With summer just around the corner, outside events will be available in abundance this weekend, weather permitting. In Lake Charles, the Downtown at Sundown concert series will kick off with a performance by Cold Sweat, the Houston Museum of Natural Science will have a mobile planetarium set up at Central Library, and families are encouraged by the City of Lake Charles to participate in the national Kids to Parks Day.
Elsewhere, in Southwest Louisiana, the 21st Annual Starks Mayhaw Festival will be in full swing, DeRidder will gear up for the SWLA All Veterans Reunion and Festival, the Acadia Players will perform songs by Rodgers and Hammerstein in "Some Enchanted Evening" and Sulphur will hold a free screening of Disney and Pixar's "Brave" as part of the Movies in the Square series.
Here are your highlights for the weekend and beyond:
15th Annual Downtown at Sundown series: Fridays during May 17-June 7 from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the 700 and 800 blocks of Ryan Street, which will be closed to vehicle traffic and street parking during concerts. The May 17 performance will feature the Jennings High School Drum Line and Young Band Nation at 5:30 p.m. at the Luna Stage, with Cold Sweat on the Main Stage beginning at 6:15 p.m. The series will continue with the following performances: Travis Matte & the Kingpins on May 24; Curley Taylor & Zydeco Trouble on May 31; and City Heat on June 7. In the case of inclement weather, the concerts will be held inside the Lake Charles Civic Center. Concert attendees are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs, and no outside beverages or pets are allowed on site. For more information, call 337-491-9159 or visit www.CityOfLakeCharles.com.
Kids to Parks Day: May 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Millennium Park on Bord Du Lac Drive in Lake Charles. Activities will include: a performance of the Harlem Shake, face painting, balloons, fun jumps, an appearance by Gumbeaux Gator, an aqua duck race, a trike race, train rides, a chicken run, a Hula Hoop contest, bowling, hot potato, splash dance, and a live DJ. The event is being held in conjunction with National Kids to Parks Day, which aims to raise awareness of America's parks through play. Residents are encouraged to visit local parks. They can also visit www.kidstoparks.org and sign up so that local families can be counted in the national tally of participants. Participants can then submit photos of their park adventures to Buddy@BuddyBison.org. For more information, visit www.cityoflakecharles.com.
Discovery Dome planetarium: May 18 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Central Library, located at 301 West Claude Street in Lake Charles. The Houston Museum of Natural Science will bring its inflatable, portable planetarium to Central Library. The Discovery Dome will show six different movies, each lasting 30 minutes. This program is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Central Library Children's Department at 337-721-7118 or visit www.calcasieulibrary.org.
Lake Charles Civic Ballet's Spring Performance: May 19 at 3 p.m. in the Rosa Hart Theatre. Students of Lady Leah Lafargue School of the Dance will showcase their skills in ballet, tap, and jazz at this free event, which will feature "L'Academie du Monsieur Dubriovsky," "New York in June" and "Monkeyshine." For more information, visit www.lakecharlescivicballet.com, e-mail email@example.com or call Kelly Gifford at 337-802-5779 or Rhonda Chargois at 337-842-6930.
Sales and withholding tax seminar: May 21 from 9 a.m.-11 a.m. in Room 122 of the Burton Business Center at McNeese State University. Topics will include state withholding requirements, state withholding filing requirements, common filing errors, electronic filing procedures, sales tax exclusions and exemptions, sales tax and withholding tax filing procedures and differences between state and parish sales tax laws. The cost is $10 and pre-registration is requested. For more information or to register, contact the LSBDC at McNeese at 337-475-5529 or by e-mail at LSBDC.MSU@lsbdc.org.
Small business seminar: May 21 from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in Room 121 of the Burton Business Center at McNeese State University. The seminar is titled "Starting and Financing a Small Business" and is free to attend. Topics will include business planning, sources of funding and small business resources. Pre-registration is requested. For more information, contact the LSBDC at McNeese at 337-475-5529 or visit at LSBDC.MSU@lsbdc.org.
Power Up in Faith non-denominational luncheon: May 23 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Lake Charles Civic Center Buccaneer Room. Father Jonathan Morris will be the guest speaker. Tickets are $30 each and may be purchased online at www.stpatrickfoundation.org or at the Office of CHRISTUS Hospice and Palliative Care, located at 4444 Lake St. in Lake Charles. CHRISTUS Hospice and Palliative Care along with CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital and The Foundation are hosting the event.
2013 Liquid Society concert series: Thursdays from May 23 to Aug. 29 by the pool at L'Auberge Casino Resort in Lake Charles. Concerts begin at 8:30 p.m. with doors opening at 7 p.m. Concerts are scheduled to end around 11 p.m. This year's season will feature 15 acts with tickets ranging from $10 to $20 per show. Tickets are available at www.ticketmaster.com or at the Business Center or Legends at L'Auberge. Event location is subject to change and/or cancellation due to inclement weather. The lineup is as follows: The Black Crowes on May 23, Blackberry Smoke on May 30, Kenny Wayne Shepherd on June 6, Robert Randolph on June 13, Tate Stevens on June 20, DJ Pauly D on June 27, Eli Young Band on July 4, Summerland Tour featuring Everclear, Live, Filter and Sponge on July 11, Purple Reign (a Prince tribute band) on July 18, 311 on July 25, TBA on Aug. 1, Buckcherry on Aug. 8, Big Night Out Tour featuring Fuel, Hoobastank, Lit and Alien Ant Farm on Aug. 15, TBA on Aug. 22 and The Cult on Aug. 29. For more information, click HERE.
End of School Hawaiian Party: May 24 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Children's Museum, at 327 Broad Street in downtown Lake Charles. Children will receive leis and hibiscus hair clips, pineapple and Hawaiian punch. For more information, call 337-433-9420 or visit www.swlakids.org.
Autism Rocks: May 26 at 6 p.m. at L'Auberge Casino Resort in Lake Charles. Paul Groves and Mirage will perform. The event will also feature a cash bar and a live auction. A $50 donation admits one. Tickets are general admission and stadium seating. Must be 21 or older to attend. For more information, click HERE.
"Some Enchanted Evening: The Songs of Rodgers and Hammerstein": May 17-19 at 7 p.m. and May 19 at 2 p.m. at the Grand Opera House of the South, located at 505 North Parkerson Ave. in Crowley. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. Tickets are available online at www.acadiaplayers.com or www.thegrandoperahouse.org. For more information, contact Logan Frederick at 337-523-5007 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ride For The Bear motorcycle run: May 18 with registration starting at 8 a.m. and the run beginning at 9 a.m. in the Park Terrace Shopping Center in DeRidder. Tickets start at $35 and include a T-shirt, a patch and food and drink. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Lindsay Foundation. For information, call 353-3400.
SWLA All Veterans Reunion and Festival: May 18 in downtown DeRidder. The event begins at 3 p.m. and will feature live entertainment, military activities, static displays and a variety of vendors. The Veterans Breakfast will be held on May 19 at 9 a.m. in the War Memorial Civic Center in DeRidder.
Blake Miller & the Vermilion Playboys: May 18 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Liberty Theatre, located at 200 West Park Ave. in Eunice. The performance is being presented as part of the "Rendez-vous des Cajuns" Cajun Music Radio & TV Show. Tickets go on sale Saturday at 4 p.m. at the ticket window of the Liberty Theater. Tickets are $5 and general admission seating. For more information, call the Eunice Mayor's Office at 337-457-7389 or visit www.eunice-la.com.
Auditions for "The Trial of Goldilocks": May 20 at 6:30 p.m. and May 25 at 10 a.m. at the theatre located at 121 South Second St. in Eunice. The Eunice Players Theatre will hold the auditions for their upcoming children's play. Roles that need to be filled include: Goldilocks, the three bears, a defense attorney, a prosecutor, a judge and jurors. In addition, the director is looking for children to fill the following staff positions: stage manager, lights and sound director, and hair and makeup designer. The play is set to be performed July 18-21. For more information, call Debi Crawford at 457-2156.
Aaron Chesson & Bayou Heat: May 25 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Liberty Theatre, located at 200 West Park Ave. in Eunice. The performance is being presented as part of the "Rendez-vous des Cajuns" Cajun Music Radio & TV Show. Tickets go on sale Saturday at 4 p.m. at the ticket window of the Liberty Theater. Tickets are $5 and general admission seating. For more information, call the Eunice Mayor's Office at 337-457-7389 or visit www.eunice-la.com.
Movie Night at the Strand: May 18 with showings at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Strand Theatre, located at 423 N. Main St. in Jennings. The movie "The Help" will be shown. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for senior citizens and $3 for children 12 and under. For more information, call 821-5509.
25th Annual Cajun Heartland State Fair: May 23 through June 2 at the Cajundome in Lafayette. The fair opens at 5 p.m. on weekdays and at noon on weekends. Admission is free, and parking is $10 per vehicle. Advance tickets for rides are available at the Cajundome Box Office through May 24. Performers at the festival will include Wayne Toups and Zydecajun, Geno Delafose and the French Rockin' Boogie, and Bag of Donuts. For a schedule of performances, visit http://www.cajundome.com/grandstand.aspx. Other attractions will include The Pepsi Playground, Jingles the Clown, a petting zoo, pony rides and a circus. For more information, click HERE.
2013 Lake Arthur Regatta: May 25-26 in downtown Lake Arthur. The festival will open at 8 a.m. and close at about midnight on both days. Admission to the festival is $10 for adults and free for children ages 5 and under. Events will include a triathlon, a beauty pageant and swimsuit contests. Performers will include Keith Frank & The Soileau Zydeco Band, The Chee Weez, Chris Ardoin & Nu Step Zydeco, Frank Foster, Wayne Toups & ZydeCajun and more. For more information, click HERE.
Dulcimer workshops: May 18 at the Rebel State Historic Site, located at 1260 Hwy. 1221 in Marthaville. A new player workshop will take place at 9 a.m., followed by mountain dulcimer workshops at 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. and hammered dulcimer workshops at 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. A concert will be held at 5:30 p.m., followed by an awards ceremony and an open jam session at 6:15 p.m. Admission to the park is $4 for adults ages 13 to 61 and free for schools groups, children ages 12 and under, seniors ages 62 and over and State Parks annual pass holders. For more information, call 888-677-3600 or 318-472-6255 or visit www.LaStateParks.com.
13th annual Coach Buddy Bonnette Memorial Day Golf Scramble: May 27 at 9 a.m. at the Natchitoches Country Club. The event will feature an 18-hole scramble format for teams of four. The entry fee is $75 per player or $300 per team, which includes the green fee, the golf cart lunch and refreshments. Proceeds will benefit the Coach Buddy Bonnette Scholarship Fund. The Northwestern State University Foundation is hosting the event. For information, including available sponsorships, contact Jill Bankston at 318-357-4241 or email@example.com. Participants can register online by visiting northwesternalumni.com and following the Events link to a registration form.
Flying Dinosaurs: May 18 from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center, located at 2111 West Park Avenue in Orange, Texas. In this hands-on program, attendees will dig in the mud and search the air for dragonflies. Delve into the life cycle of dragonflies and explore their habitats, which include Shangri La's gardens. For more information or to reserve a space, call 409-670-9799. For more information, visit www.shangrilagardens.org.
Book Discussion of Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya: May 18 at 2 p.m. at the Stark Museum of Art, located at 712 Green Avenue in Orange, Texas. Elena Ivanova, the Museum's Chief Educator, will lead the discussion and will provide insights into the book for those not familiar with it. For greater participation, attendees are encouraged to read the book in advance and review discussion questions on the Museum's website. For more information, call 409-886-ARTS (2787) or visit www.starkmuseum.org.
Mervine Kahn Company, Inc. employee reunion, documentary screening: May 26 at The Crossing at Mervine Kahn, located at 113 East Louisiana Avenue in Rayne, La. Former employees of the department store and their family members are invited to attend. Lunch will be served at noon. Tickets for the event are available for $20, and can be purchased in person from Sadie's Flower Shop or Rayne Bank of Commerce. Tickets can also be purchased by calling the Rayne Historical District Association at 337-334]3489 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The reunion concludes with the premier of a 30]minute documentary entitled "Mervine Kahn Legacy," which debuts in The Bank next to the Crossing at Mervine Kahn reception area at 2 p.m. The general public is invited to the documentary debut.
21st Annual Starks Mayhaw Festival: May 16-18 at the corner of Highways 12 and 109. Admission to the event is free. The event will feature live entertainment, carnival rides, a talent show, a bike parade, a mayhaw jelly contest, a jelly making demonstration and basket weaving. A full schedule of events and performances can be found HERE. For more information, visit http://mayhawfest.com/home.
Blessing of the Bikes: May 18 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Zak's Pro Truck/Trailer Sales & Motorcycle Accessories, located at 115 S. Cities Service Hwy in Sulphur. All bikers are welcome to attend, and there will be free coffee, doughnuts and hotdogs. For more information, call 337-274-3366 or 337-625-9806.
Movies in the Square: May 18 in Heritage Square in Sulphur. A free screening of Disney and Pixar's "Brave" will begin at sunset, and attendees are asked to bring their own blankets and lawn chairs. Popcorn and drinks will be sold on-site, but attendees are allowed to bring their own snacks as well.
Sulphur High School Alumni Softball Tournament: May 18-19. Games for the men's division will be held on Saturday, and games for the co-ed division will be held on Sunday. For more information, click HERE or contact Coach Duhon at 337-217-4430, ext 2331.
Bayou Bell Choir performance: May 21 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Jubilee Center, located at 1600 Maplewood Drive in Sulphur. Because this location was formerly a water tank for the City of Sulphur, several water themed works have been selected for the concert. Admission to the event is free and a reception will follow the performance. For more information, contact Bruce Allured, the choir director, at 439-6610.