Park Life Blog

Make the Most of your Starry Nights Experience

Making Starry Nights part of your holiday plans?  We've got some quick links and tips on how to make the most of your Starry Nights experience. And, learn more about our new Photo Opp Zone presented by Brother.

Quick Links

Use this calendar to schedule your Starry Nights visit.
Get your tickets here.
Visit our Starry Nights event page for FAQs and more information 

Helpful Tips

  • Purchase your ticket in advance to choose the time slot that best fits your plans. This will also help avoid disappointment on sold-out nights  

  • Arrive within your selected arrival window to help reduce the time you will potentially spend in line

  • Tune your radio to 110.9 FM as you arrive to get event information and directions

  • Grab a cup of hot chocolate and make your night a little sweeter.  Look for the directional signs when you enter the Park. Thanks Graphic Packaging International for making the hot chocolate station possible!

  • Don’t miss out on the 3D glasses for an extra treat for your eyes! Available for purchase online with your ticket purchase or in person at the check-in tent.

  • After scanning your ticket, turn off your headlights and switch your radio to 97.5 FM to enjoy the sounds of the season.

  • Stay in your vehicle at all times unless you stop at the designated Photo Opp Zone 

Visit the Photo Opp Zone
Presented by Brother  
Need a new profile pic or want to take a family photo? Stop at the Photo Opp Zone and take photos in front of select displays! Be sure and tag Starry Nights in your photos!  #StarryNights2022 

Your safety is our top priority, so remember to:

  • Park only in the designated area.

  • Cross only at the designated pedestrian crosswalks.

  • Be aware of cars and carriages that will still be proceeding by the displays.

  • Stay within the designated lit display areas. 

Thanks to our friends at Brother for making the Photo Opp Zone possible.

Thanks for making Starry Nights at Shelby Farms Park part of your holiday!

Posted by Angie Whitfield at 27 November 2022

Volunteer Spotlight: International Paper

Last week, our friends at International Paper visited Shelby Farms Park to help improve the Beaver Lake Picnic Area! This hard working crew helped resurface the picnic area with gravel, neatly arranged the tables, and added mulch to the trees surrounding this scenic spot.

This work will not only improve the appearance of this area, but it will also make it an even more enjoyable place to visit year round!

Thank you, International Paper!

Want to learn more about bringing your corporate group to volunteer at the Park? Contact Darlon Wakefield at  Keep up with all the other opportunities on our volunteer page.

Posted by Rebecca Dailey at 05 October 2022


This is a very exciting week at Shelby Farms Park!  We are proud to be the site for the St. Jude IRONMAN 70.3 Memphis and can’t wait to host more than 2,400 elite athletes and more than 5,000 spectators on Saturday, October 1 for this special event.  These triathletes will be swimming, biking, and running in and around the Park.  

On Saturday, all traffic must enter off of Mullins Station. The Park is open on Saturday, but please note that the entire Park will be impacted by this event and your time at the Park will not be what you regularly experience. Be prepared for additional traffic, delays and road closures in and around the Park.  CLICK HERE for the traffic impact guide and CLICK HERE for course maps. Only Gate 10 off of Mullins Station and the Dog Park will be open to the public for access until 4pm.

Remember to pack your patience and to be careful and courteous as you maneuver through traffic and parking areas! Spectators are welcome to visit the IRONMAN Expo and cheer on the athletes.
CLICK HERE for the week’s full event schedule.  

Monday through Wednesday
Load in and set up  - Watch for equipment, trucks, trailers.

Great View Drive N. closes at the three-way at Pine Lake Drive .

Athlete check in
IRONMAN Expo opens.

Practice swim for registered athletes.
IRONMAN Expo open.


Race day! 

Tear down and move out.

Posted by Lawrence Shaw at 26 September 2022

Summer Fun in the Park

Tuesday, June 21 is the official start of summer and Shelby Farms Park is your official headquarters for summer fun.   

Ready to start playing?  Plan your play day here. 

Want a little more info?  Check out our bucket list so you don’t miss out on a single adventure at the Park.

Boat rentals - Yippee kayak! Paddling the Park is a great way to beat the heat.  Whether you want canoes, kayaks, SUPs or paddleboats, our team will help you paddle the day away! 

Canoes + Cocktails - This event is the hottest ticket in town and has the best views of Memphis sunsets from iconic Hyde Lake! Enjoy a guided evening sunset paddle on the lake followed by socially-distant cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, yard games and music. We do it every Friday evening through September, but tickets go fast.  Grab yours here

Bike rentals - Cruise through the Park’s paved trails on a bike! We have several adult sizes, plus kids’ bikes and trailers.  Our team will help fit you with the perfect sized bike to comfortably enjoy your day at the Park.  Rent your bikes here

MEMPopS - Looking for a yummy treat after all the fun in the sun? Pop over to the Lake’s Edge Gift Shop and check out the days’ MEMPopS choices. 

Water Play Sprayground - It’s the coolest place in town! The Water Play Sprayground has four hours of come and go play time.Water Play Tuesday sessions are one (1) hour of FREE play time!  Click here to book your morning or afternoon play session of great splashing opportunities. 

Woodland Discovery Playground - The Playground is open!  We missed play days, but are excited that this well-loved space is now open for fun daily from 9am to an hour before sunset. 

Climbing Boulders - While the Playground was closed, we were busy adding a little fun by installing two new kids’ boulders! These climbing boulders are 7 feet tall and 6 feet in diameter and have hand and footholds carved into the surface with varying levels of difficulty.  Want to learn more?  Click here

Fitness Classes - From pilates to tai chi, you’ll see it in our summer line up of free fitness classes. 

We are serving up fun daily from sunrise to sunset and we can’t wait to see you in the Park this summer! 

at 21 June 2022

Busy weekend ahead!

Shelby Farms Park is proud to have been selected as the site for the Memphis in May Triathlon, and we can’t wait to welcome athletes and spectators to the Park on Saturday, May 14 and Sunday, May 15, 2022 for this special event! These triathletes will be swimming*, biking and running in and around the Park, and if you plan to visit this weekend, we recommend checking out the info below as your time at the Park may not be what you typically experience.

This weekend…

  • The Park will be open with regular hours on both days

  • The entire Park and surrounding access points will be impacted by this event 

  • Getting into the Park may take more time than usual

  • Accessing activities and amenities within the Park may not be what you regularly experience and may take more time than usual

  • Please pack your patience

  • Please be alert for runners, bikers and spectators

  • Be prepared for temporary traffic, delays and road closures in and around the Park  


Check out the map below to help plan your visit:

Good luck, athletes! 

*Swimming and wading at Shelby Farms Park are not permitted outside of sanctioned, supervised events.

at 12 May 2022

How to Spend Your Extra Hour of Park Fun!


Mark your calendars! Daylight Saving Time is right around the corner! Starting March 13th, we will all have one extra hour of daylight. Spend it wisely and use those 60 minutes doing something fun and active with us at Shelby Farms Park!

Here are 7 things to do at Shelby Farms Park with your extra hour of sunlight.

  1. Group workouts not your thing? Ride a bike or take a hike on the Shelby Farms Greenline! With more time on your hands, there’s no reason not to hit these 10+ miles of trail and get the most out of your day. Get more details here or find your bike here.

  2. Bring the whole family! Daylight saving time affects the kids too, so why not bring them along. Hit up the Woodland Discovery Playground and let the kids enjoy the extra hour jumping and climbing and having fun being a kid. Get more details here.

  3. And don’t forget about the pup! Let go of the leash and let your dog enjoy the Outback Off-Leash Dog Park.  Find some fresh air for everyone! Be sure to give our rules and tips a glance here before visiting.

  4. Tired of being stuck inside during chilly, dark winter evenings? Pack a picnic for dinner! There’s no better combo than fresh air and fresh food, so get a group together and rent a pavilion to optimize your day and get outside! We have all been waiting for the day when it isn't dark at five or six, and it’s finally here, so don’t waste a moment of it!

  5. Don’t forget that once it warms up, you can start using your extra spring hours doing even more at Shelby Farms Park. Rent a kayak, canoe, or paddleboard! Go fishing! We have 20+ lakes and ponds, so don’t hesitate to hit the water this spring! See all your options hereThe Hyde Lake and Pine Lake boat houses are closed for the season but will reopen in Spring 2022!  

  6. Warmer weather and longer days mean it will also be perfect conditions to hit the trails and go horseback riding here at Shelby Farms Park. Learn how to saddle up here.

  7. And finally, Go Ape on our treetop adventure, which is now open! Swing into spring and traipse through trees on these obstacle courses and ziplines. Learn how to book your session here.

With so much to do, there’s no reason to stay cooped up inside! Make the most of your day, every day, and spend your extra hours with us at Shelby Farms Park this spring!

at 08 March 2022

Meet Dewayne Williams!

We are excited to announce that Dewayne Williams has joined the Shelby Farms Park team as Director of Park Operations! In this role, Dewayne will oversee the daily maintenance and operation of the Park’s vast acres, buildings and amenities as well as the 10.65 miles of Shelby Farms Greenline.

Dewayne joins the Park from Hernando, Mississippi, where he served as Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Hernando for more than 15 years.  During his time there, he created a thriving parks and recreation department which includes ten parks and programs which draw more than 4,000 participants annually.

"Dewayne brings a wealth of both leadership and public parks experience to our team," said Jen Andrews, CEO of Shelby Farms Park Conservancy. "His passion for people and for parks makes him a great fit, and we're excited to see the impact of Shelby Farms Park and Greenline grow with his leadership." 

Dewayne received an undergraduate degree from the University of Mississippi,  a graduate of the National Parks and Recreation Association’s (NRPA) Directors School and holds an NRPA Leadership Certificate. He is a Certified Parks and Recreation Professional and a former member of the Mississippi Recreation and Parks Association (MRPA) where he served as president and was named Professional of the Year.



Check out these honors!


We talked with Dewayne about what brought him to Shelby Farms Park and what he plans to accomplish at one of America’s largest urban parks!

How did you get started working in the wonderful world of parks? 
My start in parks began at a Boys and Girls Club board meeting. I was the Director of a Boys and Girls Club in Southaven, Mississippi, and the mayor at the time was a board member of the club. He told me the City of Hernando wanted to start a parks and recreation department and he believed I could do the job. In January 2006, I started in the role of Director of Parks and Recreation.

How long have you worked in this field? 
16 years

Why were you interested in joining the team at Shelby Farms Park? 
I had heard of and been to the Park and was always impressed with the Park. I love challenges, engaging with people and creating. I was able to use my skills of creativity, gathering people and vision casting to create a vibrant park system in Hernando when there was no park system or programs for citizens to enjoy. Because Shelby Farms Park is a place that faces challenges with collaboration, creativity, strategy, and execution, I knew I wanted to join the team. 

What are you most excited about? 
I am most excited about working with an organization that provides world class service to the public and provides world class culture for the people inside the organization.

What do you hope to accomplish at the Park? 
I have two objectives. I want to add value to this amazing team and to execute the mission of the Park. Lastly, I will position the Park to be able to start the next phase of growth! I like how forward thinking the team is at Shelby Farms Park Conservancy.

When you aren’t working at the Park, what can we find you doing? 
I believe in doing what you enjoy. My hobbies are hooping, blues music, dancing and hanging out with family and friends.

Three words to describe yourself:
Community, Funny and Active

Three words to describe Shelby Farms Park:
Innovative, Inspiring and Intentional 

Where is your favorite place in the Park? 
Just south of Heart of the Park where the area is very natural with trees and water. 

Tell us about your Involvement with the National Recreation and Park Association and  Mississippi Recreation and Park Association:
I have been a member of the NRPA for many years. I am a Certified Parks and Recreation Professional, A graduate of The NRPA Directors School, and I have the NRPA Leadership Certification. I was also a member of Mississippi Recreation and Parks Association (MRPA) for many years. I was Professional of the Year and I served as the president of the organization.


If you see Dewayne out and about in the Park, please be sure to give him a warm welcome!

at 07 February 2022

Time to Shine at Starry Nights

Starry Nights will be shining brightly on select nights through Saturday, January 1, 2022 (and during the grand finale BuffaGLO Run on January 2, 2022, presented by Sylvamo), and we've put together some quick tips and reminders to help you plan and enhance your experience! Check out the info below, and if you need more info, head to the Starry Nights event page for full calendar, event details, tickets, FAQ and more!


This year, there is only one entrance to the event, so all cars should enter Starry Nights from Farm Road onto Great View Drive North through the Park’s main gate. As you arrive, tune your radio to 100.9 FM for event instructions.

As we get closer to Christmas, lines will be longer and so will wait times. We're working hard to keep traffic flowing without rushing guests through the lights, so please pack your patience and be kind in line

To help keep things moving and to reduce your wait time, please arrive during your selected arrival window time. While this window will not totally eliminate the possibility of a wait, it will reduce the overall time you spend in line. Note: Arriving earlier or later than your window places you in a different time slot and will increase your wait time.  

Want to know approximately where you are in line? These locations mark roughly estimated wait times from that point to the ticket booth (actual time in line may vary):
Main Entrance Gate (Farm Road and Great View Drive North intersection): approximately 30 minutes
Walnut Grove and Farm Road intersection / Mullins Station Road and Farm Road intersection: approximately 90 minutes


As you enter the event, please dim your headlights and stay in your vehicle inside of Starry Nights. The show’s route is 1.5 miles long and it takes approximately 30 minutes to drive through. While all of the light displays in Starry Nights are photo-worthy, there are only three designated photo opp stops. Here, you can park your car, snap a quick photo and return to the route. If you’re making a Selfie Stop, follow the tips below to help ensure everyone has a bright and enjoyable experience!

Want to see the lights at a slower pace?
Join us for our next Walk the Lights night on Monday, December 27,
then for the grand finale on January 2 for the BuffaGLO Run, presented by Sylvamo!



  • Stay in your vehicle until you arrive at one of the three Photo Opp Stops:
    • Igloo - presented by nexAir
    • Hernando de Soto Bridge - presented by I Love Memphis
    • Santa Hat - presented by brother
  • Please park only in the designated parking areas for these displays
  • Make it snappy so that everyone can enjoy the displays
  • Do not leave or walk around outside of the designated Selfie Station and Selfie Station parking areas
  • Please do not touch or climb on the displays


Whether you already have a ticket or need to purchase a ticket, all cars should enter Starry Nights from Farm Road on to Great View Drive North through the Park’s main gate. If using a navigation system, use the intersection of "Farm Road + Great View Drive North " as the reference point in your location search. Note: Your system may attempt to reroute you around traffic to another Park gate, but you may only enter through the Park's main gate. Look for the Starry Nights sign at the entrance!


  • If you have little ones in your vehicle, extra toys and snacks may come in handy to entertain and help pass the time as you make your way to the event!
  • The closest portable restroom is located near the ticket booth.
  • Fill up with gas before you come! 
  • Dim your headlights as you enter the light show route.
  • Remember to pack your patience and be kind in line.

Your presence at Starry Nights is a present for Shelby Farms Park! Starry Nights is the largest annual fundraiser for Shelby Farms Park and Shelby Farms Greenline. Proceeds from this event help keep these community treasures open and operating for more than 6 million visitors a year. Thank you for your support and for spending part of your holiday season with us!

Starry Nights 2021 is made possible by




 Huey's Restaurants  Lipscomb & Pitts Insurance  NewSouth Capital Management

Media + In-Kind Partners
Cumulus Media • Standard Construction Co.  Tennessee Tractor • WREG

Posted by Rebecca Dailey at 15 December 2021

2021 Buffalo Run 5K Recap

Caring for a space that's as special as Shelby Farms Park is a big responsibility, and we're so grateful for the 300+ runners who stepped up (literally!) to help support it! Their participation in the 2021 Buffalo Run 5K directly supports the trails, lakes, green spaces and iconic buffalo herd that you love. 


Thank you, volunteers!

This event would not have been possible without the support of volunteers. From packet pickup to post-event cleanup, a lot of hands helped the event run smoothly! Thank you to the 50+ Park fans who gave the gift of their time to make this event possible!

Shelby Farms Park Conservancy is responsible for raising 75% of the Park's $5+ million operating budget each year, and this wouldn't be possible without the generosity of supporters and donors!

While every participant's race registration fees provide vital support, runners had the option to fundraise for the event. We are proud (and grateful!) that these efforts brought in more than $2,000!
This year's top fundraisers:
Connor Hawthorne
Diane Roberts
Kat Schwartz
Leslie Cacaro
Linda Hughes

To see a photo recap from the event, click here!

This year's Buffalo Run 5K + Bison Day Celebration would not have been possible without the support of these sponsors and partners: 

Velo Shelby Farms, Regional One Health, Financial Federal, Siskind Susser, OrthoSouth, Comcast Internet Essentials, Exercise Unlimited, Club Pilates, Grivet Outdoors, 88.5 FM, Bluff City Balloon, Fleet Feet, McCartney Produce.


at 11 November 2021

St. Jude IRONMAN 70.3 Memphis--An Exciting Week at Shelby Farms Park!


This is a very exciting week at Shelby Farms Park!  We are proud to be the site for the St. Jude IRONMAN 70.3 Memphis and can’t wait to host more than 2,400 elite athletes and more than 5,000 spectators on Saturday, October 2 for this special event.  These triathletes will be swimming, biking and running in and around the Park.  

The Park is open on Saturday, but please note that the entire Park will be impacted by this event and your time at the Park will not be what you regularly experience. Be prepared for additional traffic, delays and road closures in and around the Park. On Saturday, all traffic must enter off of Mullins Station. CLICK HERE for the traffic impact guide and CLICK HERE for course maps.

Remember to pack your patience and to be careful and courteous as you maneuver through traffic and parking areas! Spectators are welcome to visit the IRONMAN Expo and cheer on the athletes. CLICK HERE for the week’s full event schedule.  

St. Jude IRONMAN 70.3 Memphis Highlights:
Monday through Wednesday, Sept. 27-29
Equipment, trucks, trailers load in and set up.

Thursday, Sept. 30
Athlete check-in.
IRONMAN Expo opens.
Great View Drive N. closes at the three-way at Pine Lake Drive.

Friday, Oct. 1
Practice swim for registered athletes. IRONMAN Expo and IRONKIDS race opens.

Saturday, Oct. 2
Event race day! 

Sunday, Oct 3
Event breakdown and move out.

Looking to volunteer for this event? Click here!

at 29 September 2021
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