Fall is just around the corner and downtown Lafayette is ready to shake the summer swelter, and with the possibility of milder weather headed our way this weekend, the timing couldn’t be better.

It begins Friday with the season opening Downtown Alive! concert feature New Orleans’ Kermit Ruffins & The Barbecue Swingers. Led by trumpeter Ruffins, the band divines the best of Crescent City music, from swing to jazz to funk. The concert will take place at Parc International. Gates open at 5:30; the concert commences at 6. Concession sales help support Downtown Alive! and keep it free, so please leave the ice chests (and pets, sour attitudes and philandering uncles) at home.

On Saturday the Second Saturday ArtWalk widens its palette for the September event with its annual Fall Fest. It’s like an ArtWalk on uppers, with more live music, student art exhibitions and more. It’s held from 6-8:30 p.m. along Jefferson Street and environs. Don’t miss Rio Luminoso performing romantic European music in the pocket park between Jefferson Street and the parking tower. The group features acclaimed South Louisiana photographer Philip Gould on a big, fancy piano accordion. The dude can play.

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