May 2024’s calendar of can’t-miss events in the Capital Region

May 4

Races, juleps and roses. Oh my! You don’t have to travel to Churchill Downs to celebrate the Kentucky Derby. At Live Oak Arabians, attendees can take in similar festivities for a good cause at St. Jude Day at the Derby. Don your big hats and seersucker suits, and enjoy derby-themed food and drinks, a live auction and a viewing of the famous horse race. stjude.org

Ashlee Bergeron / Courtesy St. Jude Day at the Derby

May 10

Art walk

Stroll through the heart of Mid City for the annual Hot Art Cool Nights. This evening market, hosted by Mid City Merchants, allows local creatives to set up booths anywhere from Jefferson Highway at Goodwood Boulevard to the intersection of Government and 14th streets. Many businesses along the market route will also stay open late. midcitymerchantsbr.org

Clash of the crawdads

Pinch. Peel. Repeat. Indulge in ruby-colored crustaceans at the Crawfish King Cook-off benefiting Big Buddy Program and Junior Achievement. Teams will battle it out and see who makes the best boiled crawfish. Ticket holders can feast on claws and tails while supplies last. The event will be held in conjunction with Live After Five, so attendees can jam to local bands while getting their crawfish fix. crawfishkingcookoff.com

May 11

Big wheels keep on turning at the Raising Cane’s River Center for the Monster Truck Nitro Tour. Watch as larger-than-life vehicles roll and tumble around the arena while crushing any obstacle in their way. raisingcanesrivercenter.com

May 18+19

Bring an appetite to the Main Library at Goodwood for the Baton Rouge Soul Food Festival. Sample dishes made by competing chefs to get a taste of what the Capital City has to offer in soul food cuisine. Along with culinary creations, there will also be entertainment for all ages. hitcitydigital.wixsite.com/brsoulfoodfest

Collin Richie

May 19

Support the Baton Rouge Epicurean Society at its annual Spring Fête fundraiser. Held at Houmas House and Gardens, this event invites attendees to try dishes and samples from local chefs, caterers and restaurants. There will also be beer, wine and spirits to try. bresbr.org

May 24-26

Jambalaya Festival

It’s time to stir the pot at the Gonzales Jambalaya Festival. This tasty weekend includes live music, a pageant, 5K and 1-mile races, a car show and much more. And, don’t worry, there will also be a jambalaya cookoff to fuel the whole family through the weekend. jambalayafestival.net

Cajun Country Jam

Calling all country music fans! Dust off those boots, because the Cajun Country Jam is back for Memorial Day weekend. This festival boasts a packed musical lineup along with food, drinks and more entertainment. Enjoy performances by acts like Justin Moore, Clay Walker, Chase Matthew, Laine Hardy and others. thecajuncountryjam.com


Arts Agenda

May 3

Zip up the go-go boots, and follow the call of the disco ball. Gimme Gimme Disco returns to Chelsea’s Live for a night of ABBA, Donna Summer, the Bee Gees and other artists from the days of disco. chelseaslive.com


May 10

Contemporary Christian band Casting Crowns takes the stage at the Raising Cane’s River Center. The group is celebrating its 20-year anniversary with an exclusive tour featuring a live symphony. raisingcanesrivercenter.com

Courtesy Raising Cane’s River Center

May 10, 17 + 24

End the work week and kick off the weekend with a free outdoor concert at Live After Five. This month’s lineup features all-female brass band The Original Pinettes Brass Band; New Orleans soul and funk group Bucktown All-Stars; and popular Baton Rouge brass band The Michael Foster Project. There will also be opportunities to shop and dine. downtownbr.org/live-after-five


May 11

Fleetwood Mac tribute band Rumors ATL aims to replicate the glory days of the iconic band with a show at L’Auberge Casino & Hotel. Hear the songs that have cemented the band in music history like “The Chain” and “Dreams.” lbatonrouge.com


May 17 + 18

What does a German composer have in common with The Fab Four? According to the Baton Rouge Symphony, more than you think. In Bach to the Beatles: A Concert with Candles, a quartet of musicians transitions between pieces from the Baroque Era to hits from the British Invasion all in one show. brso.org

Stock photo

MAY 17-19 + 23-26

Theatre Baton Rouge actors take on Stephen Karam’s Tony Award-winning play The Humans. The story follows the Blake family as they move their traditional Thanksgiving festivities to their daughter’s bare, creaky Manhattan apartment. During the stay, the Blakes open up, fight and come together. theatrebr.org

Stock photo

May 25

Shop, swap and roll your way through Electric Depot for Local Pop-Up’s May market. This monthly art market brings in anywhere from 50-70 local vendors, and this month’s event will also feature a book swap. Attendees who donate a book will receive a ticket to redeem for any book in the pile. localpopup.shop

Courtesy Local Pop-Up

On the road

New Orleans

May 2-5: New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, nojazzfest.com

May 17-19: The Bayou Boogaloo, thebayouboogaloo.com

May 24-26: New Orleans Greek Festival, gfno.com



May 3-5: Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival, bbcrawfest.com

May 17: Dusty Slay at Club 337, lafayettecomedy.com

May 23-June 2: 36th Annual Cajun Heartland State Fair, cajundome.com


This article was originally published in the May 2024 issue of 225 magazine