Many who grew up around these parts, and many more who still live here, had it instilled in them that Jackson is a social dead-end. Many can't wait to leave, and some do. It's easy to fall into the trap of viewing Jackson, the metro area and Mississippi as a place where nothing will ever change, where there's nothing to do.
But just look a little closer, and you can see that it's a changing place.
Jackson is fun.
Every week, we hear about new interesting restaurants popping up, including Liquid Light Cafe, a raw-food restaurant that's opening soon, and many others. After recent renovations, Capitol Street had a soft grand-opening celebration of sorts in the form of Dine & Dash, Saturday, May 16, where Jacksonians could sample food from downtown restaurants and learn about other Jackson businesses. The formal grand opening, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and another festival, took place Tuesday, May 19.
Downtown Jackson will have more events in the coming weeks, including Rock Your Block Party at the Mississippi Museum of Art. For that event, Jacksonians can dress as their favorite thing in downtown Jackson. Some time this summer, High Heaven Trampoline Park will open where The Park used to be, and Mississippi Cold Drip Coffee opened at The Hatch in Midtown.
There is also talk of replicating Fondren's First Thursday in south Jackson. A Juneteenth celebration is slated for Battlefield Park on June 20. Mississippi Comic Con is coming up in June, and in August, Jackson will host the Mississippi Book Festival.
Plus, there are old favorites like the Jackson Zoo, the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, the Children's Museum and Mississippi Braves games. Besides all of this, just pay attention to your local media. The Jackson Free Press covers so many artists and musicians and writers and just all around amazing people who prove that Jackson is great.
Basically, what we're trying to say is this: Don't count Jackson and the metro area out.
Instead of griping what Jackson doesn't have, consider the things we do have.
This summer, we invite you to get out and appreciate your city and your area.
Go play dodgeball at High Heaven when it opens. Get some cold-brewed coffee from Cold Drip. Dress up as the King Edward at Rock Your Block Party. Go find local bands to listen to and visit places like the art museum. Don't sit there and think to yourself that you absolutely must leave because there's nothing for you here. We may not have every amenity of bigger cities, but we do have a lot of cool things.
Get out there and enjoy it and keep your eyes peeled for more.