The view from atop the giant Ferris wheel at the Mississippi State Fair. Image: Sophie McNeil Wolf

by Sherry Lucas

Fair weather friends, grab a jacket because nights usually get a little breezier this time of year. The thrills of midway rides and the heady aromas of snacks-on-a-stick are back as the Mississippi State Fair kicks into action with Wednesday’s opening. It’ll command the State Fairground, lay waste to your wallet and put a smile on your face, straight through Oct. 15.

Biscuits, beef and Ferris wheels are my long-time fair faves and I bet the 158th edition of this annual draw will have all that so much more.

Take a break from the fairgrounds lights, action and hoopla Thursday for Fondren After 5, and again on Saturday, when the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra opens its Bravo season with a concert version of Scott Joplin’s opera “Treemonisha.” I’ve been enjoying YouTube selections of its finale “A Real Slow Drag” since June; in the hands of the MSO and the voices of acclaimed soloists and three college choirs, it ought to be splendid.

The 2017 Mississippi State Fair opens Wednesday and continues through Oct. 15 with thrilling rides, fair food, midway music and more. On the midway this week, find: Brothers Osborne, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday; William Michael Morgan, 7:30 p.m. Thursday; Lady L. and the River City Band, 8 p.m. Friday; Fred T and the Band, 8 p.m. Saturday; The Revelations at 2 p.m. and Jason Gibson & the Destiny Project, 4 p.m. on Sunday; The Temptations, 7:30 p.m. on Monday; and The Oak Ridge Boys, 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Concerts are included with regular fair admission. Find more details and the Fun Guide at msfair.net.

Get a jump start with hump day fun. as rock band J. Roddy Walston and the Business entertain at Duling Hall, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday with Sleepwalkers opening. It’s $15 advance (ardenland.net), $20 at the door.

J. Roddy Walston and the Business plays Wednesday at Duling Hall. Image: ardenland

Fondren After 5 on Thursday continues the State Street Concert Series, starting at 5 p.m., with local bands, regional headliners, beer trailers to slake the thirst and plenty of chow at Fondren’s finest easily within walking distance, all centered at 2906 N. State St. It’s presented by Sneaky Beans and Rooster’s with sponsor Southern Beverage. The festivities kick up around 5:30 p.m., on the top parking deck behind Fondren Corner with music from Fides, Furrows and Southern Komfort Brass Band.

Fides performs during Fondren After 5: State Street Concert Series. Image: Fides

Reggae band The Wailers, formed by members of Bob Marley & the Wailers, bring the Jamaican vibe to Duling Hall, 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Tickets are $30 advance, $35 at the door.

The Wailers perform Thursday night at Duling Hall. Image: ardenland

Meet and greet and sip celebratory champagne, 5 p.m. Thursday at The Flamingo, 3011 N. State St., at the soft opening for the venue that’s a new advocate for local arts and music in Fondren and get a sneak peek at the opening weekend fun; register (it’s free) at eventbrite.com. Return on Friday for the grand opening party 7 p.m. to midnight, and musical performances by Clouds & Crayons, James Crow, The Jackson Jackals and Silent G. During the day Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. check out the pop-up retro boutique with vintage furniture and art, housewares and more.

Get your weekend art start Thursday at the Cedars, where “Fall,” the Four Seasons of the Cedars Visual and Performing Arts Series, showcases recent works by Ann Seale and Thomas Wilson. A free opening reception is 5-8 p.m. Thursday. There will also be a special showing of artwork from Boyd 3rd graders produced during a recent in-school art camp, hanging in a clothesline show on the back porch. And if that’s not enough, the results of Thursday’s Plein Air Paint-Out in Fondren will hang in the back room gallery. The “Fall” show’s up through Oct. 27.

Close-up of work by Thomas Wilson, on display Thursday at The Cedars. Image: Thomas Wilson

An art reception for the work of Eli Childers, “Segments and Intersections,” is 6 p.m. Thursday at The Studio — Patterson Photography & Blaylock Photography, 3017 N. State St.

See “The View from Here,” a solo exhibition of Jerrod Partidge’s artwork from Italy, Massachusetts and Mississippi, opening downtown Thursday at the Dickies Building, 736 S. President St., with a reception 5-8 p.m.

Jerrod Partridge’s “Back Yard with Azaleas” is among the works in his “The View from Here” show at the Dickies Building. A reception is Thursday. Image: Jerrod Partridge

Same building, same night, Writing on the Wall”: Mississippi Literary Portraits, a new body of work by Stacy Underwood, opens Thursday at 5 p.m. at Fischer Galleries.

A new documentary about a Mississippi civil rights legend, “Fannie Lou Hamer: Stand Up,” premieres at 7 p.m. Thursday on Mississippi Public Broadcasting (MPB). Hamer, an African-American sharecropper from the Delta, is remembered by those who worked alongside her in the fight for voting rights.

“Fannie Lou Hamer: Stand Up” airs Thursday on Mississippi Public Broadcasting. Image: MPB

The Kundi Compound Open House, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, is an invitation to businesses, nonprofits, artists and creatives to come visit 256 E. Fortification St. and see how they can make use of the space.

The “All Things Green: Sustainable Community, Home Business and Urban Farm” conference, is Wednesday and Thursday in Jackson at the Mississippi Agriculture & Forestry Museum’s Heritage Building, with plenty of info on greener cities, correct planting, storm prep, agritourism, pollinators and more. Find the schedule and more details at msurbanforest.com.

Jackson’s own Young Valley headlines an all-ages show Friday night at Duling Hall with country and Southern-tinged rock’n’roll, and a lineup that also includes The Woodland and Codetta South, ), $12 at the door.

Young Valley performs Friday night at Duling Hall. Image: Walter Lyle

Mississippi Symphony Orchestra’s Bravo Series season opener Saturday is a celebration of American genius — a concert version of Scott Joplin’s “Treemonisha” that pulls together 11 soloists including critically acclaimed national voices (including popular Mississippi baritone James Martin), the choruses of Jackson State University, Tougaloo College and Mississippi College and the full MSO. The concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday is MSO’s celebration of Mississippi’s bicentennial, with its Southern setting and the early 20th century rhythms that were the roots of American music. The opera’s mythical heroine, on a former slave plantation, seeks to lead her community forward through enlightenment and learning, away from ignorance and superstition. For tickets, $25 and up, visit msorchestra.com or call 601-960-1565.

Acclaimed soprano Hope Briggs has the title role in “Treemonisha” Saturday at Thalia Mara Hall. Image: Mississippi Symphony Orchestra

Hear National Book Award winner, best-selling author and historian Ibram X. Kendi (“Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America”), 6 p.m. Saturday at Russell C. Davis Planetarium. Kendi’s talk, part of the Mississippi Humanities Council’s Cora Norman Lecture Series, is free and open to the public.

Author Ibram X. Kendi gives a lecture Saturday at David Planetarium. Image: Jeff Watts/American University.

Jackson-born/Nashville-based singer/songwriter and country artist Shelly Fairchild brings all that good music right back home, 8 p.m. Saturday. Her latest, “Buffalo,” marks a milestone for Fairchild, with her most personal creative effort to date, with songs that’re classic country, gospel-and blues-infused. It’s $12 advance (ardenland.net), $15 at the door.

Shelley Fairchild performs Saturday night at Duling Hall. Image: shelleyfairchild.com

Celebrating our “Soul Food City” in its seventh season showcasing the best of Jackson’s culinary scene, Jackson Restaurant Week kicks off seven days of good eats and great giving Sunday. See the list of participating restaurants, eligible charities and more at jacksonrestaurantweek.com.

Sunday, check out Friends of Survivors’ 6th annual Pink the Runway, 6 p.m. Sunday outside the Arts Center of Mississippi, on Lamar Street; the fashion show’s at 7 p.m. Tickets, $20 general admission and $40 VIP (includes front row seating, light refreshments, complimentary wine), are on sale at ticketmaster.com.

The Air1 Positive Hits Tour, 7 p.m. Sunday at the Mississippi Coliseum, boasts a lineup that includes Skillet, Britt Nicole, Colton Dixon, Tauren Wells & Gawvi. Tickets, starting at $19.75-$179, are on sale at ticketmaster.com.

Skillet headlines Sunday’s Positive Hits Tour Sunday at the Mississippi Coliseum. Image: skillet.com

The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus: The Lavender Pen Tour, a sweep through the South with a mission of community, activism and compassion, comes to Jackson for a Sunday concert to promote acceptance and love through music. The concert, 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Thalia Mara Hall, will include special guests the New Orleans Gay Men’s Chorus, and benefit the AIDS Services Coalition, Human Rights Campaign and TEAP-MS (a program of the ACLU). Tickets, $12-$40, are on sale at ticketmaster.com.

The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus performs Sunday night at Thalia Mara Hall. Image: sfgmc.org

Come watch Clouds and Crayons’ Love Soliloquy: A Visual Album 5-8 pm. Sunday at 133 Millsaps St. in Midtown.

The debut of The Mic Club is Sunday at Kundi Compound, 8 p.m., with events, too, at 8 p.m. Oct. 22 and 8 p.m. Nov. 5. It’s fight club for MCs, a spot to try new material and songs, challenge fellow MCs and more.

Road trip! Artwork from dozens of artists with Hinds Community College connections provides a stellar showing in the Centennial Art Show now in the Marie Hull Gallery on HCC’s Raymond campus. A reception at 4 p.m. Tuesday welcomes the enjoy the exhibition that includes works by former HCC art chair Bob Dunaway, stained glass artist Jerry Hymel, well-known Mississippi artists Wyatt Waters and Bill Dunlap, fashion designer Gary Feazelle, art department chair/gallery director Sarah Teasley and more current and former faculty, students and alumni. The showcase remains on view through Oct. 27.

Sarah Teasley is among the artists showcased in the Centennial Art Show at Hinds Community College. A reception is Tuesday. Image: HCC

Forest-based musician Anse Rigby, worship leader at St. Matthew’s United Methodist Church in Madison, debuts his debut studio release, “All Along,” with a CD release show, 7 p.m. Tuesday at Duling Hall. Ben Ford opens. Tickets are $8 advance (ardenland.net), $10 at the door.

Fondrenite Sherry Lucas, a feature writer in Jackson for the last 34 years, is here on Wednesdays with “The Mix,” highlighting a sampling of creativity and culture from Fondren and beyond. For additional Fondren-centric events, see our Fondren events calendar. Reach Sherry at sherry@finditinfondren.com.