CY Festival returns to Midtown as pandemic continues

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Cooper-Young Festival is back in Midtown this weekend and is expected to draw crowds from all across the Mid-South.

One one of the biggest football games of the season for the University of Memphis is also taking place just blocks from the festival.

Over 100,000 people are expected to be in the area this weekend, even as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Preparations for the CY Fest are ramping up, and organizers have implemented several safety precautions to keep guests safe.

Hand sanitizer will be available at most booths and all food areas and concession stands.

Shelby County is under a mask mandate, and masks are recommended. Free masks will be available at all beer booths.

A vaccination clinic will be available near the festival at Bluff City Sports, 769 Cooper St. ShotRx will administer vaccines and boosters, according to a release from the festival.

The first 100 people to get a shot will receive a free t-shirt and poster.

To make the area less crowded, event organizers removed 100 vendors, seven food booths and one stage this year.

Some businesses in Cooper-Young said they decided to close during the festival in other to keep employees safe from COVID-19 infection.

Alchemy Memphis owner Nick Scott said his staff was uncomfortable letting so many people in the restaurant, even though most of the staff is vaccinated.

Scott said he instead plans to sell drinks to-go.

He said even though the festival helps his business financially, he’d rather be safe than sorry.

“The staff was very uncomfortable with letting that many people in the restaurant and being around that many people,” said Alchemy Memphis owner Nick Scott.

The festival runs from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday. Expect road closures and heavy traffic delays in the area.