83rd year commemoration of Rhythm Night Club Fire set for April 22

Published 10:41 am Friday, April 7, 2023

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NATCHEZ — The 83rd commemoration of the Rhythm Night Club fire of April 23, 1940, will be held at noon on Saturday, April 22, at the Rhythm Night Club (on site) Memorial Museum at 5 St. Catherine St., Natchez.

This event is held annually by Monroe and Betty Sago, the owners and operators of the museum.

This year’s program will feature Mayor Dan Gibson as the guest speaker. As in past years, the event will include music and a presentation of a scholarship to a local high school student.

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Last year’s scholarship went to Kerrigan Winding, a Cathedral student who plans to go to Southern Miss., according to Betty Sago. Winding is “a student who will study speech pathology because her cousin needed speech therapy,” she said.

Door prizes will be given away and refreshments will be provided. The program is free to the public.

The Rhythm Night Club Museum tells the tragic story of the fire that killed more than 200 people, including Walter Barnes and members of his band. The museum opened in 2010 on the actual site of the original building at 5 St. Catherine St.

Visitors from across the United States visit the museum to hear the stories, see the images, and hear the recorded voices of those who survived the fire.

For more information, visit https://www.rnconsitemm.org