The Fourth of July falls on a Monday this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun this weekend. With top performers at this year’s Essence Festival and a Girls Gone Wild party, your weekend can definitely be a lively one. Be sure to finish it off with the Star Spangled Celebration at the USS Kid Museum on Monday for a full day of live music, fun and fireworks.

The Essence Music Festival

Although this major music festival takes place in New Orleans, it’s absolutely worth the drive. Major performers include Usher, Kanye West, BoysIIMen, Trey Songs, Jennifer Hudson, and Mary J. Blige. There will be a plethora of other great performances happening all weekend, as well as seminars with well-known guest speakers. These seminars vary widely and include such topics as “Black Men Uncensored: The Games, The Lies, and The Truth” with Steve Harvey and Bill Cosby’s seminar on education.

Get your tickets for as low as $50 or spring for a VIP treatment now at http://www.essencemusicfestival.com/tickets.html.

Girls Gone Wild

A wild party is set to go down this Friday, July 1. Girls Gone Wild is having open auditions and a model search at the Triple A Bar. You won’t want to miss the wet t-shirt contest, the bikini contest or the hot body contest. Enjoy all the sexy fun and games or sit back and watch with a couple drinks. The Girls Gone Wild fun starts at 9 p.m.

Cover is $10 at the door. For more information, visit http://www.tripleabatonrouge.com/ or call (225)927-3222.

David Bazan

Indy rock singer David Bazan will be delivering a moving performance at The Spanish Moon on Friday, July 1. With poetic political lyrics, he openly sings about his opinions on life and love. The calm music accompanies his controversial lyrics perfectly. The songs might start a debate amongst friends, but will also have them swaying and having an enjoyable experience at the same time. You’ll be able to check out his cultural frustrations this Friday at 9 p.m. while relaxing with a cold drink.

Tickets are $10 at the door and also available at

http://www.ticketweb.com/t3/sale/SaleEventDetail?dispatch=loadSelectionData&eventId=3689005&REFERRAL_ID=tmfeed&crosssite=TM_US:1027334:336659.

Pride 1 Awards 2011

SPLASH nightclub hosts this year’s Pride 1 Awards on Saturday, July 2. Have a great time while celebrating the evolving culture of Baton Rouge. Although this event might not be for everyone, it’s sure to be an eye-opening good time.

For more information visit http://www.splashbr.com/specialevents.htm

Glitchell and No Fuego

Head to Varsity Theatre Saturday, July 2 to hear a duo of punk rock bands putting on what’s sure to be an exciting performance. Influenced by The Ramones and Flogging Molly, Glitchell brings loads of energy to the stage. No Fuego incorporates bagpipes into they’re instruments to create a unique sound and experience, which is always interesting to see. Both of these local bands are definitely worth checking out.

Tickets are just $5 at

http://www.varsitytheatre.musictoday.com/VarsityTheatre/calendar.aspx