Memphis in May International Festival Salutes Panama as the Honored Country in 2014

Sunday, August 4th 2013

Memphis in May International Festival announced Panama will be the honored country during the 2014 celebration. The Beale Street Music Festival is May 2-4, 2014; International Week Salute to Panama is May 5-10, 2014; the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest is May 15-17, 2014; and the Sunset Symphony is May 24, 2014.

Memphis, TN (PRWEB) August 04, 2013

Officials of Memphis in May International Festival announced plans to honor the Republic of Panama for the 38th edition of the festival during its annual year-end review meeting on August 1 at the Memphis Botanic Garden. James L. Holt, president and CEO of Memphis in May commented: "Panama is a fascinating country that offers a rich heritage and history along with a vibrant modern culture. We look forward to an exciting celebration in May 2014."

Panama is unique to its region as it boasts a cultural multiplicity, a richness enhanced as a result of the constant presence of visitors from all parts of the world. The country is home to a population of nearly 3.5 million people of great ethnic diversity and a growing urban population.

Bounded on the north by the Caribbean Sea and the south by the Pacific Ocean, Panama is comparable in size to the state of South Carolina, with a total area of 23,940 square miles. Panama shares its eastern border with Columbia and its western border with Costa Rica and serves as a bridge between North and South America. With an intense connection to the sea, the country has a similar feel to an island in the Caribbean.

Panama functions as a corridor for East-West trade as the home to one of the world's greatest intersections of commerce, the Panama Canal. One of the largest and most difficult engineering projects ever undertaken, the Panama Canal shortcut made it possible for ships to travel between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans in half the time previously required. Completed in 1914, the canal enables ships to avoid the lengthy and hazardous Cape Horn route around the southernmost tip of South America. The Panama Canal, which sees an average of 3,500 vessels per quarter, is currently undergoing an expansion scheduled for completion in October 2014, which will allow for increased vessel traffic.

Panama's economy is one of the most stable in the Americas, with the highest per capita income and fastest growing economy in Central America, according to the IMF and UN. Its main economic sectors are finance, tourism and logistics, which represent 75 percent of the country's GDP.

The Republic of Panama is an independent and sovereign State in which individual and social rights are observed and respected, and where the will of the majority is represented by the free right to vote. The country gained its independence in 1903 when it seceded from Colombia. Ricardo Martinelli has served as the 49th President of Panama since 2009.

For those interested in experiencing the culture of Panama first-hand, Ron Coleman, 2014 Board Chairman, will lead a delegation on a trip to Panama in March 2014. Persons interested in traveling as part of the Memphis in May International tour are invited to visit the Memphis in May website or call for additional information.

Memphis in May International Festival is a month-long celebration of local and international color, customs, cuisines and culture. The non-profit, community-based organization produces the largest annual events in the City of Memphis and Mid-South region, and does without the benefit of funding from any government taxing authority. Each year the month-long festival celebrates international and Memphis culture generating significant local revenue and important positive impact promoting Memphis to a national and international audience.

2014 Memphis in May International Festival: the Beale Street Music Festival May 2-4, 2014; International Week Salute to Panama May 5-10, 2014; the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest May 15-17, 2014; and the Sunset Symphony May 24, 2014.

For more information about the 2014 celebration, event dates or other information about the Memphis in May International Festival, call (901) 525-4611 or visit the website at or on Facebook at

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