Image: U.S. Air Force/Senior Airman Brian Ferguson

by Sherry Lucas

Ahh, Thanksgiving! I annually give thanks for this holiday, its feast focus and the comfortable knowledge that I can do all the necessary shopping at the grocery store.

The traditions seem to shift a bit from year to year among my set, but turkey, something pumpkin and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade are my personal threads through time. The parade is my annual chance to pick Broadway musicals I want to go see — based on those fun street snippets — should I wind up in New York City in the foreseeable future. My latest favorite game is watching the parade like a hawk each year just to see the float with children in furry animal costumes. Catching that kid dressed up as a skunk just makes my whole morning. Pie takes care of the afternoon.

On Black Friday and especially Small Business Saturday, remember local merchants holding on amid the competition from big box stores and online giants, and throw some retail love their way, too, as you go about your holiday shopping. Just think: fewer crowds, personal service, more unique selections and no stalker parking!

The newly opened Journey to the North Pole holiday exhibit (through Jan. 7) transforms the Mississippi Children’s Museum into a wintry village amid twinkling lights and train cars. But sure to check it out throughout the holiday season.

Journey to the North Pole is a special holiday exhibit at the Mississippi Children’s Museum. Image: Lindsay McMurtray

Relive ‘80s fun or experience it for the first time (as shared by an an awesome tribute band) as The Molly Ringwalds bring music, video and some seriously enjoyable grooves to Duling Hall, 9 p.m. Wednesday. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 advance (ardenland.net), $30 at the door. Get your grooves in before gobblin’ time Thursday!

The Molly Ringwalds. Image: The Molly Ringwalds

The Jackson Zoo says thanks to the community with free admission on Thanksgiving Day, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Enjoy the park with your family and if you’ve been blessed throughout the year, consider a donation to the zoo’s general fund or its Change for Change Conservation Program. Another sweet way to give: Check out the bake sale hosted by the American Association of Zoo Keepers — Jackson chapter, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday at the Gertrude C. Ford Education Center (while supplies last).

The Jackson Zoo has free admission on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day. Image: Dave Wetzel/Jackson Zoo

Also on Thanksgiving Day, if you need to get out of the house and shake your own person tail feathers, the Thanksgiving Show with European Theater at Martin’s might be your answer. Folk singers with a full band sounds like feastly fun on a holiday Thursday.

Emerge from your tryptophan/Thanksgiving-feast coma on Friday to check out the extended run of Fall in Fondren: Gaddis Group Watercolor Show, open at 11:30 a.m. Friday-Saturday and Dec. 1-2 and 7.

Also, why fight store saturation and mall mania on Black Friday? Put your dollars where your fun and community creativity really blossom on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. On Friday and Saturday, enjoy 20 percent off until noon, and 10 percent off noon to 5 p.m. at the Mississippi Craft Center and Outlets of Mississippi and snap up handcrafted decorations, ornaments and unique artisan-crafted gifts by Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi members, for friends, family, yourself (guilty!, I confess), plus refreshments, craft demonstrations and $1 gift wrap for purchases. In Midtown, be sure to drop by Black Friday @ Offbeat, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday for cool deals and discounts on pre-loved vinyl and designer toys. At Highland Village, Buffalo Peak opens at 8 a.m. with complimentary coffee from Deep South Pops and donuts and name-brand savings. The Village will host you in the afternoon Friday with their Sip & Shop Weekend – free champagne while you shop the latest toys and specialty candy at their Holiday Pop Up store – and Saturday morning at 10 a.m. with mimosas.

Check out Black Friday and Small Business Saturday savings at the Mississippi Craft Center and Outlets of Mississippi. Image: Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi

Blow it out Friday night by horning in on the fun at Underground 119, where the Southern Komfort Brass Band puts its talents to most excellent effect!

The Southern Komfort Brass Band livens up Underground 119 Friday night. Image: Southern Komfort Brass Band

Support your local comedian. Rita Brent’s Hart of the City” Watch Party debuts on Comedy Central Friday night and Brent’s hosting the event at The Hideaway. Doors open at 9 p.m. and the watch party starts promptly at 10 p.m. It’s free.

New Orleans band The Quickening commands the Martin’s stage Friday night. Guitarist/songwriter Blake Quick (formerly of Flow Tribe) assembled a stellar set of practitioners skilled in the art of feel-good music.

This tops it all. The Holiday Top Hat Brunch, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Hilton Jackson, puts a stylish touch on all aspects in the annual fundraiser for the National Coalition of 100 Black Women Central Mississippi Chapter. Holiday Hats on the Runway is this year’s theme and all guests — women, men and youth — are invited to participate in the Legendary Parade of Hats competition with enough categories to surely catch that festive topper you’re rocking, too. That, plus a yummy brunch, music and shopping (9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.) make it a fashionable outing all around. Seating’s at 10:30 a.m. Tickets are $50 per person; call 601-331-2613 or 601-790-7491. The event funds scholarships and chapter programs in the community.

The 26th annual Holiday Top Hat Brunch is Saturday at the Hilton Jackson. Image: National Coalition of 100 Black Women — Central Mississippi Chapter

Saturday, the Issa Groove SneakerBoxx Pop-up offers exclusive merchandise, complimentary food and wine and a complimentary professional picture with any purchase, 2-6 p.m. at Creative Loft Space Midtown, 121 Millsaps Ave. Studio 10.

The MegaRun Extra Credit Tour 2017, 8 p.m. Saturday at Offbeat, supports his new album “Extra Credit,” with New Orleans’ Alfred Banks and rapper/trombonist Kadesh Flow along. Also performing: Ray Kincaid and a beat set by DonChe. It’s $10; find a ticket link on the Facebook post.

New Orleans-based funk rock masters Flow Tribe bring the vibe back to Martin’s with a Saturday night show, 10 p.m. Hear second line brass and Cuban-Caribbean rhythms mix it up with R&B, soul, rock in hip-hop beats with enough energy to warrant a holiday weekend celebration! Midnight Revel opens. Tickets are $12-$15; visit martinsbar39201.ticketfly.com.

Flow Tribe performs Saturday night at Martin’s. Image: flowtribe.com

Help out Murrah High students as they raise money for their award-winning literary magazine, at Pleiades Open Mic Night, 5-7 p.m. Tuesday on the Rooftop of the Old Capitol Inn.

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.