May 2023’s calendar of can’t-miss events in Baton Rouge

Where to play around Baton Rouge this month

black line

Photo by Collin Richie



Battle of the boils 

The Crawfish King Cookoff returns to downtown Baton Rouge for its ninth year of boiling for a good cause. Watch as amateur teams of five boil sacks of crawfish before tasting their tails to determine this year’s mudbug royalty. The battle also invests in Baton Rouge youth by fundraising for nonprofits like the Big Buddy Program and Junior Achievement. crawfishkingcookoff.com

Stock image


And they’re off!

Dust off your fancy hats, comb your closets for your derby best and get ready for St. Jude Day at the Derby. You don’t have to travel to Churchill Downs to get in on the action. Here in Baton Rouge, this special event has all the same events as the big race. Enjoy bourbon tastings, live auctions, a live viewing of the Kentucky Derby and more. Proceeds benefit St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. stjude.org

Margaret Wilkinson/Courtesy Justin Lemoine


The art of Mid City 

Lace up your walking shoes and head out to some of Mid City’s most beloved businesses for Hot Art Cool Nights, organized by Mid City Merchants. This annual indoor-outdoor event gives creators, chefs, dancers, musicians and other artists the opportunity to share their work with the community. Take a stroll from Government and 14th streets to Jefferson Highway at Goodwood Boulevard to see all the talent Mid City has to offer. midcitymerchantsbr.org

Stock image


Feed your soul 

Bring your appetite downtown for the Soul Food Festival, a delicious two-day festival with local chefs, restaurants and home cooks serving up essential soul food dishes. Along with grub, this festival is also packed with activities and live music for a weekend of good food and good times. hitcitydigital.wixsite.com/brsoulfoodfest

black line


May 4

Bring your little ones to the LSU Museum of Art for Toddler Thursday. These monthly art-making events are designed for children ages 5 and under to participate in with their caregivers. lsumoa.org

May 11

Night Market BTR, a celebration of Asian American Heritage Month, takes over Electric Depot. Hosted by Sweet Society, Boru Ramen and Laura Siu Planning & Events, it will feature 20-plus vendors, a cupsleeve event, a dragon dance and more. nightmarketbtr.com

May 21

Support a good cause at Taste of Mid City, a new food festival at the Executive Center. It will feature samplings from popular Mid City eateries and benefit Youth City Lab, which teaches local children and teens a variety of skills. theexecutivecenterbr.com

May 21

Come out to Tin Roof to watch as locals brave the shave at Geaux Bald for St. Baldrick’s Foundation. Leading up to the event, shavees raise funds for St. Baldrick’s to help with childhood cancer research. stbaldricks.org

May 27 + 28

Celebrate Memorial Day in Denham Springs with some of the biggest country music acts during the Cajun Country Jam Memorial Day Festival. Flip to page 66 to read more. thecajuncountryjam.com


Subscribe to our newsletter 225 Daily for our twice-weekly roundups of events. 225batonrouge.com/225daily

black line

On the Road

New Orleans

May 4-7: New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, nojazzfest.com

May 10: The Cure at Smoothie King Center, smoothiekingcenter.com

May 14: Billy Porter at Saenger Theatre, saengernola.com

black line


May 2

Grab your mid-day meal and head over to the LSU Museum of Art for Art at Lunch: Artistic Floral Design. At this free event, seasoned florist Joel Peregrin of Peregrin’s Florist will present and demonstrate all the elements of floral design. lsumoa.org

Courtesy You Aren’t Alone Project

May 4

Come out to Red Stick Social for the third annual You Aren’t Alone Live Art Event. This event brings artists and creatives together for conversations about mental health. Watch vulnerable and intimate performances that depict the personal mental health journeys of the performing artists. youarentaloneproject.com

May 18 + 19

Even if you didn’t get tickets to her sold out Eras Tour, you can still listen to all of Taylor Swift’s best songs at a special Baton Rouge Symphony show. Taylor Swift: A Candlelight Concert will feature a guitar quartet and singer Rebecca Smith covering the pop star’s hits by flickering candlelight. brso.org

May 19-21 and 25-28

Watch the story of the March sisters as Theatre Baton Rouge’s Young Actor’s Program puts on a production of Little Women. This play follows an adapted version of Louisa May Alcott’s famous novel. See a live version of the long-adored tale as Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy grow and experience life together. theatrebr.org

black line


Gabrielle Feld / Courtesy Chelsea’s Live

May 5

Celebrate Cinco De Mayo in a big way with a special Latin Night at Chelsea’s Live. Show up early to get some salsa lessons before the evening starts. Once Latin Night begins, dance the night away to the tunes played by a DJ at the ultimate fiesta. chelseaslive.com

May 6

Slip into your boots and get ready for a night of country music when Parish County Line takes the stage at the Texas Club. This band is known to bring back the classic country vibes and hit songs like “Blame on Jones” and “Back to Country.” thetexasclub.com

Courtesy Mathew Reeves

May 10

London post-punk finds its way to Baton Rouge when The Psychedelic Furs play at Manship Theatre. After achieving massive success in the ’80s, the band took a break before re-forming in the early 2000s. Since then, its music has had a resurgence after being featured in famous television shows and films. Come sing along to all hits like “Love My Way” and “The Ghost in You.” manshiptheatre.org

May 13

With more than 40 years under its belt, 38 Special is ready to rock Baton Rouge with a fun show at L’Auberge Casino and Hotel. When listening to classic rock on the radio, you’ll most likely hear the hits from the band’s heyday in the ’70s and ’80s, like “Hold on Loosely” and “Caught Up in You.” lbatonrouge.com

This article was originally published in the May 2023 issue of 225 magazine.