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The Memphis in May International Festival salutes Panama

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Are you ready to party! If so, this writer hopes to see you at the 2014 Memphis in May Festival in Memphis, Tennessee. The festivities begin at Tom Lee Park, located downtown on the banks of the mighty Mississippi River on May 2 and runs through May 24, 2014, with additional locations involved.

This year's Memphis in May showcases and honors the Republic of Panama as its International pick for this celebration. Memphis in May has become synonymous with the city of Memphis itself, just as Mardi Gras and the Jazz Festival are to New Orleans and the Blues Festival is to Chicago.

The Beale Street Music Festival starts the party with three days of music on four different stages and runs from May 2-May 4. Next comes the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest on May 15-17. As the city's biggest celebration nears its end, you don't want to miss the music of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and fireworks display at the Sunset Symphony on May 24.

There are other activities to keep you busy from May 2 to May 24, so don't worry about running out of things to do. Single day tickets are available to each event, plus some events offer three-day passes. For complete ticket information and other event details, visit Memphis in May.

One special event, "Viva Panama" will be held at the Orpheum Theatre, where Panamanian Jazz great and Grammy Award winner Danilo Perez will perform songs from his new album, "Panama 500." This music will tell the story of Panama and 500 years of its history. Opening for Perez will be a Panamanian dance troupe performing traditional Panamanian dances of authentic folklore. You will be able to get a taste of Panama at intermission, when you can sample Panamanian cuisine created by Chef Charlie Collins.

Tickets for Viva Panama are available online at the Orpheum Theatre, by phone at the box office (901) 524-3000 or at Ticketmaster. Viva Panama will open Thursday, May 8, 2014 at 7:30 PM. The Orpheum Theatre is located at 203 South Main Street Memphis, Tenn. 38103.

Please continue to watch for Examiner articles by Gerry Glenn Jones that cover the performing arts in the Memphis metropolitan area, as well as surrounding venues. Click on the subscribe link near the top of this page and you will be notified by email each time a new article is published. Also, remember they are free. Please share this information with friends and family, and "Let's support the Memphis Metropolitan Performing Arts."

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