by Sherry Lucas

July 4 always seems like summer’s unofficial turning point. The calendar will tell you something different if you tally up the days, but once we get all the fireworks fun out of the way, feels like summer just steamrolls on buy and all of a sudden we’re buying packs of No. 2 pencils and thinking about going back to school.

I haven’t gone back to school for decades, but I still get that feeling, you know? So each July 5 I try to be mindful to slow down, savor the flavors of tomato and basil and watermelon, catch a breeze when I can and make these increasingly shorter days last as long as I possibly can.

There’s plenty of summer still left to enjoy. The only antidote to the heat and the humidity anyway? Just try to be cool about it, right? Good music helps.

Here’s a heads up: Don’t let Sneaky Summer sneak past without you. Thursday, gear up for Fondren After 5’s Sneaky Summer, a State Street Concert Series and Jackson Indie Music Collaboration, starting at 5 p.m. Enjoy local bands, regional headliners, beer trailers and street food. On the main stage behind Fondren Corner, find Krystal Gem, Betzenzo plus And The Echo, starting at 5:30 p.m. Strumming on the acoustic stage on the porch, there’s Codetta South, Betsy Berryhill and SILAS. See ya on the streets, Fondren funsters!

And The Echo highlights Thursday’s Fondren After 5: Sneaky Summer at Fondren Corner. Image: And The Echo

Dino-Fun Fridays, 10 a.m .to noon Friday at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science promises games, crafts, deep-digging fossil knowledge and the chance to explore the “Be the Dinosaur: Life in the Cretaceous” exhibit. It’s included with admission, $6 adults, $4 kids and free for members and tykes younger than 3.

Get your teeth into some Dino Fun on Friday at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science. Image: Mississippi Museum of Natural Science

You won’t wanna miss Steve Earle & the Dukes, that’s for sure. The roots rocker who draws from both the rock and country camps to satisfy his loyal batch of dedicated listeners will be bringing that rough-hewn, sticks-with-ya music to Duling Hall, 8 p.m. Friday. The Mastersons open. Tickets are $40 advance (ardenland.net), $45 day of show.

Steve Earle rocks Duling Hall Friday night. Image: ardenland

At Hal & Mal’s bask in gypsy jazz courtesy of Swing De Paris, 6 p.m. Friday, free, in the dining room. Saturday, give lyrics a listen in the Hwy 80 Songwriters Fest, a round featuring Charlie Hewitt of Brookhaven, Daniel Houze of Meridian, Emily White of Meridian and Robert Daniels of Nashville, 7-9:30 p.m. free in the dining room. Blue Monday turns the mic to blues ($5, 7 p.m.).

At Martin’s, horn in on the action as trumpet meets electronic music in the hands of Ryan Viser, with Notorious Conduct, 9 p.m. Friday. Saturday, it’s Myfever, alt- and arena-style rock with a Southern edge, and Stonewalls, at 10 p.m.

Friday night’s live music concert at Spacecamp, 3002 N. Mill St., features the Alabama rock’n’roll of Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires, the alt-country of Young Valley and indie rock from May Queen, 8 p.m. Go join the celebration.

Young Valley is out of this world Saturday at Spacecamp (at The Mill). Image: Young Valley

Rodeo thrills — horses, steers, bulls and all the riding, roping and wrestling that goes with ‘em — gallop back into Jackson in the saddle of the Mississippi Black Rodeo, with shows at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday at the Mississippi Coliseum. The evening show typically sells out first, so get your foot in the stirrup fast if you want to catch the action. Tickets are $18 on www.ticketmaster.com.

The Bobby Bones Funny & Alone Stand Up Comedy Tour comes to Thalia Mara Hall, 8 p.m. Saturday, bringing the self-deprecating syndicated country radio host of “The Bobby Bones Show” and the Country Top 30 Weekend Countdown to Jackson (and half the comedy duo The Raging Idiots) on his first ever comedy stand-up tour. Tickets are $25.50 on www.ticketmaster.com.

Radio host and funnyman Bobby Bones comes to Thalia Mara Hall Saturday. Image: Billboard.com

Join artist Ron Lindsey in the galleries of “The Wolfe Family Legacy” at the Mississippi Museum of Art, 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, for a casual and conversational exploration of the art. Lindsey will reflect on his own work, works featured in the exhibit and his experience as the Wolfes’ apprentice. It’s $10 for museum members, $20 for non-members (includes exhibition admission). Visit msmuseumart.org to register.

Closeup of Karl Wolfe’s “Xanadu”, among works in“The Wolfe Family Legacy” at the Mississippi Museum of Art. Image: Elizabeth Wolfe

Fondrenite Sherry Lucas, a feature writer in Jackson for the last 33 years, is here on Wednesdays with “The Mix,” highlighting creativity and culture from Fondren and beyond. Reach her at sherry@finditinfondren.com.