The first Thursday of each month in Fondren has had a different name for the last two years. And just as you are getting used to it, it’s okay to again call it by its former name – Fondren After 5.

Returning April 6, the “always first Thursday” Fondren After 5 is the family-friendly event in the downtown Fondren historic district with music, food, art, kids’ activities and more. Each time, a new presenter will host a different set of activities.

In April, Duling is the focus with “Duling Avenue Live,” presented by Babalu, Saltine, Hal & Mal’s, Abita Brewing and New Belgium Brewing.

In May, Fondren Renaissance brings back Arts, Eats & Beats, anchored by a plein air painters day and show, a student clothesline show and a Mississippi Heritage Trust architectural tour.

June is a return to Duling Avenue and July brings another State Street Concert Series to the Fondren Corner parking deck, presented by Rooster’s and Sneaky Beans.

The remainder of the year includes another State Street Concert, a Jackson Indie Music Week takeover and Fondren Unwrapped.

Justin Courson of Babalu, Sharna Lewis of Saltine and Brandi White of Hal & Mal’s (who services the bar at Duling Hall) are spearheading April’s event.

“It’s refreshing to see the community out,” White says. “Parents are loving it, kids are loving it; it really is about bringing people together. In this day and time, we need that.”

After 30 events under the leadership of Chane (who hung up his FFT hat last month), Fondren After 5 hopes to continue the momentum and buzz created over the last three years.

“We all have a vested interest in what happens on those nights and our businesses benefit,” Courson says. “Without the first Thursday of the month, we’d see a big drop-off in what this area is about and what we’ve created over the years here.”

Simply put, Lewis adds, “We don’t want to see good thing go to waste.”

“If you saw the people commenting when they thought this event might end, it was inspirational to know how much they’d miss it,” Courson says. “It’s nice to make sure it keeps going.”

Keep up with all of April’s Fondren After 5 on Facebook.

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