Saxy Santa greets the crowd at 7th Annual Holiday Tree Lighting in Soulsville USA. (Photo: Gary S. Whitlow/GSW Enterprises/The Tri-State Defender)

The advent of Thanksgiving signals that it is time to get ready for the holiday season.

That was the backdrop as the 7th Annual Holiday Tree Lighting took place in the Soulsville USA neighborhood last Saturday (Nov. 18).

It was hosted by Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris, South Memphis Alliance Founder Reginald Milton and Shelby County Commissioner Mickell Lowery.

The celebration featured spoken word artist Jesse Dunlap, singer/producer Larry Springfield, Saxy Santa, “Queen of Soul” Carla Thomas, the MBAA Youth Ensemble, local songbird Melvia “Chick” Rogers, and the Craigmont High School Marching Band.