Soul Sessions Podcast: Christina Spann
On today's show, she's the community liaison for the Jackson Bicentennial Celebration, a podcast host, and gal about town - Christina Spann.
Christina is here to share upcoming plans for a holiday bicentennial celebration and her love for her hometown, here in Jackson.
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Paul: This is Soul Sessions, conversations on culture from Jackson, Mississippi. I'm your host, Paul Wolf, bringing you a look at the people, the places, and the events that make us the City With Soul. On today's show, she's the community liaison for the Jackson Bicentennial Celebration, a podcast host, and gal about town. Christina Spann is here to share upcoming plans for a holiday bicentennial celebration and her love for her hometown, here in Jackson.
Hey, Christina. Thanks for being on Soul Sessions.
Christina: Thank you for having me.
Paul: You are, as I said in the intro, "gal about town."
Paul: You are many things. You're a personality here in town. People that don't know you should know you.
Christina: Oh, that's sweet.
Paul: How would we know you if we don't?
Christina: Well, you would know me about ... with one of my many jobs that I have. And you would know me about ... I have a podcast called, Lunch Break. I love being everywhere and somewhere all at once. It is a great thing. A lot of people call me by my Instagram name, Lady Teena, but a lot of people don't realize that Lady is actually my first name.
Paul: Wait a minute. Back up. Back up. Lady is your legal first name?
Christina: Yeah. Lady Christina.
Paul: Okay. Learning something new every day.
Christina: Yeah. That is my first name. My dad wanted me to feel like royalty.
Paul: I do say Big Freedia ain't got nothing on you. You're the real queen diva.
Christina: Oh, thank you so much. I take that very seriously. I do not take that lightly. Growing up, teachers would not refer to me as Lady Christina. Just Christina. Yeah. My actual first name is Lady.
Paul: Shame on them.
Christina: I know.
Paul: Well, you mentioned your Instagram account, and that you are everywhere and anywhere and nowhere at the same time.
Paul: I know you like your private time, you like your time to be able to unwind, but you are very social. I am not so social, and so when I see your adventures across town, frankly, I'm worn out just going through your stories. So much going on in your life, and one of those things is the Bicentennial celebration, the 200 JXN Celebration that will end at the end of this year. It's been going on for several months now, but you landed a role as a community liaison for that project.
First of all, if folks don't know that Jackson is celebrating 200 years, tell us a little more about that and about your role with the bicentennial.
Christina: Yeah, So last December, it was announced that this year we're celebrating Jackson turning 200, 1822 when it was formed. David Lewis brought me on as a community liaison. I'm in between roles. I graduate with my degree in counseling in December. This was just a great opportunity to get to know people in the city during this downtime I have. It's kept me really busy. Now, I've gotten to go to so many different events that showcase the beauty of the people of Jackson.
One of my favorite things I've gotten to do is going to different historic neighborhoods, interviewing neighbors, and listening to their stories about, for example, the first black homeowners in Jackson in this small neighborhood called Dalehaven. And just interviewing them and hearing their story and just realizing, wow, Jackson is just really rich in history and culture and livelihood. So that's been so much fun. And getting to know so many different people that you know really wouldn't come in contact with outside of your social circle. So it's really allowed me to expand my social circle, which I love.
Paul: Not lost on you, to get more friends and more ...
Christina: Yeah. I love it.
Paul: ... things to do in your corner, right? Certainly we've seen those on Instagram and Facebook, those stories about the neighborhoods. And it really just helps us to understand the city and how it was formed and why it's important to people. And the events and traditions that are important to them and their neighborhoods as well. Speaking of events, speaking of the Bicentennial, anything exciting coming up in the coming months?
Christina: We are getting ready, really hard-focusing on the Capital City Lights. That's going to be December 2. And that is going to be basically a Christmas block party on Capitol Street. And so I always think, oh, we have plenty of time. It's October, so that means it's basically November.
Christina: So, planning that, and I want everyone to come. We're going to have all the businesses that line Capitol Street involved in some capacity. You'll be able to take tours of the Governor's mansion, and there'll be carolers and food trucks. And the Nutcracker will be going on at the same time and you can go and see a show. That was when I realized, yeah. Jackson is really awesome. Magnolia Sunset Markets is going to be there. It's just a great place for everyone to be in one space and really appreciate the beauty of the city.
Paul: And instead of everyone doing their own thing, we're all coming together to do one big thing.
Christina: Exactly. So I think that is so awesome, and it's going to be so fun. The weather, according to ... people make fun of me because I look at the Farmers Almanac, but I don't care. It's supposed to be good.
Paul: Hey, we can write it down. Lady Teena says it's going to be nice for Capital City Lights.
Christina: Yeah, it's going to be nice. So I'm excited for that.
Paul: You do find yourself out and about through your various jobs and through the things that you do in the city, socially. What are some of your favorite places to be? When you're showing off the city to your family and friends, where do you take them?
Christina: Oh, my gosh. So Belhaven Terrace just opened up. That is a fun spot. We have MayDay Jackson. Good Bar. Elvie's. Elvie's is my favorite restaurant in Jackson. Also, I like going to ... this is really funny. But I just driving around Jackson with people and showing them around. So I'm like, this is Eastover, this is downtown, this is da-da-da. I love that. Growing up, that's what me and my brother would do, we would just get in the car and just go for a drive. You just roll the windows down, listen to some good music, and I'm just going to give you a driving tour of the city.
And then this is something that I did here recently. But the Parham Bridges Park, just walking the park. It is so interesting the people that you see. Just, people are skating, walking dogs. I don't think you're supposed to walk dogs out there, but I'm not going to tell anybody. It was just a cool day. The weather is finally acting right, where you want to be outside.
Paul: It's real fall, right?
Christina: Yeah, it's real fall. Real fall.
Paul: Yeah. Your roles throughout the city puts you in contact with so many people. And I kind of know what the answer might be to this question, because it's what everyone's answer is, but I'll ask you anyway. You get to explore the beauty of this city all of the time, and I want to know what makes Jackson so special to you?
Christina: The people. The people, the food. The people and the food. I will say, it's great when you can be able to talk to all kinds of people, not just the people in office or the hoity-toity people, but just everybody. And I love that I'm able to do that. I'm not afraid to talk to anybody, so I think that's a plus for me. And that's how you get to know everyone that makes the city go around.
But God, we have some really good food here. The food here is the best ever. Like I said, Elvie's is so good. Manship. I've talked about it before, but that hash brown casserole, I want that to be my last meal.
Paul: Oh, goodness. Hopefully that's not anytime soon.
Christina: No, no, no. But The Pig & Pint, oh, my goodness. Bully's is good. You just can find something for anything. Thailicious. I mean, dang. I'm getting hungry just talking about it.
Paul: Well, you're the community liaison for the Jackson Bicentennial. You're a podcast host. You're a gal about town. You are everything. You are Lady Christina Spann, Lady Teena, the Queen Diva of Jackson. Thanks so much for being here.
Christina: You're so welcome. Thank you for having me.
Paul: Soul Sessions is a production of Visit Jackson. Our executive producers are Jonathan Pettus and Dr. Rickey Thigpen. To learn more about our organization and mission, head to visitjackson.com. I'm Paul Wolf, and you've been listening to Soul Sessions.