MPD preps for Beale Street crowds for Memorial Day celebrations

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Do you have plans for Memorial Day weekend?

If you are thinking about heading to Beale Street pack your patience. Police expect it to be flooded with people.

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In recent weeks there have been reports of shootings downtown. Police said to keep people safe there will be a heavy police presence.

“Like many people with COVID ending and we’re all vaccinated, we just wanted to go anywhere,” said Mary Semancik, Tourist.

So Semancik and her husband packed their bags and traveled from Kentucky to the Bluff City.

“Everyone is so friendly, helpful, offering directions, although it’s easy to get around here, and we toured Graceland,” said Semancik.

The Memphis Police Department has geared up for thousands of people to flood downtown to celebrate Memorial Day weekend and cheer on the Grizzlies Saturday night.

“After this hibernation of COVID, there are a lot of people that are sprouting like butterflies. There are a lot of people out, and they’re all over the place,” said Col. Joseph Smith, Memphis Police Dept.

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To keep people safe, Memphis Police Colonel Joseph Smith said there will be a large police presence downtown.

“We always have a large contingent for Beale Street and the downtown area,” said Smith.

Smith also encouraged people to pay attention to their surroundings.

“Stay in groups. If you have a couple people with you, you will be less likely to be approached by someone there to cause you problems. Go have a good time,” said Smith.

Police said the biggest issue will most likely be traffic and parking Saturday.

Also, parts of Fourth Street and BB King will be blocked off to traffic Saturday because of a run scheduled.