticket, one 16 oz. PBR and a PBR koozie, provided you’re at least 21).
- Warm up for a Friday home game at a Redbirds block party. Gates open at 5 p.m.; expect beer specials and live music until 7 at these family-friendly gatherings on AutoZone Park’s pretty plaza. The next block party is scheduled for May 10.
- Saturdays are for fireworks. Displays cap Saturday home games and create the city’s largest July 4th show, Red, White & Boom.
- Sundays, select players will sign autographs for 30 minutes after gates open. Stay ‘til the end of the game, when kids get to run the bases and high-five Rockey, the Redbirds’ mascot.
What’s your favorite party this time of year in downtown Memphis?