Shaken, Not Stirred: Ritz on the River goes big for its last hurrah

Published 12:49 pm Friday, July 21, 2023

The 10th and final annual Ritz on the River event was held at the Vicksburg Convention Center Thursday evening.

Erin Powell Southard, VCC executive director, said she was thrilled with the turnout for the event.

“I think it was a phenomenal end to a decade of an amazing event,” Southard said. “We couldn’t have asked for a better turnout of the community nor a greater gift.”

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Each Ritz on the River event benefits a charitable organization. This year, 7 Days for the Troops, an organization dedicated to helping disabled veterans, was in attendance. The organization helped raise funds to purchase a tracked, off-road wheelchair that was presented to G6:2 Outdoors, a local charity that organizes outdoor activities like hunting and fishing for people with disabilities.

A total of $17,000 was raised to purchase the wheelchair, the highest amount raised in the event’s 10-year history. That total was a combination of ticket sales and donations given by individuals who attended the event.

“It was overwhelming and powerful last night, the outpouring of generosity that our community gave to this group,” Southard said. “It just reminds you how wonderful Vicksburg is.”

The theme for this year was “License to Thrill.” James Bond-themed decor was on display around the convention center and a number of guests wore tuxedos to the event.

The musical performance was provided by the Troy Laz Band out of New Orleans. The band played classic and modern hits for an energetic dance floor.

Southard also mentioned a new event to be organized by the convention center that will take the place of Ritz on the River. It will be themed “Christmas in July” and is scheduled for July 25, 2024. The new event, which has yet to be formally named, will benefit the Ronald McDonald House in Jackson.