One big thing: Blackpot Festival
Where: Vermilionville, 300 Fisher Road
Cost: $25 Friday pass; $35 Saturday pass; $60 weekend pass (includes camping). Friday and Saturday passes do not include camping.
What’s the big deal? The music, food and culture of Southwest Louisiana is on display at the 13th annual Blackpot Festival & Cookoff. The event returns Friday and Saturday at Vermilionville, 300 Fisher Road. Tickets range from $25-$60 at the festival gates. Ok, so it’s a festival, but what makes this one great? For starters, there’s music throughout both nights from acts like Horace Trahan, The Revelers, Creole String Beans, Lost Bayou Ramblers, Courtney Granger and Pine Leaf Boys. Patrons can camp on the festival site, cook their own gumbos and jambalayas, and play tunes with their neighbors until the early morning. Then, on Saturday, there are cook-offs in gravy, gumbo, cracklins, jambalaya and dessert. Basically, this is some of the best Louisiana culture you can get in one place over two days. Get more information here.
Don’t be thatguy: One time at Blackpot, I wandered to a jam circle. There were some fiddlers, a guitarist or two, and someone was shouting some stuff about his mother in Cajun. Then there was a guy who had the rhythm of a “Creed Shreds” video playing the triangle. Clearly, everyone was trying to push him out, but here’s the thing about a triangle — it’s louder than everything. Another thing about the triangle: it’s not easy to play. You don’t just clank it. People just pick up percussion instruments and think, “Oh, I’ll just hit it, and it’ll be fun. Hey, look here’s a shaker! That’s not hard.” Then, the jam is ruined. So, here’s what I’m saying: if you have no rhythm, for the love of all things holy, don’t wander into a Cajun jam and play the triangle.
Also coming up
THURSDAY: Comedian Shane Torres performs at 8 p.m. Thursday at Club 337, 1521 W. Pinhook Road. Torres is a comedian and writer whose excellent bit on Guy Fieri not being as bad as people think was a hit last fall on “Conan.” Maggie Shipley and Joey Thibodeaux open. JP Leonard hosts. $7 in advance, $10 at the door. Note: Club 337 is located inside the DoubleTree Hotel. Purchase tickets and get more information here.
FRIDAY: The Cajun band Atchafalaya celebrates its 40th anniversary at Friday’s free Downtown Alive! concert. The party starts at 5 p.m. at with the DTA! Happiest Hour. The music starts at 6 p.m. at Parc Sans Souci. The concert also features free educational activities for the kids at 6 p.m. Get more information here.
FRIDAY-SUNDAY: Performances of Allyson Currin’s play “Church of the Open Mind” start at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday Cite des Arts, 109 Vine St. The play follows author Cassie Tupman who returns home to get her father’s approval after her first book has been a critical flop. Daniel Ladmirault directs. Joe Riehl, Kristen Dubois, Carmen Nicholson and Jacob White star. $18. Purchase tickets and get more information here.
SATURDAY: Healers, seekers and holistic vendors come together at the Hub City Metaphysical Festival at 2 p.m. Saturday at The Wurst Biergarten, 537 Jefferson St. Free. Family-friendly. Get more information here. Haters, be warned: this festival is a safe space. If you come to it with your hate, you will be hexed a massive hex by Miss Cleo’s second cousin, Rhonda.