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For those who haven’t left town for their beach or mountain homes, here are the top four things to do this holiday weekend in the Queen City:
Novant Health July 4th Spectacular
The Queen City’s official fireworks show attracts more than 300,000 people to Uptown, and for good reason. The city doles out a whopping $50,000 on the 20-minute show, which has long been considered the biggest (and best) fireworks display in the region. (The show, which begins around 9:30 p.m., is so impressive that it’s been ranked the 13th best in the U.S. by AOL Travel.)
Another must for the Fourth is a trip to see the Charlotte Knights, Charlotte’s triple A baseball team (they're the affiliate for the Chicago White Sox) based in Fort Mill, South Carolina (but headed soon to Uptown once the new stadium is complete). Kids especially love the food and drinks and interactive kids play area while parents love the live music. The WBT Skyshow following the Knights’ game is considered one of the best fireworks displays in the area and generally sells out so it’s best to purchase tickets now.
U.S. National Whitewater Coca-Cola Fourth of July Festival
It’s hard to pass up two days of free live music and fireworks, which is exactly what you’ll find at the U.S. National Whitewater Center's Coca-Cola Fourth of July Festival. Beginning on July 3, this popular event features not only live music but also an impressive fireworks display over the man-made whitewater rapids and river.
Sure, the Charlotte Symphony’s summer pops series runs throughout the summer, but it’s the orchestra’s July Fourth performances that have Symphony Park in SouthPark packed full the night of July 3. Expect the classics—read: “America the Beautiful” and the like—at this popular summer show. Tickets are $10 for adults (children under 18 are free).
Chances are, most folks in this basketball-loving city will be cozied up to a bar this weekend to catch their favorite team in action. If you're anxious to see how your March Madness brackets are doing, there are some great spots around town to catch the games. At Taco Mac in SouthPark you'll find 69 flat screens and enough craft beers on tap to keep you entertained for hours. For a spot near the uptown action, consider Picasso's Sports Cafe on Church Street where local fans line up for wings and beer alongside the game. But for those not necessarily interested in who's hitting the courts, here are a few other options to keep you entertained around town this weekend.
Chill Chaser Evening at Duke Mansion
Tonight is the last night of the season to take advantage of The Duke Mansion's swank cocktail party, Chill Chaser, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Held inside the historical Myers Park mansion, the evening includes a cash bar and snacks from the Mansion's executive chef. Bonus: Many scenes from Showtime's hit show, Homeland, are filmed at The Mansion, so fans can expect the rooms to look familiar (as if they might be in the home of a Vice President, for example). Reservations are requested (704.714.4445 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
If you haven't already caught this famed Broadway musical, then it's likely you at least already know the tale of the two pre-Dorothy witches. The show is playing at Ovens Auditorium each night (and Sunday matinees) through the end of the month with the exception of March 25. And with tickets still for sale, there's still a chance to watch the entertaining tale of the Wicked Witch's early days.
Cocoa Lab Cooking Class
With a weekend of chilly weather predicted, there's no better way to keep cozy than concocting chocolate treats in uptown's Ritz-Carlton's hands-on cooking class. This week's class is titled "Baby Cakes" and gives participants the chance to work alongside on of the hotel's top chefs preparing pastries before a sweet sampling session at the end of class. The class is held from 9 a.m. to noon and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Reservations are available at 704.547.2244.