As Shelby County Commission Chairman Mickell M. Lowery engaged with the crowd from the podium, Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris was in full-joyous mode for the lighting of the Christmas Tree in Soulsville. (Photo: Tyrone P. Easley/The New Tri-State Defender)

It was a chilly evening (Nov. 19) in Soulsville for the sixth annual Soulsville USA Holiday Tree Lighting at Bellevue and Walker. Bundled for comfort, those on hand reveled in the opportunity to be among a crowd dedicated to the ongoing growth and development of the South Memphis community.

Young drummers pounded home a beat, a local songbird set a tone and an awards presentation saluted Shining Stars. Together, the elements warmed hearts, signaling that Christmas is near.

“This event is about coming together as a community and celebrating the joy of the holiday season. It would not be possible without the partnerships in South Memphis,” Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris said in a release about the event.

The annual celebration was sponsored by Soulsville USA Neighborhoods Development District, Knowledge Quest, LeMoyne-Owen College, Memphis Black Arts Alliance, Music Magnet, SCORE CDC, South Memphis Alliance, Inc., the Soulsville Foundation and Shelby County Government.