Happenings: August

AUGUST 9, 23
7PM @ Town Square Park
SummerTunes, presented by Live @ Five H'Burg and the Thirsty Hippo, continues August 9 and 23 at Town Square Park in Downtown Hattiesburg. SummerTunes is the Live @ Five summer series offering free live music and an opportunity to enjoy the company of your friends, family, neighbors and fellow citizens in Town Square Park. The event takes place the second and fourth Friday of June, July, and August from 7-10 p.m. Food and beverages are available for purchase.


2-4PM @ Thad Cochran Center, USM Hattiesburg Campus
Join Southern Miss alumni and fans at the 24th annual Eagle Fanfare hosted by the South Central Mississippi Chapter of the Southern Miss Alumni Association. Fans can expect to meet athletes, hear from head football coach Jay Hopson and take photos with Seymour and the Southern Miss cheerleaders. Barnes & Noble will be on site selling Southern Miss merchandise. This family-friendly event will feature fun activities for children. Tickets may be purchased at the link below or at the door. Food and drinks will be available for purchase and a cash bar will be available. Tickets are $5 per person or $20 per family (limited to parents/children only). Proceeds from this event benefit the South Central Mississippi Alumni Chapter HUBScholarship Fund for local students attending USM. For more information on this event, visit SouthernMissAlumni.com or contact BayLee Long at BayLee.Long@usm.edu or (601) 266-5357.

AUGUST 8-10, 15-17

7:30PM @ The Thirsty Hippo
Fasten your seatbelts, return your tray tables to the upright position and prepare to blast off as Hattiesburg Civic Light Opera presents “Return to the Forbidden Planet” by Bob Carlton. The performances are set for 7:30 p.m. Aug. 8-10 and Aug. 15-17 at The Thirsty Hippo on McLeod Street in downtown Hattiesburg. In this Olivier-award-winning musical, the many works of Shakespeare are aligned with a fabulous rock ‘n’ roll score to create a ffun-filled jiving-in-the-aisles musical. Loosely based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest and the 1956 sci-fi classic film Forbidden Planet, this production finds a spaceship, helmed by Captain Tempest, making an emergency landing on the uncharted planet D’Illyria. The only residents there are the mad scientist Doctor Prospero, his daughter, Miranda, and their robot, Ariel. They were banished into hyperspace when Miranda was just a baby. Featuring rock ‘n’ roll hits of the ‘50s and ‘60s (“Great Balls of Fire,” “The Monster Mash,” “Good Vibrations” and others), a B-movie atmosphere, and dialogue in iambic pentameter, “Return to the Forbidden Planet” is Shakespeare’s unwritten rock ‘n’ roll masterpiece. Throw in a robot, unrequited love, and a scary space monster, and you’ve got one groovy show. This is a family-friendly show. Tickets are available at eventbritte.com. For more information, visit the Hattiesburg Civic Light Opera Facebook page.


10AM-2PM @ Lake Terrace Convention Center
The Pine Belt Women’s Expo takes place once a year and is designed to enrich, empower, and entertain women in an environment of celebration and fun. This year’s event will be held from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, August 17, at the Lake Terrace Convention Center. Vendor booths include everything from beauty and fitness to makeup, clothing, jewelry, children, clubs and organizations. Women can come out and enjoy a relaxing environment to learn about businesses and services just for them. They can shop, learn, enter to win thousands of dollars in great prizes, and have lots of fun. Anyone who purchases tickets in advance and/or a T-shirt will get an extra door prize entry. The Platinum sponsor for this year’s event is Merit Health Wesley. For more information about how to be an exhibitor at this year's event, please email Jennifer@EmergeEvents.com. Visit www.pinebeltwomensexpo.com for more info on the event.  For more information, email Jennifer@EmergeEvents.com


1-5PM @ Main Street Books
Calling area potters to help craft bowls for Empty Bowls 2019 benefitting the Edwards Street Fellowship Center food pantry in Hattiesburg. Empty Bowls is a community project to raise money for local hunger prevention efforts. The free come-and-go event will be held from 1-5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, at Main Street Books, 210 N. Main St., Hattiesburg. Clay, pottery wheels, and snacks will be provided, but potters are asked to bring their own pottery tools. Share your talents by throwing simple bowls. Your gift of time will provide food for more than 1,500 struggling families every month through the Edwards Street Fellowship Center food pantry. Can’t attend but want to help? Get a tax receipt for donating bowls (even your seconds) or let us provide you with some clay to make bowls for us in your studio. We’ll glaze and fire them if needed. Please RSVP to Ann at (601) 520-7548 or info@EdwardsStreetFellowship.org

7PM @ Saenger Theater
The Saenger Theater staff is excited to announce a special showing of the new movie “If These Porches Could Talk” at the Hattiesburg Saenger Theater. Scenes from the film were shot at the Saenger. Select cast and filmmaker Travis Mills will be present for a Q&A after the screening. “If These Porches Could Talk” is the second installment in the Porches and Private Eyes movie series. Advance tickets are $10 per person and day-of tickets are $15. For more information, call (601) 545-4500.


Make Your mArc

6:30PM @ H’burg Train Depot
Imagine walking into a room of normal sights, sounds, and smells. Perhaps you hear a telephone ring or turn your head to avoid a glare from a nearby window. Aside from a fleeting thought of who was calling or whether the blinds should be lowered, you quickly process these things and carry on. 

To someone with sensory issues, however, the same environment is excruciating. Each object that moves makes a startling clatter or bang. The overhead lights are as glaring as an oncoming car’s high beams on a dark night. Each voice is a muffled roar. The crowd of voices is as jarring as a freight train. 

This is a common condition among individuals with special needs. It’s called Sensory Integration Dysfunction, and it simply means the brain can’t organize the signals that come in from the senses. A typical environment, such as a restaurant or department store, is overwhelming because the brain’s systems can’t sort through messages. Unable to organize this sensory information, a person simply shuts down. 

But there is hope for those suffering 

The Arc of Southeast Mississippi, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization supporting individuals and families faced with the challenge of a disability, is committed to offering sensory therapy to their clients. Sensory therapy helps by allowing an individual to explore and acclimate their senses in an environment without stress. With practice, they can respond in environments that used to be overwhelming.

Make Your mArc, a fundraising event benefiting The Arc, aims to fund a new sensory therapy space on The Arc campus where clients can learn how to navigate these once unbearable environments. 

“We had a small space inside the gym on our campus, but we have completely outgrown that area,” said Cindy Pennington, Arc director “Without the new sensory therapy space, our capacity to serve our clients would be far below the need.”

For Pennington, meeting that growing need is critical to helping Arc clients maximize their ability to interact with others, and there’s no doubt sensory therapy is an essential piece of their comprehensive approach.

The Make Your mArc event, scheduled for September 12 at the downtown Hattiesburg Train Depot, is a fundraiser celebrating the different and beautiful ways each Arc client makes their mark on the community. During Make Your mArc the original art works of local artists and celebrities, created in collaboration with Arc clients, will be offered for auction. 

In one of the first artistic collaborations, local stained-glass artist Kyle Baughman and Arc client Hallie Ferrill worked to turn a piece of Hattiesburg history into an original work of art. Starting with an antique bottle stamped with the city name, Baughman and Ferrill created a one-of-a-kind hanging glass panel.

More than a dozen local artists and celebrities have signed on to the project and will create original works of art in collaboration with an Arc client in the coming weeks. Their art will be available for purchase through an auction at the Make Your mArc event. 

“We are so grateful to the sponsors who have agreed to support this event,” Pennington said. “Building out this therapy space is vitally important for our clients and we would not be able to do this without community support.”

Make Your mArc is a Leadership Pinebelt Class of 2019 small group project.  Sponsorship opportunities range from $100 to $1,500. To partner as a sponsor or artist, please call (601) 255-3692 or email MakeYourMarc2019@gmail.com.

Tickets are $40, eventbrite.com 


7PM @ Hattiesburg-Bobby Chain Municipal Airport
Set amid the enchanting wonders of Morocco, the Gala “Casablanca”  promises to be an affair as memorable as the one between the characters in this legendary film. 
The most exciting fundraising event of the year in South Mississippi, 0 “Casablanca” will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, September 26, at the Hattiesburg-Bobby L. Chain Municipal Airport. Sponsored by Partners for the Arts,  proceeds raised will bring vital support to the arts programs at Southern Miss.
Tickets are now on sale for the Partners for the Arts gala in celebration of the renowned University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra’s 100th anniversary. 
A decade ago, the symphony set the bar high for elaborate spectacles and now, the team returns to create an event the Hattiesburg area won’t soon forget.
The creative team that produced the “Atlantis” and “Shangri-La” galas return with the most exciting fundraising event of the year in South Mississippi. Designed by Dr. Mike Lopinto of the College of Arts and Sciences, the event will be a collaborative effort between faculty, staff and students of the arts at Southern Miss.
"After a 10-year hiatus, we have gathered our resources, inviting back everyone who made those past galas such a success," Lopinto said. "The new venue offers exciting possibilities and we are planning so many surprises, thanks to the generosity of the community who is really stepping up to make this centennial a feast for the senses."
Details for this spectacular celebration will not be revealed, but guests can expect to be wowed with musical performances by the USM Symphony Orchestra and Jazz Bands, as well as a cirque artist, costumed characters and more.
The gala will kick off the USM Symphony Orchestra's year-long Centennial Celebration while raising much-needed funds to enhance the arts offerings at Southern Miss.
“I'm so excited for this opportunity with this dream team committee to continue the legacy of spectacular events such as Atlantis, Shangri-La, Moulin Rouge, and Gold – all for the benefit of Partners for the Arts to attract the most talented, creative students around for USM’s creative and performing arts programs,” said Leigh Ann Underwood, event chair. “Casablanca promises to be like no other event held in south Mississippi. With an unusual venue and outstanding talent, I know you will not have seen or heard anything like it. It promises to be an evening to remember.”
Partners for the Arts provides thousands of dollars annually to underwrite the arts programs that bring the world to attendees and secures the scholarship, mentoring, creation and production of art in the Hattiesburg community. 
Gala tickets are now on sale at $100 per person. Sponsorships and donations for the gala are also being accepted until Aug. 9. To support this special centennial celebration and help underwrite many of the event costs via sponsorships, visit ev6.evenue.net.



Around Town

VisitHATTIESBURG is pleased to announce the city’s second annual Restaurant Week, scheduled for Oct. 6 – 13. Last year’s inaugural event attracted foodies from throughout the region, and VisitHATTIESBURG expects this year’s event to grow with the addition of new partners and offerings.

Visitors and locals will enjoy the week’s theme, OctoberFEAST, which will allow participating restaurants to feature themed menu offerings for Restaurant Week.

Complimenting the weekly theme, VisitHATTIESBURG is expanding 2018’s successful #CulinaryCrawl event by adding two additional themed progressive dinners. Like last year, a ticketed foodie event featuring stops at four Hattiesburg hotels will be held on Sunday, Oct. 13. The two new #CulinaryCrawl nights will highlight participating restaurants in midtown and downtown Hattiesburg. Dates for these two nights will be announced soon. 

“With the success of last year’s #CulinaryCrawl event, we knew we had to make the event bigger and better this year,” said Marlo Dorsey, executive director of VisitHATTIESBURG. “Partnering with the Downtown Hattiesburg Association and Midtown Merchants Association is the perfect way to feature the culinary offerings in those two unique neighborhoods. We appreciate Signature Magazine coming on board as a sponsor this year, allowing us to expand an already successful event.”

VisitHATTIESBURG will promote OctoberFEAST in several key markets to attract visitors to Hattiesburg both through digital and traditional advertising. 

Tickets are $40 per person and include transportation between stops, live entertainment, and food and drink pairings at each stop. Tickets will be available for purchase soon with discounts available to foodies purchasing tickets for more than one night.