This is what candy hearts look like after too long in the pantry. Image: Sherry Lucas

By Sherry Lucas

Candy conversation hearts have certainly been in the news this season, and since I knew I had a stash that, yes, was many years old but mostly intact thanks to a twisty-tie, I poked around in the pantry until I found them. I only used these little fellas for decoration anyway, so I figured as long as the shapes were intact the sentiments were, too.

Um, well, let’s just say the conversation gets a little muddled after so many years of Mississippi humidity and pantry neglect. I plucked out a few that were still legible — sort of. That will have to do this Valentine’s Day … along with plenty of “giggle, don’t nibble” warnings. He follows direction well.

I just hope my love lasts as long as those candy hearts do! What doesn’t fade, folks, is a roundup of enticing options to love — solo, in pairs and by the group.

Wednesday’s History Is Lunch at noon at Two Mississippi Museums, highlights Kevin Greene’s new book, “The Invention and Reinvention of Big Bill Broonzy,” about the legendary musician who helped shape the trajectory of the blues. It’s free.

The Dixie National Rodeo wraps up Wednesday night with plenty more roping, riding, barrel racing and steer wrestling, but hanging on and tying up livestock isn’t the only draw. Country music singer and “American Idol” winner Scotty McCreery will supply the boot-stomping tunes for the rodeo’s final show, 7:30 p.m. at the Mississippi Coliseum. Find tickets, $20 to $35 and up, at ticketmaster.com or the coliseum box office.

Country musician Scotty McCreery is featured at the Dixie National Rodeo Wednesday night. Image: Jeff Ray

Grab a pint and toast a dream during the Last Days of Lucky Town Happy Hour, 4-8 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, through early March, at Lucky Town Brewing Company, 1710 N. Mill St.

Kickback at the Compound 5:30 p.m. every Wednesday and Sunday at Kundi Compound, 3220 N. State St., as a laidback way to unwind with friends.

TEDxJackson’s “The Next 200,” 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday at Two Mississippi Museum’s Craig H. Neilsen Auditorium, explores ideas worth spreading about the next two centuries of our city, state and the larger world. Tickets are $65, $50 group sales, at ticketfly.com.

The Art Lover’s Soiree, 5-8 p.m. Thursday at the Dickies Building downtown, is a red-hot draw for art lovers now in its sixth year. In the Art Space 86 gallery, the focus is on photography in memory of the late James Patterson, with works by Jackson photographers Howard Head, Gerard Howard and Ron Blaylock, plus drawings by David West, paintings by Jerrod Partridge, sculptures by Robert Crowell and ceramic pieces by Gail Cheney. Check out, too, paintings by Wayne Packer at Fischer Galleries, Due South Co-op’s art about the American South and more.

Ron Blaylock’s photographs are among the artworks featured in the Art Lovers Soiree Thursday at the Dickies Building. Image: Ron Blaylock

Love a good special? Visit the Jackson Zoo on Valentine’s Day Thursday, and get one child in free with each paid adult admission.

Check out more cool art at Thursday’s opening reception for Whitson Ramsey’s “Familiar Faces,” 6-9 p.m. at Deep South Pops, 1800 N. State St.

A Valentine’s Pop-Up, 6-10 p.m. Thursday at The Apothecary at Brent’s Drugs features Chef Justin Moore’s fun, creative menu centered around aphrodisiac ingredients — a la carte and first come, first served.

Singer/songwriter/guitarist Corey Smith, whose devout fan base stretches from his native Southeast to around the nation, brings the songs folks love to Duling Hall, 8 p.m. Thursday. Tickets are $20 advance (ardenland.net) and $25 day of show.

Corey Smith performs Thursday at Duling Hall. Image: ardenland

The Glory of Love fundraising event, 6-9 p.m. Friday at St. James’ Episcopal Church, 3921 Oak Ridge Drive, brings together the Master Chorale of the Mississippi and The Brick Street Trio performing ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s favorites from The Great American Songbook, along with sweet treats, wines, dancing and a silent auction. Tickets are $20 per person at mschorus.org, $150  for a table for 8.

The Master Chorale of the Mississippi Chorus presents “The Glory of Love” fundraiser Friday at St. James’ Episcopal Church. Image: Mississippi Chorus

Need another fix of horseflesh after the rodeo’s end? The 2019 Dixie National Quarter Horse Show continues through Sunday at the Kirk Fordice Equine Center at the State Fairgrounds, and the special draw is Friday night’s Freestyle Reining, 7 p.m. in the Mississippi Coliseum, where music, costumes, themes and well-executed routines show off the best in horse and rider. Doors open at 6 p.m. for this general admission show, and tickets are $5 at the door. With Wendy’s as the sponsor, there’s a Frosty eating contest at intermission.

Dixie National Freestyle Reining is Friday night at the Mississippi Coliseum. Image: Dixie National Committee

If you missed the Governor’s Arts Awards last week live and in person, catch the recap on MPB television and Think Radio at 8 p.m. Friday, with an encore broadcast at 2 p.m. Sunday. You won’t want to miss the song by London Branch.

Belhaven University’s theater department presents Thornton Wilder’s “The Skin of Our Teeth,” 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday and Feb. 20-23, in the Blackbox Theatre at the Center for the Arts, It’s $10, $5 seniors/students.

The Living Room Culture featuring Scott Albert Johnson is 7-10 p.m. Friday at Soul Wired Cafe, showcases the musician’s latest in an evening that also features Carroll McLaughlin. Doors open at 5 p.m.; BOL is allowed (with corkage fee).

Join the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra Saturday night for Bravo IV: “String Sensation,” as rising violin star Tai Murray, hailed as “vivacious and scintillating,” is the special guest artist for a rich evening of Schumann and Brahms. Tickets start at $26 for adults, $5 for students/children with a paying adult; visit msorchestra.com or call 601-960-1565.

Violinist Tai Murray is the guest artist for Saturday’s Mississippi Symphony Orchestra concert. Image: Marco Borggreve

A Champagne Afternoon Tea, 2-5 p.m. Saturday at Estelle Wine Bar & Bistro at The Westin Jackson, features the titled bubbly as well as small bites and sweet treats. It’s reservation only, $27 a person. Grab a spot at opentable.com.

Find out more about the city of Jackson’s ONELINE Transportation Initiative, in an informative meeting 5:30-7 p.m. Tuesday with Fondren Renaissance, at Fondren Church.

The Mississippi Humanities Council’s Ideas on Tap, 5:30-7 p.m. Tuesday at Hal & Mal’s, tackles the topic “Locked Up: Criminal Justice in Mississippi,” examining existing laws and reform efforts.

Sherry Lucas, a features writer in Jackson for the last 35 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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