Fondren's First Thursday

Jaslyn Ballansaw
April 25, 2017

Fondren is a historical district located in North Jackson, MS. Fondren was established in 1845. This historical neighborhood is known for being diverse and multicultural. Each week, Fondren has community activities for art, concert, and much more. One activity and event Fondren is well known for is Fondren’s First Thursday (FFT).

FFT is held every first Thursday each month. It is a street festival where many local businesses and organizations can promote and sell their products. FFT is filled with music, dancing and food. Ron Chane is the owner and creative director of FFT. Chane decided to begin FFt because “It was an event that was thrown away” said Chane. “FFT helps business commerce and this is a good thing that Jackson needed.” said Chane, “When people leave I want them to think ‘Did this really happen in Jackson.’” Chane has a passion for FFT because he believes it inspires people to come back.

With more than a handful of businesses and organizations participating each month, “FFT is never boring” said Chrishonna Green, Murrah High School senior and a frequent participator in FFT. “I loved to see what the different restaurants and small community groups have to offer.” Every month the different vendors get to fill out a vendor’s application on fondrenfirstthursday.com and it has to be approve.

Lily Garretson, a resident in Fondren, said “My favorite part of FFT is sees all sides of the community come together and celebrate the differences in Mississippi/Jackson’s culture.” Every month, Fondren produces 6000-8000 attendees and counting. Fondren First Thursday’s welcomes all races, sexualities, and gender. “The event is for all types of people.” said Chane. “Just know it’s for you (everybody).” Each time, FFT draws in the width of people throughout Jackson. Going to FFT, draws people away from the typical Mississippi. “I get to see people live for 5 hours and be exposed to new things and people.” said Chane smiling.

Chane said “Always expect inconsistency.”  when dealing with FFT. There are no two events build the same activities in FFT. The activities range from live music and games. After a successful night of FFT, Chane cleans the area and looks forward to the next event.