by Liz Allen
Event 1: State Street Concert Series
When: Fri., 5 p.m.-11 p.m.
Where: in front of the Fondren Corner building
Do you wish the block party atmosphere and free music of Fondren After 5 happened more than once a month? Well, that makes Fondrenites and local business owners Byron Knight (of Sneaky Beans coffee shop) and Nathan Glenn (of Rooster’s) your wish-granting genies (and my personal heroes, but that’s unrelated).
Enter the State Street Concert Series. Music will kick off at 6 p.m. with the Fondren Guitars student rock band. At 7, listen to Young Valley, a local indie, alt-country group (you may recognize vocalist Zach Lovett as one of Sneaky Beans’ coffee-slinging baristas). At 8 p.m., headliner Alanna Royale will play. The Nashville-based R&B/soul group has played Bonnaroo music festival and Austin City limits, and a free show from this band is definitely not to be missed.
In addition, Find it in Fondren lists that the evening will include a sidewalk grill, a beer truck, and plenty of seating, with Sneaky Beans, Rooster’s and Basil’s remaining open the duration of the event as well.
Event 2: International Gumbo Fest
When: Sat., Sept. 20, gates open at 11 a.m.
Where: Smith Park,
The $10 price tag gets you not only rights to taste test the competing high-quality gumbo from the cook-off, but also a day’s worth of music. The lineup, from noon to 7 p.m., includes the Soulshine Family Band, The Wild Magnolias, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, and the North Mississippi Allstars. If you find yourself tired after standing for the bands or too much gumbo, there will be 20 hammocks hung throughout the Park for the event.
The Gumbo Fest also marks the reigniting of a Jackson tradition. The festival was founded in 1993, then was located in Smith park from 1995-2003, when it was discontinued until last year.
Event 3: Major Noise
When: Fri., 9 p.m.-1 a.m.
Where: Kava House
Major Noise is what becomes of the Kava House on Fri. nights, as the day-time food campus food venue is transformed into a night-time hang out. Music is always a factor, be it DJ’s, open mic nights, or karaoke night.
This week will be Retro Night, with your favorite 80s and 90s hits. And there is a prize for dancing your heart out—a dance contest at 10:30 for a Visa Gift Card (cue Pulp Fiction dance scene). There are also regular pool tournaments, and free food. Outside guests and alumni are welcome. More info available here.