Friday-Sunday, JULY 1-3

ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL: Superdome and Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans. Stage acts include Usher, Mary J. Blige, Trey Songz, Kanye West and Jennifer Hudson. Empowerment seminars with nationally known speakers.

Friday-Monday, JULY 1-4

MANDEVILLE SEAFOOD FESTIVAL: Fontainebleau State Park, Mandeville. Children?s activities, live music, firecracker fun run, fireworks display, arts and crafts, and lots of seafood dishes.

Saturday, July 2

RED, WHITE, AND BLUEBERRY FESTIVAL: 8 am. until, downtown Clinton. Farmers market, Bayou Blasters Band, art walk, appearance by cast from History?s Swamp People TV series, blueberry cook-off, parade, car show, fireworks and more. (225) 281-3144.

BATON ROUGE BEER FEST: 1-4 p.m., Baton Rouge River Center. Benefiting Dreams Come True of Louisiana. Live music by Toni O and Blue Haze, food vendors, more than 200 varieties of beer to sample. VIP tickets, $65; advanced tickets, $40; at the door, $45. (800) 745-3000 or

CITYFEST: 3 p.m., Sidney Hutchinson Park, 13750 Ball Park Road. Activities for the kids, including inflatables, a giant water slide, hot-air balloons and train rides. There will also be jambalaya, snowballs, barbecue and more. Large fireworks show at dusk.


STAR-SPANGLED CELEBRATION: downtown Baton Rouge riverfront. Live music, food and events for the kids. Fireworks show on the Mississippi River at the end of the day. (225) 342-1942.

GO FOURTH ON THE RIVER: Woldenberg Park and Riverfront from the French Market to the Riverwalk, New Orleans. Riverboat rides, music, food, patriotic cake contest, dueling barges? fireworks extravaganza on the river.