Fall is our favorite time of year in “Jackson’s Hippest Neighborhoodâ„¢”. Some of the city’s best events happen between Labor Day and Thanksgiving, many of them right outside our front door. Here’s a run down of twelve that make our to-do list, with everything from art to music to endurance athletics.


Image: Brent’s

1. Brent’s Celebrates 70 at Brent’s Drugs Thursday, September 29 from 5-10pm
At once a drug store and short order grill with soda fountain, Brent’s, in business since 1946, is now drug-free, still serving the favorites of yesteryear. Malts, patty melts and egg and olive sandwiches sit alongside new favorites like “Greens, Eggs and Ham” and chicken and waffles. This institution (which has never been better in our opinion) celebrates 70 years this fall with live music from The Hustlers, face painting, specialty shakes, birthday cake and, of course, your diner favorites. Tell them you’ll be there on their Facebook event page.


Image: heARTworks

2. heARTworks Art Show at The Cedars Thursday, September 29 at 5pm
HeARTWorks is a non-profit art program through Stewpot Ministries for the homeless and less fortunate in our area. Many talented artists have come through this program and gained confidence to show their work. And that’s where the heARTworks shows brings you in, giving you the chance to purchase the works created through this program. Eighty percent of the proceeds will go to the artists with twenty percent going to Stewpot. See photos from previous shows at their Facebook event page.

Image: MS Kidney Foundation

3. Michael Rubenstein Memorial Kidney Walk at MS Kidney Foundation Saturday, October 1 at 9am
“Grab your walking shoes, put your best foot forward, and help us stomp out kidney disease” is the call form the Mississippi Kidney Foundation for you to join this non-competitive walk through the scenic streets of Fondren. Named for the late sportscaster and original director of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame, the Rubenstein walk gives an incentive to fundraisers who bring in $50 or more: a Mercury Aviation helicopter will appear in the sky around 10 a.m. that day and release golf balls. The owner of the ball that lands in the hole or closest to the hole will receive $1,000. Call director Gail Sweat if you need more information (601-981-3611).



4. Fondren’s First Thursday Thursday, October 6 – November 3 – December 1
The monthly street party featuring artists, musicians, farmers, vendors, kids’ activities and more hits October with a pimento-cheez-palooza, toilet and kayak racing (the dry kind), a JXN Indie Music Week takeover, and a community garage sale (and that’s just for starters). November and December plans are under wraps for now, but one’s thing for sure: there’s always a surprise in store. Watch our FFT event page for updated monthly activity listings.


Image: Key Neville Whitehead

5. Fondren Renaissance’s “Fall” Show opening at The Cedars Thursday, October 13 at 5pm
Take note: this installment of FRF’s Four Seasons of The Cedars Visual and Performing Arts Series will be the second Thursday of the month this time around and features paintings by Pryor Buford Lampton, Buttons Marchetti and Key Neville Whitehead. As a special bonus, ceramicist Susan Clark will have her collegiate and holiday angels available. If you can’t make opening night, the show hangs through October 28, Tuesday-Friday from 10am-4pm. Keep up with FRF and their transformative community work at fondren.org.



6. Sun King 5k at St. James’ Episcopal Church Saturday, October 15 at 8am
This mostly flat 5k course winds through the Fondren neighborhood before crossing the finish line in front of St. James Church. Participants of all ages, abilities, and strollers are welcome and Halloween costumes are encouraged for this 17th annual “Spooktacular”-themed race. Door prizes are plentiful, a kids’ one mile fun run is part of the event and a healthy breakfast, sponsored by UMMC follows. Register on-line for added perks and a sweet swag bag.


7. Blocktoberfeast on Montbrook Drive Saturday, October 15 at 3pm
We’re suckers for a good barbecue plate. Fortunately Broadmeadow Neighborhood Association brings this – and neighborhood camaraderie to an October day every year. On a cozy cul-de-sac in the Top of Fondren, folding tables and chairs pop-up in the middle of the street, all in view of bounce houses and a makeshift “driveway” stage for a dose of live music. Plates are generously piled high and there’s usually a few dozen homemade brownies or cookies on the table, too. Tickets are available at the door and kids younger than six are free.



8. Fondren Urban Ultra at Fondren Church Saturday, October 22 at 6:30am
Are you up for the challenge? What is your limit? Who will be crowned “King” and “Queen” of the hill? Fondren Urban Ultra wants to test your limits, leading runners on a three mile course through Fondren. When the race begins at 6:30 AM, Ultra runners will have 12 hours to make the loop as many times as they can. The entry fee includes race entry, a custom designed Fondren Urban Ultra t-shirt, ultra goodies, an aid station on the course and at the start/finish. All proceeds will go to MUTS (Mississippi Ultra and Trail Society). Register here.



9. Inaugural Ornament Auction at The Cedars Thursday, November 10 at 6pm
Modeled after a similar event in Oxford, Fondren Renaissance brings their own spin to this first-year event. Local artists will donate one-of-a-kind ornaments for silent auction and all proceeds will go to support the ongoing artistic endeavors of FRF. Glass artist Elizabeth Robinson is rounding up a group of willing participants this month and will be the featured artist. A buy-it-now option will be available and admission is free (with a cash bar). See the inspiration for this event here.



10. Fondren Unwrapped Thursday, November 17 at 6pm
If there’s one thing this holiday event is known for, it’s the merchant open houses. Many boutiques and professional offices see this as a way to host a festive party for their clients and friends. Now, open it up, neighborhood wide, add a few choirs and the jolly old guy himself, Santa, and it’s shaking out to be a good time. But, add a cast of costumed characters, fire pits and an outdoor movie, kid rock bands, jazz and a few other surprises and we have “Unwrapped version 2.0” (as exhibited for the first time last year – and was it ever a great night). That’s the plan again for 2016, making this a family-friendly, festive feat that’s sure to be a hit again this year. See last year’s photos here.



11. 12k’s For the Holidays in the downtown Fondren Historic District Saturday, November 19 at 7am
Billed as “the merriest race in town” (and that it is, costume contest and all), this fundraiser for Good Samaritan Center is the only twelve kilometer race we’ve seen with a smorgasbord of post-race refreshment to boot (including donuts, pizza, red beans and rice and more). The course is challenging, tackling Fondren’s hilly Cherokee Heights area, but no one’s pressing you for a PR here. Register online for no extra fee to received an option of a long sleeve technical or long sleeve color tee.


Shires. Image: NPR

12. “Ardenland presents” at Duling Hall various dates
Say what you want about the live music scene in Jackson, Mississippi, but Fondren has become the epicenter of melodic culture, thanks largely in part to one man: Arden Barnett. We could go on and on, listing show after show and act after act who has graced the stage of Duling Hall in just the last six months. But instead of lamenting what you may have missed, why not plan your fall accordingly with this look ahead. 9/26:  Sarah Jarosz | 9/28: EmiSunshine | 9/30: The Mulligan Brothers | 10/5: Eric Johnson (solo) | 10/7: The Hip Abduction | 10/11: Anderson East | 10/12: Amanda Shires | 10/13 & 14: Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus – LIVE | 10/18: Greensky Bluegrass | 10/19 Michael McDermott | 10/21: Paul Thorn | 10/29 Seratones | 11/4 Flowtribe | 11/6: Galactic | 11/10: Luke Combs | 11/11: Mac McAnally (SOLD OUT) | 11/13: TAUK | 11/23 The Molly Ringwalds | 12/2 Cory Henry and the Funk Apostles | 12/15 Whiskey Myers | 12/17 Bricks in the Wall. As always, listings change weekly. Consult Ardenland.net for changes or additions to this schedule.

This list is meant to serve as a jumping-off point and is by no means exhaustive. Check out our events calendar for more.