May, arguably the very best month to be in Charleston, has arrived and with it a jam-packed calendar. Get off your duff and make the most of it. Here are our picks for the weekend.

First off, visit Marion Square this afternoon for the House of Hope event. Jimihatt, John Pundt, and Charlie McAlister will be building a house to bring attention to the plight of the homeless. They’ll need your help around 3:30 p.m., when you can help them paint it. Also enjoy music from Quentin Baxter.

Artsy types, head down to the French Quarter for the art walk on Friday from 5-8 p.m. Galleries will be open late, offering wine, hors d’oeuvres, and many opening receptions with artists in-house. There’s also a huge array of events going on at the North Charleston Arts Festival over the next week or so, with the bulk of events happening Saturday and Sunday. If you’re a local, don’t miss Spoleto Saturday at the Gaillard from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. There you can get great deals on tickets and vintage merchandise. On Sunday, check out the free Fast & French anniversary party at City Gallery from 2-9 p.m. — enjoy food, music, and art representing the restaurant’s 25 years in business.

There are lots of festival-type events this weekend on all sides of the peninsula, great for families and music lovers. Enjoy authentic Mexican music (and food and margs, of course) at the Cinco de Mayo celebration at the Bus Shed tonight. On Saturday, head to the Mellow Mushroom in Mt. Pleasant for their free grand opening Backyard Bash with live music and activities. Up in North Charleston at Noisette, the United Artists for Hope Music and Arts Festival features lots of bands, arts and crafts, kids activities, and more. ($15/adv.) Downtown at Redux, the free Holy City Craft Bazaar features handmade crafts from local artists as well as cool music. On Sunday, Hometeam BBQ hosts the Allstar Americana Jam and Crawfish Boil with music from bands like Lindsay Holler, Jonathan Gray (of Jump), Michael Trent, and more ($12).

If you’re an early bird, check out the Dragon Boat Festival at Brittlebank Park on Saturday — it starts at 8:30 a.m. You can check out cultural performances, and of course the races that happen every five minutes. Another early event is the Surfers Healing 5K at Folly Beach on Saturday. Either participate or watch folks run, then splash around in the water, then enjoy the street fair on Center Street with music from Jupiter’s Garden.

Animal lovers, don’t miss the free Dog Show at Marion Square taking place during the farmers market. Puppies and costumed dogs galore. Also support Pet Helpers at the Cookout on King at O’Malley’s on Saturday from 2-5 p.m. ($10).

Film buffs, check out the free Lowcountry Indie Shorts in Park Circle on Saturday. There will be two showings of different short films, each from a Lowcountry filmmaker. After each set of films, filmmakers will participate in a discussion of their work.

Check the Seersucker and Stilettos blog for muchos upcoming fashion events including trunk shows and sales galore.

Update: Just found out that Better Than Ezra is playing at the Windjammer tonight. Tickets are $25.

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