It bears repeating: A nightly light show on the Mississippi River is a sight to see! Memphis is one of the few places in the U.S. that offers a great vista from the banks of the famous waterway. The light show is one of the ways that visitors can enjoy the city and see it from a unique perspective.

The Harahan, Big River Crossing and Hernando de Soto bridges, which span over the river, can be seen in a different way, literally, every night. The bridges are illuminated nightly to provide a visual feast for the eyes. If you have never seen this sight, now is the time to consider a stop in Memphis to enjoy what others in the city have known for some time.

About Bridge Lighting

Travel across the mighty river was made easier with the construction of the Harahan bridge. Opened in 1916, it is the oldest of the three spans that takes traffic to points north, south, east and west to and from Memphis. It was the main thoroughfare for the city until construction of the Memphis-Arkansas bridge and Interstate 55 was completed in 1949.

The span, which was rebuilt in 1928 after fire destroyed the original structure, has been a landmark for many decades. The De Soto Bridge was introduced in 1973 and set to lights in 1986, while Big River Crossing, unveiled in 2016, has attracted more than 300,000 visitors for its nightly lights.

What the Nightly Light Show Offers

The nightly light shows on these bridges give you a compelling reason to spend time at the city’s Riverfront. The bridge lighting has inspired residents and visitors to come out and explore all that the city has to offer through a wonderful display of these architectural marvels. The shows themselves are put on and managed by a privately funded nonprofit, Memphis Bridge Lighting, Inc., which was formed about the time Big River Crossing bridge was unveiled to the public in 2016.

Plan to Take in the Lights


Plan on spending some time in Memphis doing the things that everyone does in this great city. Set aside a night or two with the family or special someone in your life and come sit on the river’s edge. The illumination of the city’s bridges, a tradition that is nearly three decades old, is a great way to unwind, explore Memphis at night, and see the city in a way you may not have thought of doing. A nightly light show on the Mississippi River is a sight to see and a sight you should see!

 

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