I was 17, I was in New York City, and I was in a Greek restaurant for the first time in my life, but hardly the last. I’d never tasted moussaka before — that casserole that’s like a Greek version of lasagna, with its layers of eggplant, meat sauce and fluffy Béchamel — and it was love at first bite. Its cinnamon-spiced meat sauce was a revelation. Once I got home I raved about it so much, Mom and I found a recipe in the New York Times International Cookbook and made it again and again and again.
That cookbook, now a treasure on my own shelf, naturally falls open to the section on Greece and on that recipe, where the stains say, “Stop here. Do this. It’s a good ‘un.” I’ve tried different versions (mushroom moussaka in Mollie Katzen’s “Moosewood Cookbook,” for one) and like them all, but that one will always be my beloved base, both for the memories it sparks and the doors it opened — to a feast of more Greek goodies, savory spanakopita to sweet baklava.
Combine that with Greek music, dancing and fellowship and you have a first-rate winner on the community festival front. Find it this weekend at Greekfest, Friday through Sunday at Holy Trinity – St. John the Theologian Greek Orthodox Church at the corner of Old Canton and Pear Orchard roads. Look for the tents, listen for the music and follow that enticing aroma!
The Sessions Trio livens up the District Green Live, starting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. Drop by, bring the kids and lawn chairs and relax in a sweet spot between Fine & Dandy and Cantina Laredo (or grab some sips and shade in one of the patio bars).
The Dinner & a Movie Food Truck Festival (Vol. 5) 5-10 p.m. Thursday at the Mississippi Museum of Art pulls together great eats, arts, tunes and flicks. Details: pop-up Mississippi Arts Commission Apprentice Showcase; Art Lab for all ages; live music from Pam Confer 6-7:30 p.m.; 17 food trucks; screening of “WALL-E” at 8 p.m. and that’s not even all of it. The event’s free, with cash bar and food available for purchase.
Skipp Coon, Ben Ricketts, Vitamin Cea and Empty Atlas bring a bunch of talent to the table and the stage at The Flamingo, local hip-hop to indie rock, 6 p.m. Thursday. Music starts at 7 p.m.; cover is $10.
The May Run Club, 6 p.m. Thursday, joins the Pot Hole Runners on a group run from luluemon in Highland Village.
Jackson Black Pages’ “Network Your Net Worth,” 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday at Kundi Compound, is a monthly event for black businesses and entrepreneurs to meet, network and learn from dynamic speakers such as investment group founder C.J. Lawrence this time.
Zoo Brew, rescheduled from earlier because of a weather threat, taps the kegs and pours the brews this Friday at the Jackson Zoo, with tons of craft beer and signature cocktails for your tasting pleasure, food from local restaurants, a homebrew competition and more. It’s 6-9 p.m., tickets are $40 general and $70 VIP (5 p.m. entry) and $20 designated driver, and you must be 21 or older to attend.
At The Flamingo Friday, visit the pop-up gallery “Bars and Brushes: The Art of Kwame Braxton” with special guest Vitamin Cea. It’s free, with art for sale, 7-11 p.m.
Rev up your taste buds and practice your “Opa!” for Greekfest, with a three-day schedule that’ll surely tuck somewhere into your calendar. Hours are: on Friday, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for drive-through and delivery at lunch, 5-10 p.m. with live music 7-9:30 p.m.; Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. with professional Greek dancers and band, authentic Greek food, marketplace, church tours, kids fun and more. Find more details at greekfestjackson.org. Below, dancers enjoy the music at last year’s Greekfest. Sorry I only got the back side view. I was busy eating!
“Get Your Feet Wet!” at 11 a.m., 1 p.m and 3 p.m. Saturday at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, with a live stage show as acclaimed filmmakers brother/sister duo Laura and Robert Sams share awesome footage of underwater animals, music and inspiring stories about kids making a difference in their communities. The program is included with museum admission.
The annual street festival Midfest, hosted by the Business Association of Midtown (BAM) is 3-8 p.m. Saturday in Jackson’s creative hot spot for entrepreneurs, and features businesses, products, performances, food and drinks “Made in Midtown.” Get a great sense of this special neighborhood, as well as its cool output on the arts, fine crafts, music and culinary fronts with 20-plus vendors. The event’s free and open to the public. Join the block party on Wesley Avenue in the Midtown Arts district, enjoy Southern Komfort Brass Band’s second-line parade through Midtown and more.
“Introspective,” an exhibition of Pearl River Glass Studio founder Andrew Cary Young’s personal collection of art, opens with a reception 3-8 p.m. Saturday at the studio, and will remain on view through June 16.
Offbeat’s 4-year anniversary sale, starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, includes specials on records, special performances by NF//GS at 3 p.m. and more. Jujutsu: Gatchaman/Battle of the Planets Edition starts at 8 p.m.
Saturday night at The Flamingo, it’s “An Evening in Paradise: Adult Prom,” with an occasion to revisit the glory days of high school or grab a super-cool do-over as an over-21-er. It’s $15 single, $25 couple (before fees) on eventbrite.com.
“The Science of Ripley’s Believe It or Not!” exhibit opens Saturday at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science with so many marvels, it spills out into the lobby. Young tykes can crawl through a life-size model of a prehistoric snake and teen girls might find a candy portrait of Justin Bieber pretty sweet. A two-faced cow, animated model of a real-life giant and a camel sculpture out of discarded kids toys are just a hint of the things you’ll see and learn about the science behind them. The exhibit runs through Sept. 9.
Pentecost in the Park, 10:30 a.m. Sunday at Jamie Fowler Boyll Park, by St. Luke’s Methodist Church and We Are One UMC celebrates the Christian holiday with a special worship service. Bring blankets and/or chairs and the family for the kids’ activities, consider bringing a side dish or dessert to share and stay for a church picnic lunch.
The Mississippi Community Symphonic Band’s concert 3 p.m. Sunday at Christ United Methodist Church is a celebration of freedom, with patriotic salutes and other American favorites in and MS Swing at intermission. Tenor Christopher Phillips will perform “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Murder Mystery Dinner, 6 p.m. Monday at Char, combines dinner theater and tasty eats with a three-course prix fixe menu and an interactive mystery presented by Detectives Dinner Theatre. Seating’s at 6 p.m., with dinner and a show at 7 p.m. Reserve a spot, $49 (plus tax and gratuity) by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.