The ‘Ganza is an air-conditioned opportunity to see all the tools, accessories and info to support that outdoors enjoyment in the state. Image: Amanda Jones

by Sherry Lucas

I don’t hunt, rarely fish and never wear camo. Still, every time I pop in on the Wildlife Extravaganza, I find plenty to check out. Woods were part of my world, growing up, and I’m tickled that’s still the case. To walk in them is to touch nature up close — absorb its rhythms, hear its sounds and if you’re lucky, glimpse the creatures that share this space.

Now, I have a sharper eye to find seasonal blooms, ripe berries, abandoned turtle shells, chanterelle mushrooms, feathers that birds are no longer using and that speckled king snake in the grass. “Good job,” I told him. “Carry on.”

At the Mississippi Trade Mart, the Wildlife Extravaganza — ‘Ganza, for short — is an air-conditioned opportunity to see all the tools, accessories and info to support that outdoors enjoyment in the state. Plus, I found my first ratchet pruner there — favorite tool ever.

For the sporting set, Induction Weekend at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame & Museum is another weekend can’t-miss. Here’s a shoutout to a longtime colleague, superb writer and fellow Fondrenite: Congratulations, Rick Cleveland!

Stay cool out there, and don’t forget the music and art on tap around town.

Fondren After 5 on Thursday brings Duling Avenue Live, presented by Babalu, Hal & Mal’s, Saltine, Abita Brewing and New Belgium Brewing. The neighborhood open house is a welcome mat for After-5ers to come taste and sip the sweet, savory and spirited best of the district, along with music and street-side fun. Activities include artists Teresa Haygood, Rebecca Wilkinson, Summer Nation and Ellen Langford, live music by the Jason Turner Band, kids’ activities and more. Check out music, too, by Kicking at Stonewalls at Hops & Habanas, Chad Perry at Surin and Risko Danza at Green Ghost Tacos. Keep up with updates here.

Jason Turner plays Duling Avenue Live during Fondren After 5. Image: Jason Turner


Young top-selling and award-winning singer/songwriter Sam Mooney brings his soulful pop to Duling Hall Thursday at 8 p.m. Influenced by the music of his home state and early R&B pioneers, the Brookhaven native started playing the piano at age 8 and penning songs in his teens, spreading to other genres as his exposure to music’s wider world grew. He’s known for tunes “The Love You Never Knew” (“Just like a summer day in the South,” he’s described the song) “Find My Way” and “Somewhere in Between.” Victoria Holmes opens. Tickets are $7 advance ( and $10 at the door.

Sam Mooney plays Thursday night at Duling Hall. Image: ardenland

Don’t miss your annual chance to go really wild and gear up, too, at the Mississippi Wildlife Extravaganza 2017 Friday through Sunday at the Mississippi Trade Mart. The kickoff to hunting season rounds up more than 200 exhibitors with demonstrations, events and attractions such as Outdoor Channel’s Jim Shockey,  Jason Reynolds’ Fetch N’ Fish and High-Flying Retrievers, a sanctioned duck calling contest, Big Buck Contest, Turkey Talk with Preston Gibbon and lots more. ‘Ganza hours are 2-8 p.m. Friday (Kids Day, children 12 and younger get in free), 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $10, $5 children 6-12 and free for kids 5 and younger, $20 for a weekend pass.

Jason Reynolds’ Fetch N’ Fish and High-Flying Retrievers are a big draw at the Mississippi Wildlife Extravaganza. Image: Jason Price

Art watchers will want to check out the exhibition of works by John Armistead and Richard Stephens at Samuel Marshall Gore Art Galleries in Clinton, with a 5:30-6 p.m. Thursday artist talk followed by a 6-8 p.m. opening reception. The art show will remain on view through Sept. 22.

“Railroad Trestle” by Richard Stephens is among works in a new exhibition at Gore Galleries in Clinton. Image: Gore Galleries

“The Bared Sound: A Symphony of Artists from Taiwan and Mississippi” opens Friday at the Arts Center of Mississippi with a 5 p.m. gallery talk and a 6-8 p.m. opening reception and will remain up through Aug. 30.

Artist Elaine Maisel’s unique work — miniature paintings on real feathers — remains on display in the George Berry Gallery at the Mississippi Craft Center through Aug. 30. Its title “Illuminated” is a nod to the art in medieval illuminated manuscripts that inspired Maisel’s art. She’ll demonstrate feather painting at the center on the show’s final day.

Elaine Maisel’s painted feather art is on display at the Mississippi Craft Center: Image: Elaine Maisel

Make a Difference Night, 5-8 p.m. Friday at Lucky Town Brewing Company, has live music by Stacy Andrews, a host of community nonprofits with booths and info, plus their tasty beers on tap. Go sip, socialize and sign up for cool volunteer opportunities.

Sip, socialize and sign up for cool volunteer opportunities at Lucky Town on Friday. Image: Lucky Town

Induction Weekend at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum Friday and Saturday celebrates the skills and talents of Mississippi’s best with a string of events that’ll put honorees and fans in touch. The 2017 class includes: winningest SWAC coach Bob Braddy Sr.; late Ole Miss basketball standout Eugenia Conner; 10-time Mississippi Sportswriter of the Year Rick Cleveland; legendary high school running back Marcus Dupree; pro football player and successful coach Leslie Frazier; Major League pitcher Jay Powell. Events include Friday night’s Drawdown of Champions at the museum, 6:30 p.m.-until. The party is a chance to win thousands in cash, bid on autographed sports memorabilia and more, all while rubbing shoulders with Mississippi sports’ best; tickets are $50. Meet the Inductees is 10-11:30 a.m. Saturday at the museum; regular museum admission applies. Saturday night, the 55th annual Induction Ceremony & Banquet at the Jackson Convention Complex includes a 5:30 p.m. ticketed reception and 7 p.m. program; tickets are $125 a person, with reservations required by Friday. For tickets, visit; for more information, call 601-982-8264.

Rick Cleveland (from left), Bob Braddy, Marcus Dupree and Jay Powell are part of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2017. Image: Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame & Museum

The new School of Medicine community open house, 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the University of Mississippi Medical Center campus, is a chance to tour the new five-story $74 million building that gives medical students a single, purpose-driven home on the Jackson campus. Enter the campus on Peachtree Street from Lakeland Drive in park in Visitor Lot D. Tours are self-guided with a host on each of the building’s floors.

The UMMC School of Medicine. Image: UMMC

Early risers can check out the annual Rummage Sale Saturday in St. James Episcopal Church’s Fowler Hall, which benefits the church’s outreach ministry. It starts at 7 a.m.

At Hal & Mal’s, catch The Persuaders in the Big Room, 7-10 p.m. Saturday. It’s $10 at the door.

At Martin’s, The Stolen Faces, a Grateful Dead Tribute Band, rocks the stage Friday night at 10 p.m.

At Underground 119, the Raul Valinti Band entertains Friday night and blues musician Dexter Allen is a hot draw for Saturday night fun.

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

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