By Ginna Parsons
TUPELO – The BancorpSouth Arena might look a little more like Paris than Tupelo in a couple of weeks when the Junior Auxiliary presents the 51st Annual Charity Ball.
“Le Grand Bal Parisien” is set for Feb. 7 from 7 p.m. until midnight. Tickets are $40 and may be purchased at J. Britt Lighting, Flowerdale Marketplace, Village Frame Shoppe, Reed’s Gift Shop and Staggs.
Living Ads and Outstanding Citizen Award start at 7 p.m. Performances include the Civic Ballet, THS Madrigals and Dr. Zarr’s Amazing Funk Monster.
But the real star of the evening just might be the food. Chris Payton, executive chef at Park Heights restaurant, will be preparing the complimentary food.
“Once we were given the theme, we sat down and came up with a menu,” said Park Heights owner Blair Hughes. “We were thinking of traditional French foods that would be suitable for a cold winter night, and leaning toward more Provencal, peasant cooking.”
The theme and the time of year dictated the menu, Hughes said.
“I’m really excited about working with Park Heights,” said Marty Brown, food chairman. “The menu is going to be amazing.”
The menu includes Boeuf Bourguignon, Roasted Winter Vegetables, Haricots Verts. Saffron Rice Pilaf, French Baguettes, Chocolate Mousse Parfaits, Apple Tarte Tatins, Chocolate Truffles, Cupcakes from Gigi’s and Confectionaries from Simply Sweet by Margarete.
“The popularity of Julia Child in recent years was the first thing that popped into our minds – Julia’s Boeuf Bourguignon,” Hughes said.
Jackie Deaton, chairman of this year’s Charity Ball, said the idea for a Paris theme just came to her one night.
“I thought it would be kind of different, kind of fun,” she said. “This was something we’d never done before.”
“This is going to be Paris in Tupelo,” Hughes said. “A little bit of Paris fashion and a 12-foot Eiffel tower. In the lobby, they’ll have the Lock of Love bridge.”
The Charity Ball is the JA’s only fundraiser. Proceeds go to support such service projects as the Clothes Closet, SHINE and WAVE camps, CPR/AED training and Integrity Time.
For more information, call (662) 321-3393.