Not Going to MusicFest? Don't Despair. There's Plenty to Do.


Maybe you've decided you can't afford to shell out the dough for a Beale Street Music Fest ticket this year. Or maybe you don't like the crowds or you just hate Fergie. That's okay, 100,000 hardy souls will cover for you.

Besides, theres still plenty going on this weekend. (And hey, by skipping Music Fest, you won't have to worry about washing mud out of your hair.)

If you're itching to celebrate Memphis in May's honored country, head to Artists on Central tonight for the opening of "Turkish Delights," a show featuring Turkish-themed work by 20 local artists. The reception runs from 5 to 8 p.m.

Bluegrass musicians hold their version of Music Fest Friday through Saturday at the Bartlett Performing Arts Center. The annual outdoor Pickin' Picnic Bluegrass Festival features numerous bluegrass performances and a special show by Chris Hillman and Herb Pedersen.

Aspiring blacksmiths should rise early on Saturday for artist John Golightly's metal-working tutorial. Golightly will demonstrate on a handcrafted fence along the Black Bayou on Goodman Street in the Normal Station neighborhood. The workshop runs from 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Athletic types will be out on the Mississippi River Saturday morning for the annual Outdoors Inc. Canoe and Kayak Race. The popular event draws over 500 paddlers from around the world. Race begins at 10 a.m.

Or you can opt for the worldly sounds of Chic Gamine at the Buckman Performing and Fine Arts Center on Saturday night. The five-member Canadian group plays a hodge-podge of music from Brazil, Croatia, India, Poland, and numerous other countries.

Artists and musicians will be throwing down indoor-style at the Marshall Arts Gallery Saturday night for Merge:Experience, an arts party featuring work by Lori Butler, Anthony D. Lee, Carlos McClinton, and others. There's also a fashion show, with designs by Keyanna Sawyer and Patrick Henry. Indie rockers Chess Club will provide entertainment.

--Bianca Phillips

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