It’s been 25 years since designer (and party-thrower extraordinaire) Pat Kerr Tigrett helped to plan a shindig with an unusually single-minded purpose: to get Ol’ Man River lit up like a Christmas tree. The goal was to raise enough money to purchase and install hundreds of sodium vapor bulbs to light up the night and the giant letter “M” of the Hernando DeSoto Bridge connecting Memphis, Tennessee, to West Memphis, Arkansas.
Tigrett, whose annual Blues Balls have utilized the powerful appeal of Memphis music to support an array of charitable organizations, has continued to find ways to improve our surroundings. Her latest effort, “Remembering When Ol’ Man River Got Lit,” which goes down Friday, September 9th, at the Mud Island River Park, won’t just celebrate 25 years of light on the Mississippi, it will also raise money to purchase 200 Yoshino cherry trees to spruce up the downtown landscape.
Food for the event will be provided by some of the region’s top chefs, including Erling Jensen, Felicia Willett, and John Bragg. Memphis garage rock legend Sam (the Sham) Samudio will be on hand to entertain, as will blues diva Ruby Wilson and piano-pounder Jason D. Williams. Super deejay Robert Raiford will keep the vinyl spinning and the dance floor full.