By Sherry Lucas
Memorial Day weekend is the time to embrace our freedoms and give a sincere and heartfelt thanks to those brave men and women who defend them. Think of that as you enjoy the holiday weekend and spread your own pre-summer wings with outdoor fun and family time.
Plus, could there be a better time to enjoy the patriotic music and fireworks finale of Pepsi Pops Friday? Didn’t think so.
Those in town for the long weekend will find plenty of refreshment on the local landscape, so get out and about and take advantage.
Kickback at Kundi Compound, Wednesdays and Sundays, 5:30-8:30 p.m.
At Hal & Mal’s, pull up a chair for music from the New Bourbon Street Jazz Band Wednesday, D’Lo Trio Thursday, Bill and Temperance Friday night, and Vittles, Vinyls and Vino Saturday. Then, start next week off right with CMBS Blue Monday, and Dinner, Drinks & Jazz with Raphael Semmes and Friends Tuesday night.
Check out the newly opened Urban Foxes small-batch bakery, at 826 North St. in Belhaven Heights.
Go on a Slow Roll with the Mayor, 4-5 p.m. Thursday, in celebration of National Bike Month. Take your bike to work and meet up with Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba at the Congress Street Parklet (120 N. Congress St.) for the ride. Keep an eye on the Facebook event post for more route info midweek.
Enjoy free live music from John Causey on the lovely District Green, at The District at Eastover, 6-8 p.m. Thursday. Lawn chairs are welcome and go-cups are encouraged.
Father-daughter duo Eric and Polly Stracener perk up Live@Lunch, 11:30 a.m. Friday on the C Spire Stage in the Art Garden at the Mississippi Museum of Art. Drop by to enjoy the eclectic set of popular music and originals on your lunch break. The event is free and open to the public. Check out the tasty selections at La Brioche at the Museum while you’re there.
Find a spot in the sun Friday for Pepsi Pops, postponed from earlier this month because of the bad weather threat. Now, clearer skies prevail, and the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra can fill the air with beautiful music. Gates open at 4:30 p.m. Friday at Old Trace Park on the Rez, and guest emcees Marshall Ramsey and Maggie Wade will introduce pre-concert entertainment that starts at 5:30 p.m. The MSO concert of music from “The Music Man,” “Grease,” “The Magnificent Seven,” plus Beach Boys, Elvis Presley and patriotic tunes to accompany the fireworks. Tickets are $15 advance (msorchestra.com and 601-960-1565), $20 gate, $5 students/children 4-18. VIP parking passes are $30; parking in the lower lot is free.
Kaitlyn Zittel brings her blend of indie folk, Americana and more to Hops & Habanas, 7-10 p.m. Friday.
Fam Friday, 5:30-7 p.m. Friday in the Courtyard at Highland Village, helps kick off the “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” exhibit (coming Saturday at the Mississippi Children’s Museum) with an imagination playground, educational activities, face painting, crafts and more. The event is free.
The Mississippi Children’s Museum’s summer visiting exhibit, “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: A Grr-ific Exhibit” opens at 9 a.m. Saturday for a summer-long run, straight through Sept. 8. Families are welcome to come spend time singing and playing with the beloved PBS Kids character. Explore the Neighborhood of Make-Believe through a variety of activities that spur the imagination and bring to life the themes presented in the award-winning TV series, such as community, communication and emotions. Also Saturday: The museum’s splash pad opens!
The Keep On Truckin’ Food Truck Festival and Skate Contest, 11 a.m. Saturday at 455 N. Mill St., raises money for Jackson’s first DIY skatepark, with a free skate/skate clinic 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. that’s free to the public, delicious eats on hand from Hog Heaven BBQ, 2 for 7 Kitchens and Wheel of Flavor, and a skate contest that starts at 3 p.m. (it’s $5 to compete with proceeds going to Mill Street DIY).
Safari Sunset, 4-7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Jackson Zoo, includes zookeeper presentations, Discovery animal encounters, splash pad fun, live music with John Causey Music, and more. The fundraiser, presented by BankPlus, is $13 adults, $10 kids. For an additional $7, adults 21 and older can sample a half dozen Mississippi craft brews. Back Yard Burgers, Twisted Pretzel, Brick Street Pops and Dippin’ Dots will be on hand, and a portion of their sales stays at the zoo.
The Mississippi Children’s Museum participates as a Blue Star Museum Tuesday (it’s closed on Memorial Day, Monday) with free admission for active duty military personnel and their families for up to 6 individuals, through Labor Day (current military ID must be presented).
The bluegrass musical “Bright Star,” written by Edie Brickell and Steve Martin, opens Tuesday at New Stage Theatre, for a two-week run, through June 9. The sweeping tale of love and redemption set in the Blue Ridge Mountains in the 1940s, with flashbacks to 1923, is a winning combo of the heart-tugging tale and toe-tapping music. Tickets are $35 with discounts for students, seniors and groups, at newstagetheatre.com, 601-948-3531 and the theater box office.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.