Guide to This Weekend's Mississippi Blues Marathon

With live music before, after and throughout the course, the Mississippi Blues Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k and 5k brings runners from across the country (and world) to Jackson.

runners at the start line of a race

The weekend of events will start and finish from the race’s home at the Mississippi State Capitol Complex.

Beyond the race itself, Jackson offers a slate of experiences participants will want to come early for – and stay long after the finish line has come down.

Friday, February 23

Pre-Race Expo

Grab your packet (pickup is 11 am - 6 pm at 500 High Street - Mississippi Capitol Green Plaza – across the street from the Capitol Building), including your bib. There’s limited race day packet pick-up (6-7 am), so plan to be here.

Grab lunch in downtown

No matter your tastes, there are options near race grounds. Grab a sandwich or burger at Steve’s Deli or check out the daily special at Estelle Wine Bar & Bistro at The Westin Jackson. A bit further north, find pastries, sandwiches and coffee at Urban Foxes.

Explore Jackson

The City With Soul is brimming with cultural opportunities to help you better understand the music, history and culture of the area. Check out The Museum of Mississippi History and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, the Mississippi Museum of Art (with a Picasso exhibition on display!) or, the International Museum of Muslim Cultures.

Shop and dine in Fondren, LeFleur East or Belhaven

A few miles away from race grounds, our city’s neighborhoods provide a different look and feel than downtown with chef-driven restaurants and boutique shopping.

In Fondren, go for seafood at Saltine or barbecue at The Pig and Pint (not before stopping by Campbell's Bakery for your Mississippi iced tea cake).

Head for Belhaven Town Center in Belhaven where you'll multiple food and drink options (Pulito Osteria, Elvie's and Good Bar JXN all spring to mind).

In LeFleur East, head for pasta at Sal & Mookie's. Nearby, at Highland Village, Mediterranean-rich Aplos or classic steakhouse-vibed Char will satisfy your taste buds.

Saturday, February 24

Race Day – 7 am - MS State Capitol grounds

Arrive early for a quick warm-up and to settle into your surroundings, plus gear check beginning at 6:30 at the state capitol. The starting line is at the intersection of George and Congress, the north side of the post-race green space. Aid stations are roughly every two miles throughout the double loop, Boston-certified course, and provide Gatorade and energy gels. Signage has also been increased for this year's race.

Listen for the National Anthem, played by local musician Patrick Harkins. On your mark, get set…

LOCALS: Cheer on the runners, thank those who make the race possible

Runners appreciate crowd support! Make posters and cheer or simply take a spot along the route (noted below) to give participants a hearty welcome. Great spots include downtown and the Fondren District.

And, say thank you to first responders, volunteers, sponsors (hats off to Continental Tire) and everyone who makes the race possible.

Post-Race

Live music and complimentary food and drink greet you as you cross the finish line, in the green space between the MS Supreme Court Building and the Sillers office building. Stick around and enjoy: you’ve earned it!

Lunch anyone?

Some runners take it easy post-race while others are insatiable and looking for their “reward” meal. We have ideas!

Fenian’s in Belhaven (two miles from the finish line) offers pub fare and a great selection of beers. Try the Irish curry and thank me later. If you want something equally as indulgent, check out Fertile Ground Beer Co. for crawfish, beer and live music and The Orchid Bed & Breakfast for their Bed and Breakfast Blues event with food and music.

Walk it off

If you are looking for a slower-paced afternoon and some post-race recovery, head for Highland Village. Called “iconic… where timeless meets of-the-moment in an atmosphere steeped in culture and southern charm,” the center is home to local, regional and national boutiques. The state’s only Whole Foods is here as well as lululemon athletic. It’s quite the culinary destination, too, if you’re still hungry!

Dinner Time

Cap off your day with dinner at The Iron Horse Grill downtown, Eudora's at The District at Eastover or BRAVO! at Highland Village.

Nightcap, Mississippi Music style

There’s always music in Jackson, especially on this weekend, even a cocktail crawl! Check out the lineup here.

This post is offered as a representative itinerary of Jackson restaurants, attractions and events. As always, consult individual locations for hours and availability.