Thousands welcomed back to Beale Street for long holiday weekend, Grizzlies game

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. —Thousands of people came out to enjoy Downtown Memphis and to cheer on our Grizzlies over the weekend. With another game scheduled for Monday evening, police expect a strong presence of fans.

There’s been a big void on one of the country’s most iconic streets this last year due to the pandemic, but you wouldn’t know that based on the crowds of people on Beale Street this Memorial Day weekend.

Businesses felt the change in the air as well.

 “Man lots of money,” said Nate Illsley with B.B. King’s Blues Club. “It’s exciting to see people back on the street. Beale Street is coming back baby.”

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This time last year Beale Street was certainly singing the blues. Now a year later, we’re singing a different tune but people out there Monday say it’s still important to be cautious.

“I think it’s important everybody get vaccinated because we still are in the pandemic but it’s good to see people are coming out because of the economy,” said Bryant Hobbs.

The holiday weekend wasn’t the only thing that brought thousands of people out. The Grizzlies are in the NBA playoffs for the first time in four years. Monday night they will play another home game at Fedex Forum.

WREG caught up with excited fans outside trying to grab those last minute tickets Monday morning hoping to cheer the Grizz on to a much needed victory.

“I know for sure that the crowd is going to play a big factor into whether or not they win this game or not,” said Joyce Wilson.

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Added security measures like traffic checkpoints will also be in place to make sure everyone stays safe and has a great time.

“It’s just a necessity when you’ve got large groups of people especially when alcohol is involved.  You’re going to have to have some security,” said Illsley.

A spokesperson with the Downtown Memphis Commission said the $5 security fee to access Beale will not be in place Monday evening.  They added they’re happy with the results of this weekend.

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