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THE AGENDA: CIAA, parties and more…
What's happening this week in Charlotte
Published Thursday, February 27, 2014
by Michaela L. Duckett

This week, the Queen City will transform into Chocolate City as thousands of fans flock to Uptown for the CIAA Basketball Championship. The games began Tuesday, but CIAA weekend is essentially an event within itself.

The fun outside of the arena begins Thursday with The Fan Experience Presented by Toyota at the Charlotte Convention Center. This free, family-friendly event includes numerous activities, giveaways and concerts through Saturday. Celebrity guests include Tatyana Ali, Dawnn Lewis, DJ Rock T, Lance Gross, Morris Chestnut, Malcolm Jamal Warner and Sheryl Lee Ralph. Yolanda Adams will host her nationally syndicated morning show from the Convention Center Friday at 5:30 a.m.

And CIAA isn’t the only thing going on in the days ahead. With spring on the horizon and Fat Tuesday around the corner, Mardi Gras-themed festivities are also underway. Plus, “The Mountaintop” is still running at Booth Playhouse and Charlotte Fashion Week is just days away. Here’s a look at what’s happening around Charlotte:

Throwback Thursday, Feb. 27 at the Charlotte Convention Center – As part of the Fan Experience, AARP presents a free concert featuring Grammy Award winner Regina Belle at 8:30 p.m. followed by a performance by Jagged Edge at 9 p.m.

CIAA Old School Skate Party featuring DJ Kool & DJ Hukner, Feb. 27 at Kate’s Skating Rink – Hosted by Olympia Dee from Old School 105.3, this adult-only event will leave you reminiscing about hot pants, tube socks, boom boxes, cassette tapes and vinyl records. The fun begins at 9 p.m. Admission is $20.

New School Friday, Feb. 28 at the Charlotte Convention Center – As part of the CIAA Fan Experience, Lowe’s is sponsoring a free concert with Mack Wilds at 9 p.m. Return to the Fan Experience Saturday for a performance by Monica at 6:30 p.m.

CIAA Stepshow Throwdown – Greek vs. Greek, Feb. 28 at the Grady Cole Center – Get ready for an all-out battle as steppers from CIAA institutions and other HBCUs compete for a grand prize with hosts Brian White from “Stomp the Yard” and Jay Dukes. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $30.

Hearts for Handbags, March 1 at Banquet One – Shop for clothing and accessories as well as get pampered in the beauty area with eye lash applications, make up and slimming body wraps at this event hosted by The Queens’s English PR to raise awareness for heart health and stroke prevention. Doors open at 1 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. A portion of ticket sales will benefit the Charlotte Chapter of the American Heart Association’s Go Red initiative. www.hearts4handbags.eventbrite.com

Teal Diva presents Teal Masquerade, March 1 at Dilworth Neighborhood Grille – Enjoy teal specialty cocktails, appetizers and an evening of fun at this Mardi Gras-themed event in benefit of Teal Diva, a sisterhood of gynecologic cancer survivors. Admission is $10 and includes a cocktail, appetizers and a mask. The party begins at 6 p.m. Visit tealdiva.org for more information.

CIAA Stepshow “Step Off,” March 1 at the Grady Cole Center – Watch as middle school and high school teams from around the country compete in front of 5,000 fans. Doors open at 6 p.m. Admission is $20.

Charlotte Mardi Gras, March 4 at the EpicentreIn celebration of Fat Tuesday, the Epicentre will be transformed into the New Orleans French Quarter with decorations, special creole menus, street performers, team mascots, cheerleaders, bands, face painters and a 6-foot diameter king cake on the Libretto's patio. The DJ will crank up New Orleans Zydeco favorites along with other fitting songs such as the NOLA clap and New Orleans Bounce. The Parade of Beads Celebration begins at 6 p.m. and the party starts at 8 p.m. www.charlottemardigras.com

Gaston Arts Council presents Mardi Gras Masquerade Ball, March 4 at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden – A elegant evening and benefit for the arts in Gaston County. Creative cocktail attire and masquerade masks encouraged. Prize given for most creative mask. Premium tickets are $75. Basic admission is $45 for individuals or $80 for couples. www.gastonarts.org

 “The Mountaintop” by Katori Hall, through March 2 at Booth Playhouse at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center – A re-imagining of the events that took place April 3, 1968, the night before the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. After delivering one of his most memorable speeches, King retires to his room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis while a storm rages outside. www.blumentalarts.org.

“Jewelry + Metals of the Carolinas,” through March 6 at CPCC’s Ross Gallery, Overcash Center is an exhibit of artwork by jewelry artists and metal smiths from North and South Carolina. It includes work by seven emerging and established artists presenting a variety of techniques and materials, including enamel, plastic, resin, bronze, silver, mirror and silicone rubber among others.

“Jerusalem,” through March 30 at The Charlotte Observer IMAX Dome Theatre at Discovery Place – Explore the mysterious appeal of Jerusalem. Why has it been fought over, destroyed and rebuilt countless times over its 5,000-year history? What makes it so important to so many different cultures? The film “Jerusalem” attempts to answer these questions by following three young Jerusalemites and their families – Jewish, Christian and Muslim. www.DiscoveryPlace.org

Style Lounge Launch Party, March 5 at Label House – Hosted by Otis of the O’Show, this kick-off event for CFG Style Week will feature live music, cocktails, giveaways and style tips. Attendees can mix and mingle with designers, boutique owners and fashion models. www.CFGStyleWeek.com


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