SpringFest to host Nashville Singer/Songwriter Benton Stokes

Nashville singer/songwriter Benton Stokes is set to perform at SpringFest, May 3.

With a fondness for soaring melodies and smart lyrics, Stokes has written songs for Christian music mainstays such as Natalie Grant, Sandi Patty and Point of Grace.

He also has recorded a collection of his own faith-inspired pop songs, Grace & Gravity, and is currently in the studio with producer Dennis Dearing working on a new release slated for summer 2014.

Visit www.reverbnation.com/bentonstokes.

Hosted by Parkway Hills United Methodist Church in Madison from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., SpringFest will also feature works by members of the Craftsmen's Guild of Mississippi, a talent review, food and lots of fun for children of all ages.

Guests are invited to browse works for sale by local artists and craftsmen, while children can stay entertained with a trackless train ride, a balloon artist, face painting, sack races, beanbag tosses, and other fun carnival games.

The event is free, but proceeds from food sales will benefit two great causes.

Parkway Hills UMC has set a goal to raise $5,000 for Stop Hunger Now with proceeds from barbeque sales ($8 a plate in advance, $10 a plate day of), and the youth at Parkway Hills will donate all proceeds from dessert sales to help fund an accelerated reading program at East Flora Elementary School.

For more information, visit www.parkwayhillsumc.org/springfest.

Upcoming Activities

April 24

Pro-Life Mississippi Banquet

The 2014 Spring Banquet and Silent Auction benefitting Pro-Life Mississippi will be held at First Baptist Church of Jackson. The silent auction runs from 5-6:30 p.m. with the banquet from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

The featured speaker is Dr. R.C. Sproul Jr.

RSVP by calling 601-956-8636.

April 25

Southern Komfort Brass Band performs

On Friday, April 25 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m., Southern Komfort Brass Band will perform its New Orleans -style brass-band music. The Jackson-based band, which performs both classic and contemporary hits, has won several Best of Jackson awards, including Best Original Band and Best Cover Band for the past two years. Southern Komfort formed in 2010, and credits its influences as Rebirth Brass Band, Soul Rebels Brass Band, Trombone Shorty, Miles Davis and Motown.

"We are so excited to bring the New Orleans-style music of Southern Komfort Brass band to the Northpark Nights concert series," said Megan Bailey, director of marketing and business development at Northpark Mall. "Our shoppers can truly find new experiences here, both in our stores and in our concert offerings."

The monthly concert series is designed to give back to shoppers by introducing them to up-and-coming artists of various genres. To learn more about upcoming concerts at Northpark Mall, visit the mall's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/NorthparkMallMS.

April 26

March of Dimes

Annual March For Babies Walk located at Rennisance in Colony Park. Registration will begin at 8 a.m. with the walk beginning at 9 a.m. Family activities will take place from 8 - 12 noon sponsored by Metropolitan Bank.

April 29

Final Presentation of the 2013-2014 Millsaps Arts & Lecture Series

The final presentation of the 2013-2014 Arts & Lecture Series is set for Tuesday, April 29 in the Gertrude C. Ford Academic Complex Recital Hall on the campus of Millsaps College. The program is "How Comics Treat the South," and will explore how the South has played a central role in comics, both as a subject and as a lens through which we view America.

The program will be presented by Walter Biggins, a former editor in comic studies at the University Press of Mississippi and Brandon Costello, a current scholar and writer of comics studies at Louisiana State University. The two will discuss how comics have historically represented the South and the key events here.

The program will begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase online at www.millsaps.edu/conted or may be purchased at the door for $10.00.

This will conclude the 46th season of the Millsaps Arts & Lecture Series, a program that presents serious, funny and unique programs featuring writers, historians, musicians and more. A new season will begin in September.

For more information on this program or on the Arts & Lecture Series, contact the Office of Continuing Education at 601-974-1130.

May 3

Day at the Derby

The public is invited to the University Transplant Guild's fifth annual fund raiser, Day at the Derby, on Saturday, May 3 at The South in downtown Jackson.

The event is a fun-filled day featuring Derby fashions and enjoying delicious food and drink, live music and dancing, exciting silent auction items, a draw down, and of course, watching the "Run for the Roses" at Churchill Downs on large screen televisions.

Ridgeland Natchez Trace Century Ride

The Natchez Trace Century Ride will take place on Saturday, May 3 at 7 a.m., and will start at the Ridgeland Recreational Center. A registration fee of $35 includes Welcome Party on Friday evening, ride, event T-shirt post-ride meal and post-ride social. Late registration fee will be $45 after April 11. For complete event details, routes and to register, go to www.natchezcenturyride.racesonline.com.

With your choice of distances from 25, 50, 62 and 100 miles with mild to moderate elevation, it is a great ride to find your stride. There will be "energizer" stops highlighting local music, food and hands on fun every 10-15 miles...kudos to all, but hooray to those who relish the journey. Ride with friends, ride with family or solo the day....but the more the merrier we say.

For more information on the ride, contact Ridgeland Recreation and Parks at 601-853-2011 or go towww.ridgelandms.org. The Natchez Trace Century Ride is presented by The Bike Crossing and is an event of Ridgeland Recreation & Parks.

May 4

Canton Music Study Club Celebration

The Canton Music Study Club is celebrating 70 years (1944-2014) at 3 p.m., May 4 at First United Church in Canton by presenting Viola Dacus, soloist, and Carol Joy Sparkman, accompanist, in a concert of music by Cole Porter. This program is also in observance of National Music Week, May 4-11, which is sponsored annually by the National Federation of Music Clubs. Please come and celebrate with the club. There is no admission fee and a reception will follow the program.

The Canton Music Study Club

On May 4 at 3 p.m., in conjunction with National Music Week, the Canton Music Study Club celebrates 70 years and presents Viola Dacus and Carol Joy Sparkman in concert at First United Methodist Church in Canton. The public is cordially invited to attend.

May 13

The Madison County Mystery Readers Book Club

The Madison County Mystery Readers Book Club will meet at 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, May 13 at the Ridgeland Public Library.

New members and guests are welcome. For more information, please call (601) 853-8392.