Our top picks of the month’s events
One of the city’s newest community music festivals, the Bayou Boogaloo, is fast becoming a springtime favorite. Organized at its inception with the mission of providing a community-building experience while raising funds for the Mothership Foundation’s various charities, the Boogaloo will celebrate its fourth year on Bayou St. John. Held on May 22 and 23, it’s a family-friendly affair, and it attracts some of the most popular local musicians, encompassing a variety of genres for which we are known: zydeco, jazz, Cajun, funk and blues. This year’s lineup will include Little Freddie King, Soul Rebels, Bo Dollis Jr. and the Wild Magnolias, Billy Iuso & the Restless Natives and Honey Island Swamp Band and numerous others. Also noteworthy is the arts and crafts scene; proceeds from the art market will benefit the 3 Ring Circus Arts Education Center. Cuisine by local restaurants will also be available – arrive craving some music and food, and you’ll leave satisfied.
Information, 488-3865, www.thebayouboogaloo.com
Wining and Dining
The nonprofit New Orleans Wine & Food Experience is one of those omnipresent forces in the city this time of year as the days become warm and the need to socialize becomes a daily affair. For five days, the experience will bring world-renowned winemakers, industry insiders and celebrated chefs for a wide variety of events all pertaining to some of our city’s finest assets: food and drink. The Wine & Food Experience kicks off with a silent wine auction; the next day, fans of Bravo’s Top Chef will have a chance to watch the Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off featuring competing chefs from the celebrated television show.
The Grand Tastings (May 22 and 23) will feature 75 New Orleans restaurants and over 1,000 vintages, as the extravaganza draws to a close. The newest event at NOWFE is FEASTiVAL, which hosts wine notables and celebrity chefs on May 21. Be sure to check out the splendid intimate dinners and seminars as well.
Art for a Cause
It is a good month for fundraising for two of New Orleans most powerful forces of art:
nOn May 15, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art will host its fifth annual “Sippin’ in Seersucker” party, held at the Shops at Canal Place. Musical entertainment will be provided by Los Po-Boy-Citos and the Iguanas, while the Big Easy Rollergirls make a special appearance (though one hopes they won’t be in the mood for a rumble).
The party will feature light hors d’oeuvres and specialty cocktails, including mint juleps, mojitos and other mouthwatering beverages with a distinctly Southern touch. For those with a competitive and fashion-forward edge, there will be a contest for the “best seersucker ensembles.” Raffle tickets will give guests the chance to win a variety of beauty, entertainment, shopping, wine and tourism packages.
Information, 539-9618, www.ogdensouthernart.com.
nFor those who prefer their art with a more modern flair, head to the Contemporary Arts Center on May 27 for the one-night-only mini art show, curated by Dan Cameron. “Postcards from the CAC” will showcase postcard-sized (5-by-7 inch) artworks by 200 internationally acclaimed artists. The event is also a fundraiser, and the ticket includes not only admission but also a souvenir piece of art. Hit up the open wine bar and taste some fancy hors d’oeuvres while you’re there. “Postcards from the CAC” will benefit the visual arts programs at the CAC.
Information, 528-3805, www.cacno.org.
Saints and Sinners
The seventh annual Saints & Sinners Literary Festival will take place May 14-17, at various venues downtown, including the Bourbon Orleans Hotel and the Bourbon Pub, showcasing a variety of established writers, seminars, master classes and panel discussions. Saints & Sinners appeals to a wide variety of individuals with open minds; it attracts a mixture of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and heterosexual participants and writers. Speakers this year will include Michael Thomas Ford, Michael Lowenthal, Elana Dykewomon, Jess Wells, Greg Herren, Radclyffe and many others. Besides bringing people together for the love of literature, the festival raises money for the NO/AIDS Task Force as it continues its mission of fighting the epidemic, helping those who suffer from it and raising awareness in the community.
Information, 581-1144, sasfest.org.
On May 9, the Audubon Zoo will host the Asian Heritage Festival, a production of the Asian Pacific American Society of New Orleans. The day-long celebration will feature cuisine from around the world including bubble tea, tropical drinks, along with delicacies from India, Cambodia and the Philippines. Children can learn how to make origami and get their faces painted. Performing on stage will be traditional Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese and Thai dancers.
The nonprofit Asian Pacific American Society seeks to provide services and leadership in cultural, social and economic areas, including efforts to integrate people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent into the American mainstream.
Information, 831-1148, www.apasneworleans.com.