The Kentucky Derby Festival in Louisville is one of the many exciting events happening in the U.S. this May.
May is a delightful time of year in America. Sunshine soaks cities all across the U.S., flowers are blooming, and people are embracing the temperate conditions with outdoor parties and exciting festivals. From Washington down to Florida, there's an abundance of lively fests happening all across the country to take part in during your trip – whether you're traveling for work or looking for a something to do in your downtime this May. Check out some of these top events:
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
While many people travel to New Orleans for the carnival celebrations, the city is home to another lively event: the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Now entering its 45th year, the fest actually runs for two weekends in 2014: April 25 through 27 and May 1 through 4. It showcases some of the most renowned musicians in the world – Eric Clapton, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Santana and Public Enemy will perform this year – as well as many locally renowned up-and-comers, such as Aaron Neville, Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, Irma Thomas and Dukes of Dixieland.
Kentucky Derby Festival
The main feature of the Kentucky Derby is the thoroughbred race – "The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sport." But Louisville, Ky., goes all out for this exhilarating sports event and throws a massive festival that starts April 12 and runs through the May 2 and attracts some 1.5 million people each year. While May visitors may only catch the end of the celebrations, the final days are the most exciting – along with the highlight race, there are huge parties such as Celebrity Day at the Downs, the 100 Black Men of Louisville Derby Gala and the Derby Eve Jam as well as the famous Pegasus Parade.
World Science Festival in NYC
New York City is a global center for science and research, so it's no surprise that the bustling metropolis is home to the World Science Festival. This annual event, which runs May 28 through June 1 in 2014, draws in almost a million people each year with a variety of informational and fun activities, including a gala, theatrical performances, demonstrations, lectures and roundtable discussions. The fest also welcomes some of the biggest names in the field. In the past, Stephen Hawking, Harold Varmus, Edward O. Wilson and Sir Paul Nurse have taken part in the festivities.
Beale Street Music Festival
Those visiting Memphis in May can take part in the highly anticipated Beale Street Music Festival. It's held May 2 through 4 at Tom Lee Park and brings a slew of globally recognized blues, jazz, rhythm and blues and other acts as well as a variety of little-known local bands. This year's lineup features Buddy Guy, Jerry Lee Lewis, Kid Rock, Snoop Dogg and Anthrax. The fest has become one of the biggest lock parties in the country and has grown to include much more than just music – guests will find food and drink vendors selling regional delights (barbecue is big here), and there are also carnival games, street performances and other activities.
World of Nations Celebration
Down in Jacksonville, Fla., the World of Nations Celebration takes over the city from May 1 through 4. It recognizes the diversity of the world by showcasing food, art, dance and other cultural aspects of faraway lands. It takes place in Metropolitan Park, welcoming representatives from Kenya, Mexico, India, Vietnam and more than two dozen other countries to share their customs and traditions with America.