It's officially the holiday season, so grab a warm coat and scarf, and head out to the area's festive events this weekend. Tonight, the City of Jackson hosts its annual tree lighting ceremony at 5 p.m. at Jackson City Hall (219 S. President St). This year's theme is: "Have a Holly, Jolly, Healthy Holiday." Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. will address the city, and the Poindexter Elementary and Cade Chapel Choir will perform. Afterward, head to the Millsaps College's Ford Academic Complex (1701 N. State Street) for "A Christmas Carol Concert," featuring the Millsaps Singers Choir. The event is free and open to the public. If you are the mood to dance, head to Mezza Restaurant (1896 Main St., Madison) for Salsa Mississippi's Salsa Mezza; Admission is $10. Visit the JFP's Best Bets for the weekend's hottest picks.
Start your morning off downtown at 10 a.m. with the opening of the Bethlehem Tree at the Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.) in the Trustmark Grand hall. The display features a 16-foot Christmas tree with more than 100 authentic 18th-century nativity figurines. Afterward, walk over to Capitol Street and catch the annual City of Jackson Christmas parade at noon. This year's grand marshal is Dr. Clay Hays.
Saturday evening offers several opportunities to support the city's vibrant arts scene. The Mississippi Community Education Center and Pippin and Maxx Arts and Entertainment hosts "BBQ Blues and Books," an arts and literacy fundraiser for Jackson Publics Schools at Lumpkins BBQ (182 Raymond Road). The event starts at 7:30 p.m. and includes food and performances by TALK Dance Company. Admission is $25. Also at 7: 30 p.m., the collaboration art event "thisLocation" at the North Midtown Arts Center (121 Millsaps Ave.) kicks off with an artist reception. Performances by Front Porch Dance and Jamie Weems and the Strange Pilgrims start at 9 p.m. Suggested donation is $7. For more entertainment options check out the JFP Music Listings and JFP Events Calendar.
Sunday is your last day to attend the Chimneyville Crafts Festival at the Mississippi Trade Mart (1300 Mississippi St.). Admission is $10. The festival runs until 5 p.m. and features more than 185 craft booths from artists across the country. After you've worked up an appetite shopping, support a local restaurant such as Kiefers, Sal & Mookies or Cool Al's. Check out the JFP Restaurant Listings and the Menu Guide.
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