For the fourth race on its 2012 tour, the American Drag Racing League returns to Gateway Motorsports Park's 1/8-mile drag strip for the first time since 2010. Piloting dragsters separated into seven all-professional racing classes, from Top Sportsman to Pro Extreme, drivers rocket down the track so quickly that they finish each race younger than when they began. The SuperCar Showdown—a new feature on the 2012 circuit—pits the latest consumer automobiles against one another in no-holds-barred drag race free from the usual handicaps, performance restrictions, and rules against fiddling with rival drivers' preset radio stations. After reopening under the helm of former Indy driver Curtis Francois, Gateway Motorsports Park has stepped up its devotion to motorsports of all kinds, looking beyond the drag strip to fill its amphitheater-style seats with fans of everything from hot rods to world-class stock cars.
The interactive exhibits and programs compiled by the Pink Palace Family of Museums reinforce a mission that has stayed constant for 80 years: to "inspire people to learn how history, science, technology, and nature shape the Mid-South." Attached to Clarence Saunders' mansion built in the 1920s, the museum's permanent exhibits take an eclectic approach to chronicling the past, revealing everything from ancient fossils to contemporary southern history. Inside, visitors can chart the history of Memphis from the early Spanish explorers through the Civil War or walk through a replica of Saunders' original Piggly Wiggly—the country’s first self-service grocery store, and even see a shrunken head. Global adventures are chronicled on a four-story screen at the CTI-IMAX theater, and the Sharpe Planetarium explores the cosmos from the comfort of a 130-seat theater.
Traveling to east Memphis, one can discern the natural side of the Pink Palace Family of Museums. Lichterman Nature Center encompasses 65 acres of lush gardens filled with native wildflowers, trees, and wildlife. The center combines self-guided nature walks with plant sales and educational activities to expose visitors to the natural world.
After moving from Vancouver to Memphis in 2001, the Grizzlies have established themselves as one of the NBA's perennial playoff threats, making the postseason five times since 2004. Competing in the Southwest Division of the Western Conference,
Now in its 54th year, this year’s FedEx St. Jude Classic marks the return of defending champion Lee Westwood, who will stride over the scenic knolls in defense of his No. 1 world ranking, turning sand traps into four-star sand hotels in his wake. The roster of players also includes celebs from other areas of expertise, including Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, who plays on June 8. All stick-swingers will test their mettle against the challenging terrain of TPC Southwind, ranked among 2007's Toughest Courses by the PGA TOUR for its deceptively tricky holes and distracting natural splendor. Proceeds from the tournament benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, which works to fight common childhood cancers.
The Memphis Symphony Orchestra has been breaking strings and the hearts of screaming fans since its inception in 1952. Three of the four scheduled performances will resonate throughout the elegantly crafted Cannon Center. The architecturally stunning venue will host Mozart's Requiem in a performance guest-conducted by Ward Stare and dedicated to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The Requiem, a piece written in Mozart's last days, will run on April 10 at 8 p.m. at the Cannon Center. On April 11, the intimate 900-seat Germantown Performing Arts Centre will host a matinee encore of Mozart's Requiem at 2:30 p.m.
Dugout box seats put you close enough to the base-based action to smell the fresh grass and hear a position player wonder if he turned the oven off. Watch the game unfold from a perspective not normally glimpsed on television and appreciate the geometry and sports dynamics as they play out before you and a friend or family member. An affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals, the Memphis Redbirds were the 2009 PCL champions and are within striking distance of first place in the PCL American North Division, so be prepared for finely tuned minor-league action. With its combination of traditional and contemporary architecture, AutoZone Park is frequently lauded for its charming atmosphere and impressive views from throughout the park, including one of the largest scoreboards in minor-league baseball.