According to Jen Andrews of the Shelby Farms Park Conservancy (SFPC), the calls inquiring about Starry Nights would start coming in every year around November. That the holiday-lights show and fund-raiser for MIFA had its last season in 1999 … well, that meant a lot of disappointed people. But no more. Starry Nights, now benefiting SFPC, once again will brighten the East Memphis skies starting November 27th.
The resurrected show features some of the old favorites, such as the “Kapow Gate” with its bouncing ball. There are also new designs, such as “Nature’s Way,” a two-story tree that goes through the four seasons, and “Under the Sea,” an underwater fantasy scene.
Reb Haizlip, who did the original designs, returned for the updated Starry Nights. The display takes advantage of new technology, including LED lights, which Andrews says fits into SFPC’s low-impact philosophy and will use 85 percent less energy. The music to accompany the tour, once on cassette tape, can now be heard on a low-frequency radio station and includes performances by DeltaCapella, Greg Hisky, Kallen Esperian, and the Bar-Kays, among others. (A CD of the soundtrack also is available at the Starry Nights’ gift shop.)
On Monday, November 30th, from 6 to 10 p.m., the show will be closed to motorized vehicles to make way for runners, cyclists, walkers, skaters, etc. “Run, Walk, or Ride the Starry Nights” will be hosted by the Memphis Grizzlies and meteorologist Jim Jaggers. Tickets are $20 per person or $10 for kids 10 and under. — Susan Ellis