Mississippi Blues Marathon | Saturday, January 27th

The Mississippi Blues Marathon is Saturday, January 27th! This is the perfect opportunity to “show-off” Greater Belhaven!!!

Please make sure to clean-up your yards, curbs and bring your garbage cans in!! The race course will have runners on the following Streets: Riverside, Myrtle, Laurel, Lyncrest, Pinehurst, Hazel, Poplar, and Jefferson.

This is also a perfect opportunity to volunteer. The organizers use an online system to register, allowing volunteers to select the specific time and location they would like to work. If you would like to volunteer as a course marshal close to home, you can request Belhaven or Belhaven Heights in the comments section of the form. All volunteers will receive a souvenir Mississippi Blues Marathon “Road Crew” t-shirt.

For more information or to register as a volunteer, go to www.msbluesmarathon.com and click the “Volunteer” link, or e-mail volunteer@msbluesmarathon.com for more information.

It’s been a great year in Greater Belhaven!

2017 has been a time of exciting changes at the Greater Belhaven Neighborhood Foundation, and we want to thank you, your support through the years has made the Foundation’s success possible.

Our future looks bright. From the renewed enthusiasm for volunteerism to the beginning of the Museum to Market Trail Project, there’s a lot to celebrate this year. Shortly after the “Being Belhaven” party last year, our long-time former Executive Director Virgi Lindsay won a landslide victory in the Ward 7 City Council election. We’ve been so proud to watch Virgi continue to work her magic on behalf of Greater Belhaven, Ward 7 and the City of Jackson.

This spring, the Foundation unveiled our new website. It wonderfully showcases Greater Belhaven and the exciting events that are scheduled as we move into 2018. Special thanks to Laurel Isbister and Own Your Hill for their work and leadership on the website launch which the neighborhood celebrated with the (always popular) combination of champagne and popsicles at Deep South Pops.

Summer brought a big change to the McDade’s and Lou’s Full-Serv parking lot mural. Local artists and neighbors Rachel Misenar and Elizabeth Fowler spent a week in the heat working with neighborhood children to create an artistic interpretation of Greater Belhaven. It’s something special to see.

“Bright Lights Belhaven Nights” closed out the summer with near record attendance and a whole new look. GBNF’s partnership with Baptist Health Systems, C-Spire, The Manship, Medical Practice Solutions, Mississippi Sport’s Medicine, Fondren Public and our sponsors allowed the festival to remain tremendously successful while maintaining the “neighborhood party” feel that we’ve all enjoyed for more than a decade. Many thanks to GBNF directors Mike Stevens, Wilson Hood and Steven O’Neil for their leadership on BLBN and its success.

The 2017 Being Belhaven Art Series began with Shakespeare in the Park on the Mother’s Day weekend. New Stage Theatre’s Youth Acting Troupe performed “A Midsummer’s Night Dream” in Belhaven Park. A special thank you to New Stage Theatre for making this event possible. Pumpkins in the Park was a huge success with Belhaven Artist Carlie Hogan leading the painting of the Pumpkins! This was followed by a screening of Jurassic Park. The Art Series concluded with The Community Peace Sing at Belhaven Park. There were performances by The Metro Male Chorus and The Murrah High School Concert Choir. A huge thank you to Royce and Sherry Boyer for making this event so special each year.

In 2018, the foundation looks forward to working with our friends and neighbors to continue turning back encroachments on Greater Belhaven and working with the amazing volunteers within BIA, BHCA and GBSA who have done so much to enhance and beautify this special place. As part of this effort, the GBF board of directors is seeking applicants for the position of Executive Director. Click here to learn more!

Thank you to all who support the GBF and we look forward to another incredible year together!


Greater Belhaven Foundation

GBF Now Accepting Applicants for Executive Director Position

The Board of Directors of the Greater Belhaven Neighborhood Foundation is evaluating applicants for the Executive Director position. Click here to view a copy of the Executive Director job description. Interested parties are invited to submit letters of interest and resumes to the Foundation address as listed in the description. The deadline for submission will be December 8, 2017 at 5:00 p.m.

To apply, please submit letter of interest and resume:

Greater Belhaven Foundation
954 E. Fortification Street
Jackson, MS 39202

Board reserves the right to modify, delete, and/or add additional expectations to meet the needs of the Greater Belhaven Foundation as necessary

The Greater Belhaven Neighborhood Foundation provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements,

America’s Oldest Singing Christmas Tree Started in Jackson and Will Celebrate 85 Years

For the past 85 years, students have readied their voices and gathered on a 35-foot tall structure to be part of the oldest singing Christmas tree tradition in the United States.

The Belhaven Singing Christmas Tree is the first and oldest of its kind. Since its creation in 1933, the tree frame has grown taller, candles were exchanged for LED lights, voices and music were amplified and more singers were added each year.
Today, the 35-foot tall wood and metal tree structure holds over 100 men and women. The LED lights change colors in various patterns and sequences according to the character of each Christmas carol, creating a visual spectacle for listeners.
Mignonne Caldwell, the originator of Belhaven’s tree and music professor, came up with the idea as a way to give back to the surrounding community. Caldwell recruited college engineer Mr. C. V. McLain to construct the first wooden tree frame for the choir to stand on. Caldwell’s concert idea became a reality and debuted to the public in December 1933. After the success of the first performance, it became a yearly tradition.

This year will mark the 85th anniversary of this special concert. Both performances on December 1-2 are free to the public and will take place at the Belhaven University Athletic Bowl at 7:30 p.m.

Certain traditions have become expected elements to the tree. An auditioned soloist is positioned under the star located at the very top of the tree. This honored soloist performs “O Holy Night” near the Tree’s conclusion. Other traditions include artificial snowfall during “White Christmas” and humorous “insider jokes” interposed into the lyrics of “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” and other Christmas carol favorites.

Ms. Bettye Quinn, Associate Professor of Education and Director of Elementary Education, has attended the event for 78 years and remembers seeing the tree for the first time. Quinn said, “I remember when I was three in 1937 and a family friend brought me to see the Belhaven singing Christmas tree for the first time. At the time the tree was a group of 50 girls on a platform between the columns, they had on white robes and held bright lights that reflected into the lagoon. It was just a glorious sight for a little child to see. I have come every year since to see the Belhaven Singing Christmas Tree.”

Belhaven’s Singing Christmas Tree was named one of the top 20 events in the Southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society, and it continually draws in thousands of people each year. The Singing Christmas Tree tradition continues serving the Jackson community by providing a spiritually edifying, fun-filled event of visual and musical splendor.

For more information:

Contact: David Sprayberry
Assistant Director of University Relations
Belhaven University

Join us for Pumpkins in the Park 2017! [UPDATE]


The Greater Belhaven Foundation presents Pumpkins in the Park starting at 5:00 pm on Saturday, October 7, 2017. This FREE event is a favorite for neighborhood children and a great way to kick off the fall season!

Join Greater Belhaven artist Carlie Hogan for a Pumpkin Decorating Party from 5:00-6:30 PM, in Belhaven Park on Poplar Boulevard. For all ages. Pumpkins will be provided courtesy of US Foods.

Then at 7:00 PM, JURASSIC PARK is showing in the park. Deep South Pops will be on site selling popsicles. The activities and movie are free.

Pumpkins in the Park is a Greater Belhaven Arts Series event which is funded through generous contributions from the following: Funderburg, Sessums & Peterson, PLLC; The Manship, Carol Taff; Fairview Inn; McDade’s Market; and Keifer’s Restaurant.

Click here to join the Facebook event and share with your friends!

McDade’s Plaza “English Village-Jitney 14” gets new attention and enhancements

In addition to the 2017 GBF sponsored mural project, the McDade’s plaza “the Village” this year has new enhancements at both McDade’s and Lou’s Full-Serv.

“These upgrades and expansions to McDade’s Plaza are consistent with the Greater Belhaven Foundation’s mission to preserve and enhance Greater Belhaven, and are sure to be of benefit to all who work, live and play in Greater Belhaven. The expansion of Lou’s and the plaza enhancements are going to be in keeping with the historical nature of the village, supporting its place in the neighborhood” said Rob Farr, Design chair of GBF.

Work at McDade’s will include fresh wood and paint, brand new LED lighting, and subtle upgrades to the finish on the brickwork.

“We are going to do a dark chocolate color in the back part of McDade’s where the dumpster area is along Jefferson Street. Then, there will be light colored washes along the corner of Jefferson Street and Fortification Street, along the Fortification Street side of the building, and on the McDade’s store front façade area” said Mike Peters of Peters Real Estate.

Those interested to see the style of the brick work can view a sample already done this week on Jefferson Street at the Fortification Street corner.

Lou’s Full-Serv will also get an upgrade and enhancement with construction to start next week on a buildout of the deck area into a private dining room to seat upwards of 65 people.

“This addition will help to create a new private event space; we have hit a plateau with the number of people we can seat and this will allow our growth to continue” said Louis LoRose. “In addition, this provides use of the deck area which was only usable at certain times of year due to weather and temperature variations. It will now become a space that can be relied on year-round.”

Bright Lights Belhaven Nights has come and gone, and it was the best one yet!

We did it! The 13th annual Bright Lights Belhaven Nights street festival was a fabulous success!

Nearly 8,000 people could be found in the streets of the Greater Belhaven Neighborhoods last Saturday night enjoying the best local music on 3 stages, great beer, delicious food and the wares of our many incredible vendors.

Thank you to all who came out to enjoy an evening of fun with us, and for all of your wonderful comments and encouragement!

“What a fantastic festival to have in the Neighborhood! We live in the coolest place. Music was amazing. Local Artists, Food Trucks and Great Community!!” – Steven O’Neill

If you’d like to let us know about your experience this year, please click here to complete a short survey and to enter your name for a chance at a $100 gift certificate from The Manship!

“We had a great time. The misting stations were great to have.” – Michael Stevens

The Greater Belhaven Foundation would like to thank our generous presenting sponsors – Baptist Medical Clinic Fastpass, C Spire, The Manship Wood Fired Kitchen, Medical Practice Solutions, Mississippi Sports Medicine, and Southern Beverage Company.

We appreciate the continued support of our Stage Sponsors – Bank Plus, Pyron Group, and The Radio People; our Children’s Area Sponsors – Hinds Behavioral Health Services, Mississippi Tent & Party Rental, and Trustmark Bank; our Belhaven Stars Sponsors – 1908 Provisions, Belhaven Improvement Association, First Commercial Bank, First Presbyterian Church, John R. Lewis Real Estate Services, and McDade’s Market; and our Bright Lights Sponsors Cabot Lodge, Fenian’s Pub, Jackson Free Press, Jackson Jambalaya, Neighbor House, NixTann & Associates and Old House Depot.

We would also like to thank the City of Jackson and the Jackson Police Department for their continued support and contributions.

To our many wonderful volunteers – we absolutely couldn’t make it happen without you! Your dedication to making our neighborhood great is unmatched, and we are so thankful for your contributions.

Just want to thank EVERYONE for a fabulous BLBN last night. It was amazing, and I have heard so many good comments about it, last night and today. I saw most of you there so I know everyone was doing his/her part, but I just have to say how proud I was of our neighborhood last night — and the throngs of people who came to enjoy it. I was blown away by the crowd, and the enthusiasm of young and old. The decorating was so festive and the music and food delightful. Special thanks to our hardworking volunteers, Laurel, and Mike Stevens for a knockout job with his team. I know many others contributed in ways I may not be aware of, but I think we should all be very proud of that event. Sometimes we forget what a special place this is — but last night I remembered, all over again! Thanks to all of you. – Ginnie Munford, GBF Board of Directors

Thank you to our wonderful photographer, David Sprayberry, for his incredible photos of the event!

“Great Event! We had a blast and will definitely be back next year!” – Justin Courson

“Best BLBN ever! Good job!” – Sandra Welborn

“Amazing event! I ? my neighborhood!!” – Jennifer Welch

“Wonderful experience! Great entertainment, wonderful food, and beautiful neighborhood!” – Kim Grissom

“Great time! Good food and cold drinks. Really enjoyed the entertainment and visiting with friends.” – John Ray

“Another great time – seemed like an even better Fest than last year. Hope all worked out for you as well – the stage folks were great!” – Robert Chaffe, Kudzu Kings

“Had a blast!!!! The Seratones were great, and of course The Weeks were beyond Awesome!!!! Can’t wait until next year!” – Jamie Gibson

Want to know about other great events in the Greater Belhaven neighborhoods? Enter your email address in the green box and click “Get Updates!” to be in the know about all of the great things happening here!

2017 Bright Lights Belhaven Nights – THIS SATURDAY!

It’s time for your favorite summer tradition, THIS SATURDAY the Bright Lights Belhaven Nights street and music festival! Join us August 12th from 4:30 to 9:30 PM in Greater Belhaven!

*** WEATHER NOTE *** We are keeping an eye on the weather for Saturday and will be posting any updates to the event Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/belhavennights/. Please follow us there for updates.

Thousands flock to the festival each year seeking out the unique aura of one of Jackson’s most historic neighborhoods and the incredible experience of this award-winning festival, named a top 20 event in the Southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society.

Presented by the Greater Belhaven Foundation, Baptist Medical Clinic Fastpass, C Spire, The Manship Wood Fired Kitchen, Medical Practice Solutions, Mississippi Sports Medicine, and Southern Beverage Company, the annual festival showcases and celebrates the unique culture of the Greater Belhaven Neighborhoods.

At the 13th Annual BLBN festival, you’ll stroll along the streets of this incredible historic neighborhood enveloped in an atmosphere unlike any other, as live Blues, Jazz, Indie Rock and Acoustical music streams from 3 stages and the smells of delicious foods from local restaurants and vendors drifts through the air.

Artists, craftsmen, and makers of all kinds will offer up their works. Children will bounce, play and create in the children’s activity area. Adults will savor the creations of some of the best craft breweries in the state and bid on signature festival artwork at the silent auction and a free raffle of items from area merchants.


Pick up one of these super soft Comfort Colors #BLBN t-shirts in the center of Kenwood!

The 2017 Children’s Area

From balloon animals and face painting to bounce houses and obstacle courses, we’ll have it all in our Children’s Area! We don’t know who’s going to have more fun this year, the adults or kids! Festival entry for children 12 and under is only $1 and includes entry into the Children’s Area.

The 2017 Vendors

2017 Bright Lights Belhaven Nights Map

Food: The Manship, Hog Heaven BBQ truck, Crunch Time Concessions, Sno Biz, LurnyD’s Grille, 1908 Provisions Restaurant, Fenian’s Pub, Babalu Tapas & Tacos, Deep South Pops, Small Time Hot Dogs

Jewelry and Crafts: Lo Lady Fashion Jewelry, Lee’s Cotton Picker Art, Kathryn Shuff, Sherry Burdsal, Robert Lofton Jewelry

Beer: Southern Beverage Company, Fondren Public, Southern Prohibition, Natchez Brewing Company, Chandeleur Island Brewing Company, Tin Roof Brewing Company, Grayton Beer Company

And more: Hinds Behavioral Health Services – Region 9, Nix-Tann, Greater Belhaven Foundation, The Pet Shop of Fondren, Trustmark, Belhaven University, Cabot Lodge – Millsaps, Bike MS, Millsaps College, Pyron Group – Nationwide Insurance, First Presbyterian Church of Jackson, MS, Brown Bottling Group, Greater Belhaven Security Association, Belhaven Improvement Association, Belhaven Heights Community Association

The 2017 BLBN Music Line-Up

2017 Bright Lights Belhaven Nights Music Lineup


5:00 p.m. Young Valley
6:00 p.m. Cary Hudson
7:00 p.m. Seratones
8:20 p.m. The Weeks


5:15 p.m. Kudzu Kings
6:30 p.m. Cedric Burnside Project
7:45 p.m. Christone Kingfish Ingram


5:00 p.m. Vibe Doctors
6:00 p.m. TB Ledford
7:00 p.m. Taylor Hildebrand
8:00 p.m. Sara Sullivan


This year, you can be hands-on with the music of BLBN in an all-new way. Harmonica musician Scott Albert Johnson, who performed in May with the Boston Pops at Symphony Hall Boston, will lead two FREE harmonica clinics at the Greater Belhaven Foundation tent on the corner of Kenwood and Carlisle. Two 45-minute clinics will be held beginning at 5:30 PM and 6:30 PM. PLUS, the first 40 to arrive will receive a FREE BLBN commemorative harmonica!

The 2017 BLBN Beer Garden

Brand new to BLBN this year is a private Beer Garden which will be located in the McDade’s parking lot next to the Acoustic Stage. Entry is $15 and includes two free beers of your choice. Featured brewers include Southern Prohibition, Natchez Brewing Company, Chandeleur Island Brewing Company, Tin Roof Brewing Company, and Grayton Beer Company. The Beer Garden is sponsored by Fenian’s Pub, Fondren Public, and Southern Beverage Company.

Get your tickets today!

Adult: $10 Children 12 & Under: $1

Tickets are available at the gate, or click here to order yours online now!

Location & Additional Info

The festival will extend along Carlisle Street from McDade’s parking lot toward New Stage Theatre, and also turn onto Kenwood Place and extend into Belhaven Park. Free parking will be available at New Stage Theatre, along Belhaven streets that have not been closed off, and in the parking garage adjacent to Baptist Health Systems Medical Arts East at the corner of North and Carlisle Streets.

To learn more about Bright Lights Belhaven Nights, find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/belhavennights, follow us on Instagram at www.instagram.com/greaterbelhaven and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/greaterbelhaven, visit us at www.greaterbelhaven.com/blbn or call 601-352-8850.

The Greater Belhaven Foundation, a non-profit organization, works to improve and revitalize the area through long-range planning, economic restructuring, historic preservation, green space enhancement, and improvement of Fortification Street, the major east-west corridor between the two neighborhoods.

Join the Greater Belhaven Foundation and all of our incredible sponsors for the 13th Annual Bright Lights Belhaven Nights!

Sponsored by:

Presenting Sponsors

Stage Sponsors

Children’s Area Sponsors

Belhaven Stars Sponsors

Bright Lights Sponsors

Don’t miss this favorite family-friendly event, right in the heart of Jackson’s most incredible neighborhoods!


Caitlin Hayden, 601.968.1256, BLBN Publicity Chair
Shannon McLaughlin, 601.594.4429, BLBN Publicity Team

Baptist’s Magnet® Designation: Validation for Doing the Right Thing

I’m April Ferguson, a resident of Belhaven and a nurse at Baptist Medical Center. I received my Associate’s Degree from Hinds Community College and will be attending University of Mississippi Medical Center in the fall to acquire a Bachelor’s degree in nursing. I started working at Baptist in August of 20I3 and have worked in the Progressive Care Unit for over three years.

On the morning of March 16, 2017, a group of approximately 200 Baptist employees gathered awaiting what we all hoped to be one of the top honors in our nursing profession. After 10 years of work, people stood in wonder anticipating a phone call. Bobbie Ware, who is now Baptist Medical Center’s CEO, was standing by a phone on a platform. She had been Baptist Health Systems Chief Nursing Office and the Medical Center’s Chief Nursing Officer. Standing beside her was Baptist’s Vice President of Nursing Brenda Howie and Tina Magers, Baptist’s Nursing Excellence and Research Coordinator. We all waited for the echo of that phone to ring throughout Baptist’s Atrium.

Then, at 10 am, it rang. The news was announced! Baptist Medical Center in Jackson, Miss., received the nation’s top honor for nursing excellence called “Magnet.” The Magnet Recognition Program® is given by the American Nurses’ Credentialing Center (ANCC), an affiliate of the American Nurses Association, to hospitals satisfying a set of criteria designed to measure quality patient care and professional nursing practice. Only seven percent of hospitals in America have been granted Magnet recognition and Baptist is the only hospital in Mississippi to receive this designation. No other hospital in Mississippi has achieved this accomplishment.

ANCC defines a Magnet hospital as one where nursing care results in excellent patient outcomes and where nurses maintain high levels of job satisfaction. Magnet status includes various departments throughout the medical center being involved in the evaluation of outcomes and decision-making in patient care delivery. Further, it recognizes that the organization provides resources for nurses to continue life-long learning and shows a low staff nurse turnover rate.

Magnet designation first emerged in 1990 as a way to recognize hospitals that successfully attracted and retained high-quality nurses, even during periods of nursing shortages. The program is now based on five core principles: transformational leadership; structural empowerment; exemplary professional practice; new knowledge, innovations and improvements; and empirical outcomes. Receiving Magnet designation requires evidence of high standards of care achieved by the entire organization.

At Baptist, we always strive to be the best advocate for our patients, placing the patient as well as the family at the center of our efforts. Although family and patients are not as familiar with the accreditation, their appreciation and acknowledgement is apparent through their thank you letters, cards, and gifts of food to nursing staff.

Baptist has implemented a Shared Governance Model of Nursing over the past 10 years. This model integrates core values and beliefs giving all staff, at the patient bedside, a voice in Baptist practices. With nurses working together across departments with shared goals and purpose, much can be accomplished.

Applying for Magnet was an extremely complex process involving months of highly detailed work. The efforts paid off. It demonstrated Baptist is committed to being leaders in healthcare, and reaching Magnet status validates the organization’s work to provide the best care through a team effort and evidenced-based practices. It proved we are doing the right thing.

Even though I was only a part of this journey for the past few years, it was exciting to be a part of it. My area, the Progressive Care Unit, submitted a story that described how nursing management improved the turnover nursing rate in the unit. Changes to the unit were made after the new nurse manager worked closely with nursing staff and noted specific areas that needed improvement, specifically the lack of recognition, scheduling, and call-offs. Staff nurses and nurse managers created an action plan including recognition pins, flexible pins honoring our team. By the second quarter of 2015, the PCU’s turnover rate was zero percent.

Nursing is a tough job. Yet, it’s a not just a job, it’s a passion I have to help people – to nurse them back to health. When I feel overwhelmed or that I’m not making a difference, I think about this Magnet designation. It’s a great reminder that we are, in fact, recognized by not only our own administration but healthcare leaders throughout the country for providing the best possible care. I’m so privileged to have been on this journey with my Baptist family.