2-5 — Essence Festival (Various locations in New Orleans; www.essence.com) The weekend features Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige, Usher, Missy Elliott and others, as well as local and regional bands, empowerment workshops, seminars and more. Hours vary. Admission varies.
4 — Lebeau Zydeco Festival (Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 103 Lebeau Church Road, 337-623-0303; lebeauzydecofestival.com) Enjoy family activities, famous Lebeau pork-backbone dinners and, of course, live zydeco music at this yearly festival. Gates open at noon. Admission $12, free for children under 12.
15-19 — Tales of the Cocktail (Various locations, 504-948-0511; www.talesofthecocktail.com) The five-day event features seminars, tastings, product launches, competitions, networking events and more. Hours vary. Admission varies.
17-18 — Natchitoches-NSU Folk Festival (Prather Coliseum, 220 S. Jefferson St., Natchitoches, 318-357-4332; www.louisianafolklife.nsula.edu) There are three stages for music, Cajun dance lessons, a fiddle workshop, food, demonstrations and more. The Louisiana State Fiddle Championship is Saturday. Hours 4 p.m.-10:30 p.m. Fri., 8 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Sat. Admission $5 Fri. and after 5 p.m. Sat., $8 Sat., free children 12 and under.
17-18 — Swamp Pop Music Festival (Lamar Dixon Expo Center, 9039 St. Landry Road, Gonzales, 225-621-1700; www.swamppopmusicfest.com) The two-day music festival features indoor stages and a full slate of swamp pop music. Proceeds benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Hours 5 p.m.-till Fri., 10:30 a.m.-till Sat. Admission TBA.
17-19 — Cajun Music and Food Festival (Burton Complex, 7001 Gulf Highway, Lake Charles, 337-217-2612; www.visitlakecharles.org) The annual festival is presented by the Cajun French Music Association's Lake Charles chapter and includes Cajun food and music, raffles, games and family-friendly activities. Hours vary. Admission TBA.
18-19 — Christmas Magic in July (Pontchartrain Center, 4545 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 985-796-5853; www.steinhauerproductions.com) The shopping event features more than 100 vendors selling jewelry, clothing, wooden items, pottery, home decor, outdoor art, gifts and original artworks. Hours 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Admission TBA.
24-25 — Marshland Festival (Lake Charles Civic Center, 900 Lakeshore Drive, Lake Charles; www.visitlakecharles.org) Local and national zydeco, Cajun and country music artists will play. Hours 6 p.m.-midnight Fri., 11 a.m.-midnight Sat. Admission, $10 Fri., $15 Sat., free for children 12 and under.
25 — Southwest Louisiana Attakapas Opelousas Prairie Tribe Festival (Farmers Market Pavilion, 828 Landry St., Opelousas, 337-246-0718) Opelousas' Native American heritage is celebrated with traditional dancing, drumming, storytelling and demonstrations. There's also food, arts and crafts, face-painting and a talking stick contest. Hours 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission free.
31-Aug. 2 — Satchmo Summer Festival (Old U.S. Mint, 400 Esplanade Ave., 504-522-5730; www.fqfi.org) Celebrate the life, legacy and music of Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong with two music stages, seminars, family activities, New Orleans cuisine and more. Highlights include a Sunday Jazz Mass and second line parade. Hours 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Admission $5.
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