By Joshua Bursi

As it prepares to mark a milestone anniversary, Evolve Bank & Trust Cooper-Young Festival has announced it is teaming with one of the city’s most venerated public institution to this year’s event.

The Cooper-Young Festival, like the neighborhood it calls home, draws a diverse crowd every year. A new partnership with The University of Memphis to host one of the stages at this year’s festival expands their reach to the vibrant college crowd.

The U of M will be partnering with not only the Cooper-Young Business Association, principal organizers of the festival, but also the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies at the corner of Young and Meda renaming that stage the Memphis Grizzlies/University of Memphis stage. Students of the Music Department of the University of Memphis will assist with the technical production and students will be featured in the bands performing on stage.

“This partnership is just one in a series for us, reaching out to help teach and foster the love of music to a younger generation,” said Tamara Cook, executive director of the Cooper-Young Business Association, citing past partnerships with Visible Music College and School of Rock,

This year’s Evolve Bank & Trust Cooper-Young Festival is a milestone for Memphis’ biggest one-day event. This year marks the neighborhood’s 30th outdoor street celebration, which was started in the ’70s to promote local businesses in the area. Each year it brings hundreds of artists and musicians together to present their talents to over 130,000 attendees from across the United States.

The Cooper-Young Festival is scheduled for Saturday, September 16th, with the CY 4-Miler the night before on Friday, September 15th.

A Kickoff Party/ Poster Unveiling is scheduled for August 3rd, at Haizlip Studio located at 2125 Central Avenue. The Kickoff Party from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. will feature the soulful music of Memphian Tonya Dyson.

Sponsors for the 2017 Cooper Young Festival are Evolve Bank and Trust, Commercial Appeal, Miller Lite, Methodist Healthcare, Memphis Grizzlies, Albert Cook Plumbing, Jim Keras Subaru, Summer Winds Resorts, Southland Park Gaming and Racing, Lasik Vision Institute, The Wootton Clinic, Ideal Image, ProShow Systems, IKEA Memphis, 901 Comics, Local ABC 24, Local Cares, CW 30, Rock 103, 101.9 Kiss FM, News Radio 600 WREC, Ride the Roo, Choate’s HVAC, Event EMS, Sprouts Farmers Market, Delta Ice Services and Toof American Digital Printing.