Escape the Friday night drizzle at Salsa Mississippi's Mardi Gras Dance Party. Festivities include a silent auction, Nepali crafts for sale and, of course, lots of dancing. The party starts at 7 p.m. at the Chapatoula Building (115 Cynthia St., Clinton); admission is $20 with proceeds benefiting Mountain Child, a project that provides for the educational needs of 25 Nepali children. If you're not in a partying mood, head to The 25th annual Choral-Organ Festival at Millsaps College, Ford Academic Complex (1701 N. State St.), where choral director Dr. Timothy Coker and organist Bradley Reznicek conduct the 70-voice Millsaps Singers choirs in performing Maurice Durufle's "Requiem." The music starts at 7:30 p.m. Free, donations welcome; call 601-974-1422. For more music options, check out the JFP Music Listings.
Start your Saturday off right by participating in St. Mark's Missions Day. The event, hosted by St. Mark's United Methodist Church at the Reservoir, is open to the public and kicks off with a blood drive from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Mississippi Blood Services' north parking lot (1995 Lakeland Drive) and continues into the afternoon with 14 different volunteer opportunities, including cleaning up, painting, walking dogs at the Animal Rescue Fund's animal shelter, feeding families at the University of Mississippi Medical Center's Intensive Care Unit, a cleanup at Sunnybrook Children's Home and Northwest Rankin High School, and a canned-food scavenger hunt for the kids. Check out the JFP Events Calendar for more information and every day's full events lineup.
For Saturday night owls wanting to lend a hand in the community, help honor local do-gooders Jeff Good and Lee Harper at Jackson 2000's Friendship Ball. The ball benefits Operation Shoestring and Parents for Public Schools of Jackson, and features music from These Days with Jewel Bass. The fun starts at 7 p.m. at Hal and Mal's (200 S. Commerce St.); $20 per person, $10 for students. If you're looking for something a bit more creative, try Haute Arte, a fundraiser to benefit the Southern Cultural Heritage Foundation's Spectrum youth arts program featuring an "art off' between Shambe' Jones and Ayatti Hatcher, photography, music and a chance to contribute to a collaborative work of art to be donated to SCHF (106 Wilmington St., Suite 106). 8 p.m., $10, $5 with art supply donation, When you're ready to start looking for events, the best place to start is the JFP Best Bets page.
Relax on Sunday with a bit of theater. The Jackson Convention Complex presents "The Parchman Hour," a play composed of songs and stories of the 1961 Freedom Riders. 6 p.m., Free, call 601-354-0515, ext. 14 to RSVP. For family fun, check out New Stage Theatre's presentation of the stage version of the beloved children's book, "Miss Nelson is Missing." The play tells the story of kindhearted teacher, Miss Nelson, who gets fed-up with her disrespectful class and turns up missing one day, leaving the class with an evil substitute teacher named Miss Viola Swamp. 2 p.m., $10, call 601-948-3533. Once you've satisfied your appetite for culture, satisfy your actual appetite by checking out the JFP Restaurant Listings and the Menu Guide, where you'll find all the best area dining.
Is something missing? To make sure your event is listed on the JFP calendars, send the information to [e-mail missing] or [e-mail missing], or add your event yourself. It's easy!