The 4th of July isn’t until Tuesday this year, but who says you can’t kick off the celebration early? With ESSENCE Fest in town all weekend, there are plenty of world-class performances to blow you away before the fireworks even begin. Tujague’s also hosts a paired dinner with Buffalo Trace Distillery Thursday night, and Friday offers a movie at the zoo or free music at Tipitina’s. Find some zen in the midst of the hubbub at Crescent Park’s Saturday morning yoga session.
1. ESSENCE Festival — The annual Essence Fest invites attendees to “Party with a Purpose” this weekend with show-stopping headliners, empowering speakers, and other experiences. Stuck on which performances to see? Check out our top picks here. Ticket prices vary.
2. Sazerac in Seersucker — Throw on your best seersucker outfit and head to Tujague’s! Thursday night, the historic French Quarter restaurant hosts a special four course paired dinner with Buffalo Trace Distillery. Tickets are $90, call to make a reservation.
3. Dinner and a ZOOvie — Treat the youngsters to a fun weekend outing at the Audubon Zoo. Starting at 6 p.m., the Zoo will air the Lego Batman Movie at the Capital One Stage. Food trucks La Cocinita, Frencheeze, and Burgers Ya Heard will all be on site, with a slew of fun games and activities to kick off the night. Admission is $6.
4. Tipitina’s Foundation Free Fridays — One of the summer’s best music events, Foundation Free Fridays, offers a sensational beginning to your Fourth of July weekend. Maggie Koerner & Travers Geoffray plus Cha Wa take the stage, with every dollar going towards the Tipitina’s Foundation. Doors open at 9 p.m., show starts at 10. Patrons must be 21 or older.
5. Crescent Park Saturday — Summer snowballs weighing you down? Sweat it out this Saturday morning with Crescent Park’s “Pay What You Can” morning event with strength-building vinyasa flow at the Piety Wharf. Donations are encouraged but not necessary.