License to Thrill: 10th and Final Ritz on the River to have spy theme

Published 2:07 pm Thursday, May 4, 2023

He is known for his wit, charm, suave demeanor, specially equipped Aston Martin DB5 and his battles with arch-enemy Spectre.

His name is “Bond, James Bond,” and on July 20, the Vicksburg Convention Center’s 10th and final Ritz on the River is paying homage to the popular spy with the theme “License to Thrill.”

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“We’re going to replay the early years and turn the set into an Ian Fleming book,” VCC Executive Director Erin Southard said. “We’re going to be doing it up right. Music will be provided by the Troy Laz Band from New Orleans.”

She said a portion of the proceeds from Ritz on the River will go to 7 Days for the Troops, a Tupelo-based 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting disabled veterans.

The organization works with other groups on special projects to assist disabled veterans with unmet needs. The organization’s primary mission is to raise funds to purchase Track Chairs that will allow disabled veterans to participate in outdoor activities.

“I believe they are going to have an event here for seven days,” Southard said.

She said 7 Days founder Scott Burns, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and a double amputee, travels all over the country and camps out for seven days and seven nights to bring awareness to wounded soldiers and give back to communities.

“All of the money that he raises during his seven days, as well as the donation that he receives from Ritz, will all stay in our community,” Southard said. “I believe he is partnering with a local organization as well.”

Ritz on the River began in 2013 with a dual purpose to benefit a local charity and show event planners the abilities of the convention center staff. Mutual Credit Union has been the primary sponsor for the event.

“The sixth year, when we did the celebration for (the VCC’s) 20th anniversary and had a ’20s theme to go with the 20th anniversary, we found out how much people enjoyed the themes and we started theming the events,” Southard said. “The Bond theme, I think that’s going to be a great kicker to close us out for a decade of fabulous events and music, and opens the door for our next great thing.”

Southard said that the “next great thing” is already in the works but declined to give any information.

Tickets for Ritz on the River are $50 each and go on sale Friday through Ticket Master or at the convention center box office. Table sponsorships are now available.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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