FRF Announces Action-Packed ‘Unwrapped’

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We’ve never kicked off the holidays exactly like this before.

On November 19 from 5-8pm, BankPlus will present Fondren Unwrapped, the neighborhood’s annual holiday open house. But with an expansive list of themed activities surrounding the night, Unwrapped may never be the same again.

“It truly is about our merchants and restaurants inviting folks in to shop and dine,” says FRF Executive Director Jim Wilkirson. “But we wanted to add a few things to entice people to come out and enjoy the neighborhood even more.”

A few? Where to start….

Kicking off the night at 5pm, Duling Avenue will be awash in lights, each tree carefully strung as the Jim Hill Singers lead familiar carols from the steps of Duling Hall. The Jackson Prep Preptones follow at 5:30pm and Jackson Academy’s Encore performs at 6pm.

A special treat and fun for the whole family: visit Duling Green and watch everyone’s favorite Christmas cartoon, “Frosty the Snowman,” on the big inflatable screen and don’t forget to make a delicious s’more over the fire pits, compliments of Jackson Academy.

Visit with Santa and his giant sleigh and Rudolph, along with cookies and other holiday treats, located at and compliments of BankPlus.

Let the kids play in the St. Luke’s bounce house while you take a sip of hot cider. Inside, enjoy the musical selections of the St. James Children’s Choir at 5pm, the Isable Elementary Jubilant Singers at 5:30pm, the Mustard Seed Bells of Faith at 6:30pm and the MS Girls Choir at 7pm. While you’re there, have your picture made with select cast members from Ballet Mississippi’s The Nutcracker.

Look for costumed characters throughout the historic district, like Frozen’s Olaf and Elsa at the Pix/Capri with treats from Pop Culture. Mrs. Claus and her kitchen helpers at Campbell’s Bakery and have a fresh baked chocolate chip cookie and the Who’s of Whoville will be outside Treehouse Boutique (beware of the Grinch who might be lurking nearby).

Visit with the Elf on a Shelf inside La Brioche (with singing servers!) and have a taste of Europe’s finest holiday confections and greet everyone’s favorite Sesame Street character, Elmo, at The Toy Place and see all of the new toys made by Santa’s elves.

Stop by the porch of Sneaky Beans to listen to the Jackson Academy Jazz Band from 5-5:45pm and music continuing thereafter. Grab a cup of coffee, latte or a beer served up by Capital Beverage with special guest, Buddy the Elf. Check out the new Fondren FroYo and get a sneak peek of the soon-to-open store and enjoy milk and cookies with everybody’s favorite snowman, Frosty.

Rock it out with Snoopy, Charlie Brown and Linus as they dance away to the tunes of the Fondren Guitars’ Rock Band on the outdoor stage at Fondren Guitars starting at 5pm (special thanks to First Presbyterian Day School for being a part of the “Peanuts Gang”). Step across the street and join the elves and crew from The Good Samaritan Center to sign up for their annual 12K’s for the Holidays at Rooster’s (the race will be held Saturday, November 21. Packet pickup will be at Cups).

Prance over to Brown’s Fine Art & Framing and enjoy a special showing of the recent works of Greg Gustafson or stop in to Everyday Gardener and see all the Santas on display throughout the store. There will be a special appearance from Santa sporting off his new woodland hunting outfit.

Don’t want to celebrate Christmas quite yet? The over 21 crowd can join in Fondren’s Tipsy Turkey Pub Crawl™ and experience the four corners of Fondren – Sal & Mookie’s, Hops & Habanas, Fondren Public, Saltine Oyster Bar and Pig and Pint, presented by Lucky Town Brewing Company in cooperation with Capital City Beverage. For more information and to register, email angela@luckytownbrewing.com.

Additional merchant activities include:

• Lemuria Books pop-up in Fondren Corner
• Vixon Sullivan ceramic popup in Fondren Corner
• HeartWorks artist K. Brown’s one-of-a-kind holiday greeting cards popup in Fondren Corner
• Batson Children’s Cancer Center – tent on Duling – t-shirt sales, promoting the Jingle Bell Jog
• Interiors Market – Tammy Cook art show
• Ma and Pa Kettle Corn – corner of Morgan Place and Fondren Place (near William Wallace Salon)
• SE Lock & Key – 20% off all keys plus punch, dip, and a sampling of pizza & wings from Pizza Shack
• SMoak Salon – sample giveaway, makeover raffle and snacks
• Hops & Habanas – open house with appetizers, refreshments & sales
• Swell-O-Phonic – Zero’s 10th birthday

• Nancy Price – Stop in and register to win a signed Kelly O’Neal art piece
• McDade’s – hot apple cider and fresh baked cookies
• The Studio (Blaylock/Patterson) – Malcolm White’s “Little Stories” photo exhibit and book signing
• Joan Hawkins Art & Interiors – up to 65% off lamps and pillows, 30% off holiday decor
• Treehouse Boutique – vintage Chanel trunk show
• GLO – new L.B. designs art collection
• D’Tangled Salon & Boutique – music from Cynical Twins, face painting by Snap Happy & pictures with Santa for all 2 or 4 legged kids
• Mantle Co.Working (above Babalu) – giveaways and open house
• Ardenland presents “The Revivalists” – 8:00pm – at Duling Hall (ticket required)

“We’ve never hosted such a jam-packed Unwrapped before,” Wilkirson says of the free event. “I hope everyone enjoys the gift we’re giving the community this year.”

Look for maps with locations of activities, available soon at BankPlus, at Duling Green and with merchants and restaurants throughout the historic district. Follow the event on Facebook for the latest updates.

© 2016, Fondren Renaissance Foundation