Celtic Fest. Image: Ron Blaylock

by Sherry Lucas

Fiddles and flutes and the soulful, stirring beat of a bodhran will quicken the pulse of anyone with Scots-Irish blood and many others besides, as CelticFest Mississippi makes a move to spring. The family-oriented fest is back Friday night and Saturday at the Mississippi Agriculture & Forestry Museum, kicking up fun while Irish eyes are still smiling from St. Paddy’s.

I feel it and have since the traditional Irish and Scottish tunes started my toes to tapping at my first CelticFest years ago. The infectious joy of the music, stories and dance — helped along, I admit, by a tasty pint of draft beer — sets spirits to soaring. Stick around for the huge Saturday night ceili, a rousing community dance party you hate to miss.

The Beth Israel Bazaar, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, promises a delicious spread of authentic Jewish foods, kugel to Reubens, brisket to blintzes, at Beth Israel Congregation, as well as a silent auction and white elephant sale. Don’t miss lunch there, or that incredible spread of gourmet desserts, or pop by later for a bite. Take a look at the full menu here and even call in an order if you can’t dine in.

Comedian Steve Hofstetter brings the funny stuff to Hops & Habanas, 2771 Old Canton Road, at 7 p.m. Wednesday (optional dinner served at 6:15 p.m.). Tickets are $20 advance, with the dinner option an additional $12.95 a person.

Poets & Jazz, 7-9 p.m. Wednesday at Lounge 114 Jxn, 105 Capitol St., offers a vibrant night of chill sounds, poetry and music for a #WineDownWednesday effect, with DJ Chris Lockhart and a special performance by Akyra delivering the listenables.

Curator LaTanya S. Autry leads a tour of Now: The Call and Look of Freedom,” 3 p.m. Thursday at the Tougaloo College Art Gallery, highlighting the ways artists expressed black self-determination and freedom, in an interactive discussion. The exhibition is on view through May 15.

Moving Images in Mississippi Bicentennial Film Series at the Mississippi Museum of Art, screens “Mississippi Burning,” at 6;30 p.m. Thursday, with Ward Emling, John Horhn and Jerry Mitchell as panelists. Friday’s film in the series is “Freedom Song” at 6:30 p.m., with Emling and Horhn on tap to discuss the film.

See “Mississippi Burning” Thursday night at the Mississippi Museum of Art. Image: Mississippi Museum of Art

JXN Gumbo, 6 p.m. Thursday at Cathead Distillery, celebrates and supports community projects. A $5 donation gets a bowl of gumbo and the chance to learn about community projects happening in Jackson, and to vote on which will benefit from money raised from the dinner. Purchase tickets a citizenjxn.org.

Atlanta Southern rock band Blackberry Smoke takes the stage at City Hall Live in Brandon Thursday night, with Tyler Bryant & The Shaketown rounding out the bill. Tickets are $32.50 for the 8 p.m. show.

Blackberry Smoke plays City Hall Live in Brandon Thursday night. Image: ardenland

Lessons Learned: Following the Protests at UVA, Charlottesville” is the topic of Friday’s Millsaps College Millsaps Forum Series in the Gertrude C. Ford Academic Complex Room 215 at 1 p.m. Shaka Sydor, Assistant Dean of Students at the University of Virginia, will discuss the University and the Division of Student Affairs’ pre-protest briefings and preparations, the reactions during the protests, and the post-protest debriefings on enhancing its emergency response. It’s free.

Country music singer/songwriter/Southern storyteller Tyler Childers brings the telling landscapes of his childhood Kentucky home, as captured in his “Purgatory” debut, to Hal & Mal’s, 8 p.m Friday in the Red Room. Tickets are $12 advance (ardenland.net) and $15 day of show. Also Friday, incredibly skilled guitarist Barry Leach strums through an eclectic blend, free in the dining room, starting at 7 p.m.

Tyler Childers plays Friday night at Hal & Mal’s. Image: ardenland

The Unframed Series at New Stage Theatre presents “Boy,” about the complicated terrain of trying to find love in a new body, Thursday through Sunday at New Stage’s Warehouse Theatre, 1000 Monroe Street in Belhaven Heights. Recommended for adult audiences, the drama is inspired by a true story. In it, characters grapple with the results, two decades later, of a doctor’s decision to convince parents to raise their male infant as a girl following a terrible accident. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, and at 2 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $10 cash or check at the door.

Kate Woodley (from left), Richard Lawrence, Wendie Sheppard and Sam Furman are in the cast of “Boy,” Thursday through Sunday at New Stage’s Warehouse Theatre. Image: New Stage Theatre

CelticFest moves to spring this year, kicking off 7-10 p.m. Thursday with a CD release party at the Fairview Inn that features Spirits of the House, Finvarra’s Wren from Michigan and Uilleann piper Joey Abarta from Boston. Abarta will join Spirits of the House to debut tunes from their new collaborative recording, with musicians welcome to sit in. The kickoff party is free.

Friday and Saturday, CelticFest brings the celebration spring at the Mississippi Agriculture & Forestry Museum, with music, storytelling, dancing and more. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. Friday with music from Emerald Accent, Reeves & Abarta, Finvarra’s Wren and more, plus a Ceili Beag with Jackie O’Riley (music from Emerald Accent & Friends), starting at 8 p.m. Friday. The festival grounds re-open at 10 a.m. and go all day with Highland Games demonstrations, pipes and drums, music including festival fave Mairtin de Cogain Project, workshops, a Kindred Spirits Whiskey Tasting (separate admission), an 8 p.m. Ceili Mor and so much more. Find the full schedule at celticfestms.org. Festival admission is $5 Friday night, and $16 adults, $12 military and seniors and college students and $8 children ages 3-17 on Saturday, at the gate.

The Saturday night Ceili Mor is a highlight of CelticFest Mississippi. Image: Ron Blaylock

The JBP Pre-Expo Networking Mixer, 6-8 p.m. Friday at Lounge 114 Jxn, pulls together all the key parts — vendors, sponsors, movers and shakers — for networking and moreover music drinks and food (eats compliments of Jackson Black Pages. It’s free and open to the public. The 4th annual Jackson Black Business Expo, noon to 5 p.m. Saturday at Tougaloo College Health and Wellness Center, is a chance to shop and network with 150-plus black business vendors and entrepreneurs and practice some economic flex in the tri-county area.

Drippin’ in Finesse: A 90s Party, 9 p.m. Friday at The Flamingo delivers a danceable evening of hip-hop, pop and R&B, and encourages ‘90s attire for extra fun. DJ Young Venom supplies the tunes and a cash bar will be at the ready. Find tickets, $15 general admission, on eventbrite.com.

Comedian/actor/rapper/singer Katt Williams’ 11:11 RNS World Tour comes to the Mississippi Coliseum, 8 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $49-$99 and up on ticketmaster.com.

March for Our Lives — Jackson, 11 a.m. Saturday at Supreme Court of Mississippi, 450 High St., is a capital city way to march in solidarity with Parkland High School students and their march on Washington, D.C., to end senseless gun violence.

Folk rock in the capable hands of Mobile’s The Mulligan Brothers livens up Saturday night at Duling Hall, with Oh Jeremiah opening the 8 p.m. show. Tickets are $10 advance, $15 day of show.

The Mulligan Brothers perform Saturday night at Duling Hall. Image: ardenland

A.I.M.H.I.G.H. Music presents J.R. Prince’s listening party for the “Under the Covers” Mixtape, 8 p.m. Saturday at The Flamingo. It’s free and open to the public.

A Mural Reveal, 6-10 p.m. Saturday at Hops and Habanas, celebrates Sherman Norwood’s work with an official reveal and a live beat challenge, local art and merchandise and more.

The Mississippi Symphony Orchestra’s Bravo series finale concert is 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Thalia Mara Hall. The “Epic Elegance” evening pairs Brahms’ famous “Variations on a Theme by Haydn” and the stirring thrill of Mahler’s “The Titan.” For tickets, visit msorchestra.com or call 601-960-1565.

The Mississippi Symphony Orchestra’s “Epic Elegance” Bravo concert is Saturday night at Thalia Mara Hall. Image: Communication Arts Company

All Ye’ at 9 p.m. Saturday at Offbeat, is an all-Kanye production of songs and vibes curated by DJ Breakem Off and DJ Young Venom. Cover is $5.

Christian music band Newsboys brings their Newsboy United tour to the Mississippi Coliseum, 6 p.m. Sunday. General admission tickets, $18 to $25 and up, are available at ticketmaster.com.

The Get Money, Stop Hatin’! Tour, 9 p.m. Sunday at The Flamingo is the Jackson stop of the 10th annual tour, featuring a range of independent artists including Jess Jones, Jayali and more. Find tickets — $10 early bird, $12 general admission, $35 VIP and on up — at eventbrite.com.

TuesdayTALKs: Black Panther in Black America Part 2, 6 p.m. Tuesday at Kundi Compound, continues the conversation about the groundbreaking movie. It’s free and open to the public.

Sherry Lucas, a features writer in Jackson for the last 34 years, is here on Wednesdays with “The Mix,” highlighting a sampling of creativity and culture from across the metro area. For additional events, see our online events calendar here. Reach Sherry at sherry@finditinfondren.com.

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