This month lands us in the heart of spring. And you can expect a fitting bill of events. Many of the warm weather season’s first handful of music festivals crop up, as well as a healthy amount of street festivals in the smaller communities surrounding those where AMLI’s apartments are located. Grab your nearest pair of sunglasses and head outdoors because this May’s slate of things to do is decidedly out under the open sky.
May 4-6: Shaky Knees Music Festival
This music fest is one of the more reasonably-priced in the country for the big-name indie acts on its bill. Headliners include Jack White, Queens of the Stone Age, and The National, along with others such as Fleet Foxes, The War on Drugs, Courtney Barnett, Tenacious D, and more.
May 5 & 6: Atlanta BBQ Festival
For the ninth year, Atlanta barbecue restaurants gather to serve up the best Southern style specialties at this two-day festival. J.D.’s Bar-B-Que, Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Que, Pit Boss BBQ, Sweet Auburn Barbecue, and Williamson Bros Bar-B-Que are all participating restaurants. Over 30 teams will compete in four different categories—brisket, chicken, pulled pork, and ribs—for over 2,500 in cash prizes.
May 11: Sips Under the Sea
Head to the Georgia Aquarium for this prom-themed after-hours event complete with cocktails, bites to eat, and no chaperones. Each guest receives two drink tickets and two tickets for small plate appetizers. There is no dress code. Doors open at 7pm and the event ends at 9pm.
May 19: Pawfest 2018
The Gwinnett Humane Society continues its annual spring tradition of throwing this pet festival celebrating man’s best friend. Guests are welcome to bring dogs as long as they’re on a leash. Dogs and their owners can enjoy a 2-mile pack hike around Briscoe Park as well as a 1-mile option for those with less ability or gusto.
May 5: JMBLYA
This traveling mini Texas music festival hits Austin on a Saturday. Topping the bill is J-Cole, Migos, Cardi B, and Kevin Gates. General admission is just 00 and some VIP tickets are still available. This fest plays Dallas on Friday, May 4 and Houston on Sunday, May 6.
May 5 & 6: Pecan Street Festival
The 41st rendition of this twice-yearly juried art festival is coming soon. Guests can enjoy three stages of live music by local artists as well as tons of artwork on display by local and national artists displaying sculptures, mixed-media, paintings, and other handcrafted work. Thirty food vendors are on the grounds.
May 23: Blues on the Green
Blues on the Green comes back to Zilker Park this month. Feel free to bring your pets to this family-friendly affair, as well as a blanket to accommodate your crowd. Don’t miss the first of Austin’s largest free concert series.
May 24-27: Hot Luck Festival
While it’s a festival by name, this celebration of food, music, and creativity seeks to be more like a community tailgate catered by some of Austin’s most renowned culinary talent, including a few bright stars from around the country.
May 5: Chicago Beer Classic
While most of Chicago’s best breweries will be in attendance at this annual Soldier Field beer tasting extravaganza, a keg-sized roster of craft breweries will also be on-hand to serve their brews. Guests can choose from two sessions, one in the early afternoon and another later in the early evening. Admission is just 5.
May 12 & 13: Renegade Craft Fair
One of the most beloved kitschy craft fairs in the country is curated to make it especially so. This year’s Chicago spring fair takes place in the heart of Pilsen on Halsted between 18th Street and Canalport Ave. Expect a bevvy of jewelry makers, T-shirt vendors, and fine goods purveyors selling a selection of irresistible pieces for the closet and the home.
May 17-20: Chicago Antiques + Art + Design Show
The truly massive Merchandise Mart hosts the first rendition of this antiques show featuring over 100 vendors selling a wide variety of old, but pristine pieces of furniture, wall art, and more. Opening night is a party benefiting the Woman’s Board of Northwestern Memorial Hospital, which supports women’s health programs and services.
May 27: Bike the Drive
One of the most anticipated Chicago traditions returns, offering Chicagoans the rare opportunity to bike up and down a hefty length of iconic Lake Shore Drive for up to five hours. Riders can cycle at their leisure or take the 30-mile challenge. Proceeds from the event benefit the Active Transportation Alliance, an organization that seeks to better people’s biking, walking and transit options in the city.
May 1-June 2: Native Texas Park Bluebonnet Tours
Enjoy free tours of the bluebonnets and other wildflowers in bloom on the grounds of the George W. Bush Presidential Center throughout the month of May. Visitors can join a 30-40-minute tour led by a docent through the 15-acre grounds. Tours are available at 10am and 11am on Saturdays on a first-come, first-severed basis.
May 3-10: Dallas International Film Festival
The Dallas International Film Festival brings movies from around the world to the Magnolia Theater for an entire week.
May 12: The Urban Flea
Every second Saturday the Urban Flea comes to downtown Garland. The flea market features dozens of vendors selling handmade goods, antiques, and unique wares, all in a cute area surrounded by locally owned restaurants.
May 17: Deep Ellum Wine Walk
This month’s wine walk through Deep Ellum sports the theme “Flower Power.” Those who join the event receive a unique collectible art piece modeled after Minji Kang’s floral mural in the neighborhood park.
May 12: Bacon and Beer Classic
Sports Authority Field is filled to the brim with bacon and beer lovers for the third year straight. Choose from 1pm or 6pm sessions for three hours of unlimited bacon and beer. Over 30 unique bacon-centric dishes will be available and over 100 craft beers on tap.
May 19: Five Points Jazz Festival
Spread across an entire day and 10 different stages, Five Points Jazz Festival celebrates this Denver neighborhood and its rich history as a center for jazz music and its legacy as the “Harlem of the West.”
May 19 & 20: Colfax Marathon
This run is not simply the only marathon Denver has to its name, but its also one of the most fun runs in the city. Consistently named a favorite by local and national press, it offers a full marathon experience and after party, and a new two-day event and half-marathon event that takes runners through the Denver Zoo.
May 24: Chicken Fight
You’ll have to look elsewhere if you’re expecting a bird fighting event. This is a cooking competition that pits a curated group of restaurants against one another competing to serve the best dish in several categories, such as best wings, best fried, best barbecue, and best cocktail. The best part—you’re the judge.
May 5: Houston Dragon Boat Festival
Expect the Buffalo Bayou to be lined with spectators and boat enthusiasts as over 30 teams from local communities and corporations paddle their way through downtown Houston while celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Guests can enjoy a variety of themed activities, food, and more.
May 19: AsiaFest 2018
From 11am to 4pm, Houstonians are invited to the Asia Society Texas Center to celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with a day of performances, cultural cuisine, vendors, and more.
May 20: A Celebration of Pasta
The Italy America Chamber of Commerce of Texas throws this night of indulging in Italy’s most widespread culinary export across the world. Pasta in all forms is served to guests in sample-sized tastings, wine samples are also available and parking is free.
May 25-27: Comicapalooza
What’s billed as Texas’s largest pop culture event may also be one of the state’s nerdiest—and that’s a good thing. Stars playing characters from the Marvel Universe as well as other comic heroes make appearances and join panels for fans to enjoy. Other events include several video game tournaments, tabletop gaming opportunities, a film festival, and cosplay and charity events.
May 6: Taco Libre Truck Showdown
It’s not just taco trucks and taquerias at the largest taco festival in Seattle. Many of the food purveyors serving food are decidedly outside the realm of Mexican cuisine, providing taco-inspired dishes from cooking traditions that run the gamut, from Afghani to Korean to Hawaiian.
May 10-20: Seattle Beer Week
Pubs, cafes, taverns, and institutions of all kinds band together to offer beer specials, pairings and more over the course of two weeks.
May 18-20: Viking Fest
Viking Fest is a celebration of Norwegian culture commemorating its ancient roots and more recent history such as the signing of the world’s third constitution. The three-day fest includes a viking parade, lutefisk (dried fish) eating contest, a strong man competition, a street fair, and other Scandinavian trappings. The celebration takes place in Poulsbo, so there’s an opportunity to take a trip on the Bainbridge Ferry or a drive through Tacoma.
May 19: Petpalooza
This pet-friendly event begins with a 3K dog trot/5K fun run and continues with a day of pet-centered happenings and shopping opportunities.
May 4-6: La Habra Citrus Fair
The “funtastic” La Habra Citrus Fair returns for another year of carnival rides, live music, delectable eats from the area, a junior livestock show and auction, and other activities and events that focus on the history of the La Habra Valley.
May 12: Like Totally 80s Festival
Celebrate everything 80s with musicians and entertainers popular during the decade of big hair, bright neons, and loud music. The event has a full bar and various vendors to shop from.
May 12: Battle of the Mariachis
Mission San Juan Capistrano hosts the 14th annual rendition of this popular concert event featuring performances by mariachi groups from across Southern California competing for cash prizes.
May 1-20: The Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire
The oldest Renaissance Fair in the country ends its yearly run this month. Held in Irwinedale, this month’s themes are “Time Traveler Weekend,” “Heroes & Villains,” and “Craft Brew Celebration.” There are several varieties of “RenQuests” for children to go on throughout the fairgrounds, a marketplace, and many, many performances available to attend.
May 5 & 6: Fort Lauderdale Air Show
If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Whether you attend or not, it’s likely you’ll be hearing jets soar through the sky above the Fort Lauderdale area. If you’d like to beat the crowds, check the rooftop venues near the beach, many are offering VIP parties for a price.
May 11-13: Rolling Loud
If you’re an avid rap and hip-hop listener, this three-day music festival at Hard Rock Stadium just might be one of the best stretches of the year for you. With headliners like J. Cole, Travis Scott, Future, Migos, Post Malone, N.E.R.D., Young Thug, Kevin Gates, Gucci Mane, Lil Pump and Lil Uzi Vert, this is one you shouldn’t miss.
Over 100 national and international brewers do a one-night take over of the Miami Zoo from 8-11pm with live music and the animal residents who live there. Part of the ticket sale proceeds benefit the Zoo Conservation.
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