Carnival Memphis

(redirected from Memphis Cotton Carnival)

Carnival Memphis

May-June
Carnival celebrations in Memphis, Tennessee, take the form of parties sponsored by the city's "krewes" (private social clubs) throughout the spring. Each Krewe's "king," "queen," and other royal officers are selected each year and preside over some of these functions, the most important of which take place in May and June. Once composed of two separate events—the "Cotton Carnival" attended primarily by whites and the "Cotton Maker's Jubilee" attended primarily by blacks—the event has become slightly more integrated in recent decades. In the one major event open to the public, the Carnival parade, royalty from both black and white clubs ride through the streets together.
Cotton has been an important crop to the people of Memphis since before the Civil War, when the city served as the largest inland port and cotton market in the American South. The Cotton Festival began in 1931—a faint echo of the city's long abandoned Mardi Gras celebrations—as a means of cheering up the populace during the Depression. The Cotton Maker's Jubilee got its start in 1935. Cotton remains an important aspect of the city's economy, as Memphis continues to serve as one of the world's largest cotton markets.
CONTACTS:
Carnival Memphis
1060 Early Maxwell Blvd.
Memphis, TN 38104
901-278-0243; fax: 901-278-0271
www.carnivalmemphis.org
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For years, Angel has been connected with Carnival Memphis, formerly known as the Memphis Cotton Carnival.
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