by Sherry Lucas

Bright Lights Belhaven Nights is cruising into its teens years with the kind of growth that strapping youths enjoy. The street festival’s early years had an easy charm, enticing neighbors and friends outside to socialize on a late summer weekend as vacations drew to a close and back-to-school anticipation started to build.

It’s still that way now — just with more great music, more great food, more great art and even more great folks you’d love to catch up with. Join the casual stroll on charming streets, the local vendors, the Mississippi music and the spirit of community that hangs over it all.

See you on the streets, in the shade or near a stage, outdoors or in, somewhere around town this weekend!

At Highland Village, join the Village Social: Bend & Brew, 6:15 p.m. Wednesday, and The Village Social Trivia, 7 p.m. Friday for luau-themed trivia, grass skirts and all.

Austin-based funk/soul band Roxy Roca brings that funky fun to the Red Room at Hal & Mal’s Thursday, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, with Stonewalls and Anissa Hampton.  Tickets are $10 on

Roxy Roca plays Thursday at Hal & Mal’s. Image: ardenland

Kick back and enjoy the incredible guitar playing of one of Jackson’s best, as Barry Leach entertains at Barrelhouse, starting at 5 p .m. Thursday.

Julian Rankin signs and reads from his book, “Catfish Dream: Ed Scott’s Fight for His Family Farm and Racial Justice in the Mississippi Delta, 5 p.m. Thursday at Lemuria Books.

Jordan Red of Tweak LLC offers a free intermediate level workshop on design, composition and motion graphics during Fleet Creative’s monthly gathering, this month at Mantle, City Club, 622 Duling Ave., at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. Space is limited so register here.

Get School’d is the theme for Food Truck Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday at Smith Park, where great food meets great music by DJ Black of WMPR. Bring school supplies to donate and help give Jackson Public School students a back to school boost.

Food Truck Friday at Smith Park has a back-to-school theme. Image: Greater Jackson Arts Council.

The Capital City Roller Girls and Offbeat host a Block Party on Wesley Street in Midtown, 6:30 p.m. Friday as preparations are made for the Aug. 18 doubleheader. The event includes a DJ, drink and more fun.

The American Cancer Society Tennis Classic Opening Night Celebration, 6-9 p.m. Friday at The Club at The Township at Ridgeland. Tickets, $40 via, includes two drink tickets and a food truck dinner voucher. Those younger than 21 don’t need ticket admission and can purchase a food truck voucher and/or soda tickets.

Highland Village hosts a luau-themed trivia night with “The Village Social” on Friday at 7 p.m. Prizes are awarded, costumes are encouraged and pets are welcome for this 21 and up event.

The University of Mississippi Medical Center holds a free back-to-school hearing screening for K-12 students, starting at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Lakeland Medical Building, 764 Lakeland Drive. Call 601-984-6885 or email

August Market at the District, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the District at Eastover, includes local music, local art and locally made goods from local markets.

Have a hot time at a cool festival Saturday night with Bright Lights Belhaven Nights, and its stellar musical lineup and big arts draw, 5-10 p.m. Funk/soul band Robert Randolph & The Family Band headlines the 14th annual street festival, topping a roster that also includes The Weeks, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, Cary Hudson, Southern Komfort Brass Band, T.B. Ledford, Becca Mancari, Elam Roberson and more. Ellen Langford is the festival’s featured artist. Food, games, arts and crafts and more make this a summer staple. Tickets are $10 in advance at and $15 cash only at the gate. Children 12 and younger get in free and must be with a supervising adult.

Bright Lights Belhaven Nights is Saturday. Image: Greater Belhaven Foundation

The 7th annual Mississippi Craft Show Saturday and Sunday at the Clyde Muse Center, just off Interstate 20 in Pearl, boasts 100 percent handmade arts and crafts by Mississippi artists and artisans. The show includes jewelry, specialty foods, photography, glass art, woodwork and more. Show hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 .m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $7, free for kids 12 and younger.

The Mississippi Children’s Museum gets Art Smart with young visitors, Sunday at 2 p.m., when children can learn, explore and experiment with art. The program is included with museum admission or membership.

Hear Goth Dad, Surfwax and Schaefer Llana, 8 p.m. Sunday at The Flamingo. It’s $5.

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 Fondren events, see our online calendar here. Reach Sherry at

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