Cinco de Mayo calls for margaritas (like these at Cantina Laredo). Image: Cantina Laredo

by Sherry Lucas

If you ever needed a reason for a margarita, Dos Equis, guac or taco, Saturday’s dishing one up with Cinco de Mayo. Tequila, fresh lime juice and Cointreau, on the rocks with a rim of salt, is my at-home pref on the margarita front, but celebrations might entice a foray beyond those borders.

Love that fiesta of Latin flavors? It’ll be worth a trek around the neighborhoods this weekend (or ANY weekend or weeknight, for that matter) to indulge in something tasty from Babalu, Green Ghost Tacos or Cantina Laredo.

Also check out numerous events with a Cinco de Mayo (or Kentucky Derby, or both) tie-in that raise fun and funds for great causes!

A signing and reading of “Southern Writers on Writing,” edited by Susan Cushman with contributions from Jim Dees, Clyde Edgerton, Jennifer Horne, Harrison Scott Key and more, is 5 p.m. Wednesday at Lemuria Books.

Fondren After 5, starting at 5 p.m. Thursday, offers the usual mix of fun, festivities and neighborhood friends. Highlights include a Mental Health month focus with 20-plus exhibitors, music by the Hinds Community Jazz Band and then Seth Power and Kerry Thomas on the flatbed stage, all on Duling Avenue, and Cody Rogers and Taylor Hildebrand at Sneaky Beans. Keep an eye and ear out, too, for Vibe Doctors, Betsy Berryhill and the Vibe Tribe, starting around 6 p.m. at The Flamingo; and, Dazz & Brie from Little Rock Arkansas at Hops and Habanas starting at 7 p.m. There’s art at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, too.

At Duling Hall Thursday, enjoy the Appalachian-steeped songs and country/blues/folk stylings of EmiSunshine, 7:30 p.m. Thursday. It’s $15 advance (ardenland.net), $20 day of show for the all-ages concert.

EmiSunshine performs Thursday night at Duling Hall. Image: TheEmiSunshine.com

Join the Belhaven Heights Mural Unveiling, 6-8 p.m. Thursday at Belhaven Residential, 730 N. Jefferson St., and a family evening of music, food, face painting and progress on the historic neighborhood’s new addition, by artist Douglas Panzone.

Country music lights up the Brandon Amphitheater Thursday night with Brantley Gilbert’s “The Ones That Like Me” Tour and a bill that also features Aaron Lewis and Josh Phillips. The show’s at 7 p.m.; tickets range $17-$55 on ticketmaster.com.

In Madison Thursday, gather at the Red Caboose to the start of the Swing into Summer series, with music by Persuaders, inflatables, a petting zoo and more, 6-8 p.m.

Irish sensation Celtic Woman brings the enchanting of the Emerald Isle — both traditional and contemporary standards — to Jackson’s Thalia Mara Hall stage, 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Find tickets on ticketmaster.com.

Live @ Lunch perks up mid-day downtown, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday in The Art Garden at the Mississippi Museum of Art, with the tunes of Kerry Thomas.

Kerry Thomas performs Friday at Live @ Lunch. Image: Mississippi Museum of Art

Best-selling author and ace storyteller Rick Bragg signs and reads from his latest, The Best Cook in the World: Tales from My Momma’s Table,” 5 p.m. Friday at Lemuria Books. Trust me, you’ll want to hear all this in his voice!

Country musician Jon Langston brings a fresh and lively voice to Duling Hall, 9 p.m. Friday. Listen up for his current single, “Prob’ly at a Bar.” Tickets are $15 advance (ardenland.net), $20 day of show.

Jon Langston performs Friday night at Duling Hall.

Kundi Compound, 256 E. Fortification St., celebrates its one-year anniversary with a Friday reception, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., for folks to drop in, meet the owners, anchor tenants and members and hear about the year’s accomplishments. Refreshments will be served; it’s free.

Be among the hundreds of cyclists rolling happily along in the Natchez Trace Century Ride 2018, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, starting and ending in Ridgeland — fun for riders of all ages and abilities, with a choice of distances 25-100 miles, and mild to moderate elevation. Registration fees are $55 through Friday ( )  $65 on race day. Stick around for Visit Ridgeland’s Cinco de Mayo-themed Rockin’ After the Ride at the Renaissance afterward. Sign up at ridgelandsportsandevents.com.

St. Richard Catholic Church’s Flight to the Finish X, 9 a.m. Saturday, is a 5K Run, Walk and Mile presented by the St. Richard Cardinal Men’s Club, with a delicious finish complete with a crawfish boil and pig roast at the Pig N Tails Party post-race. Serious runners, walkers and funsters can call 601-366-1157 for more info, pre-register  or register on race day, starting at 7:30 a.m. in the church gym.

Hat up and head out to the 11th annual Seersucker & Sombreros Saturday at the Cathead Distillery — the most efficient festivities in town that, thanks to the Phoenix Club of Jackson, blends the Kentucky Derby and Cinco de Mayo for double fun. The action starts at 3 p.m. and parties along till midnight, from derby distillery party to fiesta and after-party fun, with live music from Luckenbach and food and drinks included. Tickets are $50 advance (eventbrite.com), $60 at the door; the event benefits Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Mississippi.

Seersucker & Sombreros is Saturday at the Cathead Distillery. Image: Phoenix Club of Jackson

The Friends of the USA IBC Kentucky Derby Party, 4:30-7 p.m. Saturday at 2377 Twin Lakes Circle — an annual fundraiser for the USA IBC — is another hat-tastic occasion to watch the televised race, participate in a Derby Day raffle, enter a hat contest and more. Tickets, $75 each, include tasty Derby Day fare, mint juleps and more.

The inaugural Spring Festival, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Jackson Medical Mall Thad Cochran Center promises unique vendors, artists, local chefs and food trucks, as well as free health screenings and entertainment from local artists.

HRC Derby Day: Racing for Equality, 3:30-7 p.m. Saturday at the Fairview Inn, gathers Kentucky Derby and human rights enthusiasts for the race, plus food and drink, a silent auction and music from Heart Society. Don those derby-spirited outfits and join the fun. Tickets are $50 advance online  and $60 at the door.

A Cinco de Mayo Native Plant Sale, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, in the store at the Mississippi Museum of Art, gets you a jump on summer. Many of the varieties have been propagated from the Art Garden, so if you like what you see there, get shopping for that, plus yard and planters. Look forward to other treats and discounts, too.

The Writer’s Circle, 4:30-6:30 p.m. Saturday at Kundi Compound, welcomes noted poet, playwright, cultural critic and hip-hop journalist Charlie R. Braxton. Writers are invited to come join the conversation.

Zoo Blues, starting at 4 p.m. Sunday, puts the wild side on the festive grounds at the zoo’s community center with the party-hearty lineup of The Bar-Kays, Calvin Richardson, Urban Mystic, Vick Allen, Tre Williams and Karen Brown. Tickets are $35 advance (at the zoo, Thalia Mara Hall box office or ticketmaster.com) and $40 at the gate (opening at 2 p.m. Sunday). Concessions will be available, and a portion of proceeds benefit the zoo.

A Milkshake Social and Boppin’ Bingo, 5 p.m. Sunday at Brent’s Drugs, presented by Harbor House, features a Harbor House alum as featured speaker. Contributions are welcome.

Preparing for Mother’s Day, May 13? Save 10 percent on handcrafted Wolfe Birds through May 12 at the Wolfe Studio’s Mother’s Day sale.

Sherry Lucas, a features writer in Jackson for the last 34 years, is here on Wednesdays with “The Mix,” highlighting a curated 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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