After 27 years of Memphis Italian Festival, the gravy still stands alone

Jun 01, 2016 2025

Come Thursday, East Memphis will host its own version of Smoke on the River. Call it Pasta in the Park, Gravy in the Grove or, officially, Memphis Italian Festival. As they've done since 1989, folks will gather to show off their heritage through their food, and some fun will be had along the way.

They'll compete in homemade wine. They'll compete for best powder room by decorating their portable toilets. Just after the festival gets underway, they'll start the competition with Best Happy Hour. "That's one of our newest categories, and it is so much fun," said Vickie Ranson, who with her husband, Richard, oversees the cooking teams and judging. "People get so creative with that."

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