These Days with Jewel Bass performs at Saturday’s WellsFest. Image: YouTube/JacksonMSMusic

By Sherry Lucas

WellsFest is marking its 35th anniversary this year, and despite the fact that it’s grown into three events now that increase its reach and participation with art and golf, its core of love remains the same. That spirit, that sincerity — that’s the secret.

The festival, put on by Wells United Methodist Church, packs more than you’d think possible into Jamie Fowler-Boyll Park on Lakeland Drive, with lots of great music, a fun children’s area, a pet parade, a silent auction, an outdoor coffee house, festival food, arts and crafts, plant sale, 5k run and more. The real draw is always the people, and this gentle gathering of good folk, in the family-friendly environment of a fest that’s always been alcohol and drug-free, makes it the best, most relaxing spot on the metro calendar for spending a Saturday, running into friends and soaking up some great tunes.

Don’t miss it. Or, any of the other great goings-on this weekend.

UniverSoul Circus continues with daily and nightly shows through Sunday at New Horizon Church International in Jackson, celebrating its 25th anniversary of fun under the big top with tip-top circus artistry. It’s an interactive combo of circus acts and theater, with music — pop, classic R&B, Latin, hip-hop, jazz and gospel — that’s a key part of the show. And that, organizers say, makes it perfect for “The City of Soul.” For times and tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.

UniverSoul Circus continues through Sunday. Image: UniverSoul

Austin guitarist, singer and songwriter Ian Moore pulls together elements of rock, world music, folk and blues for his signature sound. Hear it at 8 p.m. Thursday at Duling Hall. Magnolia Bayou opens. It’s $10 advance (ardenland.net) and $15 day of show.

Haven Curated Home celebrates is one-year anniversary at 5 p.m. Thursday with a William Goodman art show that includes a live painting by him! So, come enjoy his cool compositions and in-the-moment creativity as well as cocktails and appetizers, raffle giveaways and a Haven’s intriguing offerings.

While you’re out and about on the art front, check out, too, the 5 p.m. Thursday opening reception for “Creatures Among Us” at the Mississippi Library Commission, showcasing artists adjudicated through the Mississippi Arts Commission’s Visual Artist Fellowship Grant program. The works of artists Anne Campbell and Sean StarWars.

Enjoy music at 6 p.m. Thursday at The District Green Live continues at the District at Eastover, with tunes that appeal to all ages and refreshment right at hand, go-cups and all.

Image: The District at Eastover

The Jackson Zoo’s Zoo Party Expedition 2018, 6-9 p.m. Thursday at the zoo, is an invitation to metro Jackson residents to come meet the zookeepers, staff and animals and enjoy the park after hours for a change. The Time to Move Band, Jackson Watercolor Group, snacks from partnering restaurants, Capital City Beverages, Cathead Vodka and more make this a fun evening out. Tickets for the 21-and-older event are $30 each/$50 couple at on sale here. The money raised stay at the zoo.

The Millsaps art department’s faculty exhibition artists’ talks featuring Sue Carrie Drummond’s work “Belabored” and Kristen Torella-Williams’ work “Compression” is 7-8 p.m. Thursday. Talks are in the Ford Academic Complex room 137, with a reception and refreshments afterward in the Lewis Art Gallery.

Jackson Black Pages’ September “Network Your Net Worth Mixer,” 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday at Kundi Compound, features Outback Steakhouse proprietor McKinley Pierce.

Live @ Lunch! at 11:30 a.m. Friday at the Mississippi Museum of Art features Sonja Stamps, so make the most of your lunch break with her soulful sounds and tasty treats from La Brioche. Inside, take advantage of Gallery Talk: “Past Present, Future: Jeffrey Gibson’s New Art History” with Elizabeth Abston, curator of American Art, also at 11:30 a.m.

Elizabeth Abston leads the gallery talk Friday at the Mississippi Museum of Art. Image: Mississippi Museum of Art

Meet up at 6 p.m. Friday at the Capri Theatre for the September Community Ride, an informal and leisurely bike trek with food and drink along the route.

The first-ever Friday Night Drawing Club, 6:30 p.m. Friday at Hands in Clay, 1481 Canton Mart Road, focuses on the theme of “labels,” as participants try their hand at colorful lettering of everyday objects. It’s $45, led by Ginger Williams Cook, and materials are provided. Register here.

The Country Cousinz Concert Series 8: JXN vs. Louisiana, 8 p.m. Friday at The Flamingo features fun rivalry with music from the respective camps, including KC Young Bone, Ray Kincaid and more from the Jackson team and Jay Da Wizard, Sean Elliot and more from Louisiana.

WellsFest 2018 marks the festival’s 35th year of family-friendly outdoor fun on Saturday. Join friends at Jamie Fowler-Boyll Park on Lakeland Drive Saturday for music, play, arts, crafts, plants, silent auction, coffee house and much more. The Wells Done 5K run and walk’s at 8 a.m. (one-mile fun run at 9 a.m.), starting at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum and following the popular Watermelon Classic race course (register at wellschurch.org), pet parade at 9:30 p.m. and nonstop music kicks into gear 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., including Krystal Gem, Jackson Gypsies, These Days featuring Jewel Bass, Jesse Robinson and Friends and much more. The festival is free to attend, and drug and alcohol-free as well. Proceeds from WellsFest and its related events this year benefit Growing Up Knowing.

“In the Dark,” an exhibit Saturday through Dec. 31 at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, takes a look at the dark layers beneath the soil, under the sea and in the shadows of the night to get a closer look at the life teeming there. It’s a chance to explore the dark worlds of bobcats, bats, skunks and cicadas.

The Mississippi SKATE Fair: Fair Food Cookoff, 5-8 p.m. Saturday at Lucky Town Brewing Company has Jackson’s best chef pros and home chefs going head-to-head, serving up their wildest spins on fair fare. Proceeds support Jackson’s DIY community-built skate park on Mill Street, and music from Fides and Schaefer Liana will help fuel the fun. With a $20 donation, you can be a judge and try it all. It’s just $5 to try one thing.

Audience Control presents The Concert Pt. 2, 7-11 p.m. Saturday at Offbeat, focusing on Yung Jewelz and the essence of EarthDay.

The 32nd Gluckstadt GermanFest, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Gluckstadt, features shish kabobs, bratwurst in sauerkraut, authentic German desserts, dark and light beer, music from The Polka Meisters and much more.

Young Valley’s 2nd annual Rock ’N Roll BBQ, 6 p.m. Sunday at Fondren Corner, celebrates the neighborhood and the music of Cody Rogers, Zack Logan, Taylor Hildebrand, Kate Teague and Young Valley. Paid admission gains entry, food and one free beer courtesy of Southern Beverage.

Young Valley hosts – and performs for – this Saturday’s Rock ‘N Roll BBQ at Fondren Corner. Image: Young Valley

The Village Social – Bend & Brew – pairs yoga with a chance to adopt a pet. That’s right: come to the courtyard at 11 a.m. for downward dog – then pick up a dog of your own from Animal Rescue Fund of Mississippi. They’ll be set up with this session’s bend & brew partner, Red Square.

Pop by The District Farmer’s Market, 3 p.m. Sunday, for farm-fresh vegetables, flowers, bread and more.

A one-hour workshop “Becoming a World Citizen,” 1 p.m. Sunday at Fair Trade Green, 3417 N. State Street, teaches participants about enjoyment, identity, releasing yourself from owning “stuff” and more. The workshop, led by Luke and Charlotte Lundemo, is free. A donation to Fair Trade Gre en is appreciated.

Enjoy Dinner, Drinks & Jazz with Raphael Semmes and Friends, 6-9 p.m. Tuesday at Hal & Mal’s.

Support the Murrah Speech & Debate Team by grabbing dinner Tuesday at Lost Pizza Co. in Jackson, when 10 percent of sales after 5 p.m. will go to the team’s booster club to help with expenses.

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 sherry@finditinfondren.com.

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