“Slake your thirst and celebrate the flavors and the fizz” at Friday’s Mississippi Craft Beer Festival in Fondren. Image: Frank Farmer

by Sherry Lucas

Remember back in those dark and thirsty days of last century, when pretty much all we drank was lawn mower beer? When the craft beer industry was working up a head of foam in other spots, but not here? When all the brews with something a little more interesting to share fell under the general heading of “import” and even then it was a mighty short list?

No longer! Our tastebuds are woke now, thank hops, and the Mississippi Craft Beer Festival Friday in Fondren is one more chance to celebrate it. At the festival, sip and sample to your heart’s content, chat with brewers and representatives and find more favorites among the more than 100 beers that’ll be on hand.

The beer lineup is subject to change, but here are some of the brewers expected: Founders Brewing; Boston Beer; Terrapin Brewing; Abita; Lucky Town; Lazy Magnolia; Yazoo Brewing; Southern Prohibition; Chandeleur Island; Back Forty; Grayton and more. Once there, sample beers with enticing, intriguing names such as: Tangerine Express; Truckstop Honey Brown; Fish Whistle IPA; Old 49 Farmhouse; Voodoo Ranger and many more.

Slake your thirst and celebrate the flavors and the fizz, but do so responsibly, please, and be careful out there. Cheers!

Shake, baby, shake … even more! New Stage Theatre has a definite hit on its hands and once again, fulfilling popular demand, adds another six shows to the run of its season-capping musical “Million Dollar Quartet.” The show’s about the recording session at Sun Records that pulled together legends-in-the-making Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash. Now, it’s held over for another week, through June 25. Act now and you won’t need a hound dog to track down coveted tickets, 601-948-3533 or newstagetheatre.com.

The cast of “Million Dollar Quartet”: (from left) Joseph Frost (Sam Phillips), Austin Hohnke (Carl Perkins), Austin Wayne Price (Johnny Cash), Ian Fairlee (Jerry Lee Lewis), Bailey McCall Thomas (Dyanne), and Austin Thomas (Elvis Presley). Image: James Patterson

In the Lady Parts Justice League’s Vagical Mystery Tour, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Duling Hall, host Lizz Winstead (co-creator of “The Daily Show” and “Air America Radio”) and special guests are funny feminists who use humor and pop culture to expose the haters fighting reproductive rights. It’s $15 advance (ardenland.net) $20 at the door.

The Lady Parts Justice League’s Vagical Mystery Tour plays Duling Hall Wednesday. Image: ardenland

Help Mississippi’s legendary guitarist Jesse Robinson celebrate his 73rd birthday and get in some stellar listening all at the same time Thursday at his annual Birthday Bash Extravaganza, 7:30 p.m. till midnight Thursday at Underground 119, 119 S. President St. Special guest artists, musicians and friends join in the fun, and there’s complimentary food. The cover charge is $15.

Jesse Robinson’s Birthday Bash is Thursday at Underground 119. Image: Jesse Robinson

Dino-Fun Friday, 10 a.m. to noon at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, will have paleontology lab volunteer Joy Rushing leading a theropod foot skeleton activity with visitors, plus games, crafts and more on fossils. Museum admission is $6 adults, $4 children, free for tykes younger than 3.

Image: MS Museum of Natural Science

Food Truck Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday at Smith Park in downtown Jackson, celebrates with an Arts Explosion theme, filling the park with artists selling their works and creating art on the spot. So, go grab a bite and a sight and some music, too.

Food Truck Friday at Smith Park. Image: Greater Jackson Arts Council

Prepare your tastebuds and line up your ride. The 3rd annual Mississippi Craft Beer Festival, presented by Fondren Renaissance, 6 p.m. Friday on the grounds of Duling Hall promises a taste fest worthy of the name, with special emphasis on breweries within Mississippi and the region with representatives on hand to chat you up, discuss products and more. So, in addition to the latest brews news on the local front, there will be more than 100 beers from nearly two-dozen breweries ripe for the sampling. Tickets for the VIP hour 5-6 p.m. are $60 advance, $65 day of the festival and are limited. General admission, 6-9 p.m., is $30 advance, $35 fest day. Designated driver tickets are $10 at the door. It’s a 21 and older event. Visit fondren.org to see participating breweries and ticketfly.com for tickets.

Singer/songwriter Corey Harper brings his blend of acoustic folk/Americana, country and blues to Duling Hall, 9 p.m. Friday. It’s $5.

Corey Harper plays Friday night at Duling Hall. Image: ardenland

Such a natural pairing! Saturday’s Young Valley Rock’n’Roll Barbecue, 5 p.m. at Fondren Corner, raises the roof and raises money to kick-start the band’s upcoming record and to support the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Get a full factor of fun there, where a ticket purchase ($20 pre-sale on eventbrite.com, $15 for those younger than 21) gets you good music, BBQ and a beer to boot (age appropriate, of course). Children ages 10 and younger get in free. Food’s provided by Rooster’s and beer by Southern Beverage. The music lineup boasts Mark Roemer & Jamie Weems, TB Ledford and the Accumulators, European Theater, El Obo and Young Valley. Read more about the event here.

Image: Young Valley

Singer/songwriter/storyteller Cary Hudson, who made alt country/Southern rock band Blue Mountain such a favorite, brings his lyrics, music and tales to Hal & Mal’s Saturday at 7 p.m., performing free in the dining room. Tuesday, circle back around to Hal & Mal’s to enjoy progressive jazz with Raphael Semmes & Friends, 6 p.m. That, too, is free in the dining room.

Image: Cary Hudson

Cutting edge bluesman Lightnin’ Malcolm electrifies the stage at Martin’s 10 p.m. Saturday.

Lightnin’ Malcolm. Image: Elmore Magazine

Rugged yet uplifting spirited rock with a seasoning of Southern soul and R&B takes the stage at Duling Hall Sunday in the hands of Thomas Wynn & The Believers, 7 p.m., in a show ardenland’s calling a customer appreciation concert. There’s no cover charge!

Thomas Wynn & The Believers entertain at Duling Hall Sunday. Image: ardenland

The Bacon Brothers — yes, Kevin Bacon of big screen fame and film and TV composer Michael Bacon — bring their gritty rock with a touch of Philly soul to the stage at Duling Hall, 7:30 p.m. Monday. Tickets are $45 advance (ardenland.net) , $50 day of the show and $75 VIP.

The Bacon Brothers. Image: idobi.com.

The 5th annual Red Gala, 6-10 p.m. Saturday at the Hilton Jackson, welcomes actor and Mississippi native Julian Walker (BET’s “Being Mary Jane”) as master of ceremonies. The gala is organized by the Red Door Foundation, which seeks to change the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS, increase awareness in the African American community and be a catalyst for change. Cocktails are at 6 p.m. and the ceremony’s at 7 p.m.

Walker. Image: Julian Walker

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.

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