3 — Uncle Sam Jam
(Lafreniere Park, 3000 Downs Blvd., Metairie, 504-838-4389; www.experiencejefferson.com) — The event features DJs in the afternoon and live bands in the evening, with a fireworks display at 9 p.m. There also are food and drink vendors. Hours 3 p.m.-9 p.m. Admission free.
3-6 — Essence Music Festival — (Various locations in New Orleans, www.essence.com/festival) — The 20th annual festival features Prince, Mary J. Blige, Lionel Richie and a host of other local and international musicians playing in the Superdome nightly. There also are empowerment seminars and activities at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center and elsewhere. Hours vary. Admission varies.
4 — Bucktown Bash (Bucktown Marina, Old Hammond Highway at Lake Pontchartrain, www.facebook.com/bucktownbash) — The events includes a blessing of the shrimp fleet, live entertainment, kids' activities, arts and crafts, food from Bucktown restaurants and more. Hours 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Admission $5, free ages 12 and younger.
4 — Celebration on the Cane — Independence Day (Downtown riverbank, Natchitoches, 800-259-1714; www.natchitoches.net) — Live entertainment precedes a fireworks show after sundown. Hours 6 p.m.-10 p.m. Admission free.
4 — Go 4th on the River (New Orleans riverfront from the French Quarter to Spanish Plaza, www.go4thontheriver.com) — The Independence Day celebration features dueling fireworks barges on the Mississippi River staging a fireworks display to patriotic music. There's live music at Spanish Plaza from noon to 9 p.m., when fireworks start. Hours noon-10 p.m. Admission free.
5 — Lebeau Zydeco Festival (Immaculate Conception Church, 103 Lebeau Church Road, Lebeau, 337-623-0303; www.lebeauchurch.org) — The 24th annual festival features several zydeco bands, backbone dinners, dancing and food. Hours 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission $12, $6 children.
16-20 — Tales of the Cocktail (Various locations, 504-948-0511; www.talesofthecocktail.com) — The New Orleans Culinary and Cocktail Preservation Society presents the 12th annual cocktail-centric event, which offers parties, cocktail dinners, new products, competitions, seminars and more. Hours vary. Admission varies.
18-19 — Natchitoches/NSU Folk Festival (Prather Coliseum, 220 S. Jefferson St., Natchitoches, 318-357-4332; www.nsula.edu/folklife) — The 35th annual festival celebrates the multicultural folk art and heritage of the area. The event features food, music, demonstrations, dance lessons, children's activities, cultural exhibits and the Louisiana State Fiddle Championship. Hours 5 p.m.-11 p.m. Fri., 9 a.m.-10:45 p.m. Sat. Admission $8 Sat., $5 after 5 p.m., $11 two-day pass (advance only), free children 12 and younger.
18-19 — Swamp Pop Music Festival (The Lamar Dixon Expo Center, 9093 S. St. Landry Ave., Gonzales, 225-769-9994; www.swamppopmusicfest.com) — There are two days of indoor music performances spotlighting swamp pop and south Louisiana music. There's also a jambalaya cook-off, a car and truck show, motorcycle poker run and more. Hours 5 p.m.-midnight Fri., noon-11:30 p.m. Sat. Admission $10 Fri., $15 Sat.