Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Harlem Globetrotters return to Charlotte

From a Time Warner Cable Arena press release that just landed in my inbox:

Hot on the heels of the most successful year in franchise history, the legendary Harlem Globetrotters will celebrate their 85th consecutive season when their dazzling 2011 World Tour stops in March at Time Warner Cable Arena®, showcasing the wholesome family entertainment that has provided lifetime memories for generations of fans.

The Harlem Globetrotters will take the court at Time Warner Cable Arena® for 2 games this year: Friday, March 25 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, March 26 at 1 p.m. Tickets are on sale now through timewarnercablearena.com, ticketmaster.com, the Time Warner Cable Arena® box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, or charge by phone 800-745-3000. Information on group and scout tickets can also be found by calling 704-688-9050.

“Our 85th season promises to be a landmark year, with never before seen innovations in the game,” says Michael Kenney, the Globetrotters’ senior vice president, live event marketing. “You’ll want to get your tickets now to witness firsthand what we have in store for our wonderful fans around the world.”

The Globetrotters will perform over 270 shows in North America from the last week of December 2010 through mid-April 2011.

Sponsored by Campbell Soup Company, Spalding and Howard Johnson Hotels, the Original Harlem Globetrotters have played in 120 countries and territories on six continents, entertaining over 132 million fans and breaking down barriers between cultures, societies and people from all walks of life, earning induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. For the latest news and information about the Harlem Globetrotters, and to purchase team merchandise, visit the Globetrotters’ official Web site: www.harlemglobetrotters.com.

Keith Urban brings 'Get Closer' tour to Charlotte

From a Time Warner Cable Arena press release that just landed in my inbox:

Keith Urban announces his “Get Closer 2011 World Tour” today. Keith and band, along with a very special guest to be announced, are expected to make close to 60 stops across North America and can be seen in Charlotte at Time Warner Cable Arena on Friday, June 24
Tickets will go on sale Friday, February 11.

Critics have called Urban’s shows “one of the best reasons in the world to attend a live concert.” They’ve said that fans would be “hard-pressed to find a better country - or rock - show anywhere.” Urban’s catalogue of hits; “Better Life,” “Somebody Like You,” “Days Go By,” “You’ll Think Of Me,” “Sweet Thing” and his latest, “Put You In A Song,” combined with an all new production will give his fans a unique concert experience that has earned Urban a reputation as one of music's best live performers.

The tour comes in support of his sixth studio CD
Get Closer, which was released just this past week. Get Closer follows two previous consecutive Billboard country and pop #1 albums, as well as five previous CDs, all of which have been certified platinum or multi-platinum. His last effort, 2009’s Defying Gravity, produced five Top 5 hits, including chart-toppers “Sweet Thing” and “Only You Can Love Me This Way,” bringing his total of #1 songs to eleven.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Uptown getting into the holiday spirit

WBT's "Holiday on Ice," a 5,000-square-foot outdoor ice skating rink will open for its seventh season on Wednesday at The Green Uptown (435 S. Tryon St.). Admission is $7 per person and $3 for skate rental; season passes are also available. Hours are 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday. Extended hours begin Dec. 22. Details are available at www.wbtholidayonice.com. Last year, "Holiday on Ice" served more than 20,000 people.

The Belk Carolinas' Carrousel Parade -- a Thanksgiving Day tradition in Charlotte -- will again feature marching bands, colorful floats, rhythmic step and drill teams, clowns, stilt-walkers, mascots, horses and more when it marches down Tryon Street on Thursday. The parade will start at 10 a.m. from 10th and North Tryon streets and ends at the Levine Center for the Arts at South Tryon Street. WBTV (Channel 3) will televise the parade at 4 p.m. the same day. The parade has been the kick-off to the holiday season here since 1947 and is the fourth-largest Thanksgiving parade in the U.S., according to organizers. In 2009, more than 110,000 spectators were on hand.

Uptown Charlotte’s official Christmas tree will be lighted on Thursday, Dec. 2 during a free ceremony that also will feature holiday music, dance, strolling performers and singers, Santa Claus and more. The event will take place in Corporate Plaza at Founder's Hall. Activities start at 5:30 with a jazz trio performance; the lighting ceremony is at 6; a Nutcracker performance and more music continue until 8 p.m. Dec. 2 also will mark the start of the second season of the uptown holiday market called TWELVE. Located at the Square in 101 Independence Center, patrons can browse TWELVE for holiday décor, arrangements and other products offered by local vendors. More information on these events can be found at www.findyourcenter.com.

Speedway lights up for Christmas season

Carolina Christmas, a new 2.5-mile drive-through Christmas light park and village, opens tonight on the track and infield of Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord.

The celebration -- set to begin just after 5:30 p.m. -- will include fireworks; the lighting of the Carolina Christmas display, featuring more than a million lights and 500 different displays; and an appearance by Santa.

The attraction opens to the public at 6 p.m., and through Jan. 2, will be open from 6 to 10 p.m. nightly. Tickets ($20 per carload) are available online and at the gate nightly during event hours for drive-up traffic. For details, click here.

Carowinds gets the Xmas treatment, too

The theme park's display -- a tradition since 1983 -- will illuminate the sky beginning Nov. 26. Standing more than 40 feet tall and using more than 5,000 lights, the star at the top of the Carolina Skytower (more than 300 feet tall itself) will shine each evening this holiday season.

Ground crews use a pulley system to erect the massive star; workers then use hundreds of strands of lights to complete the "tree." Said Carowinds' vice president and general manager Bart Kinzel: "We like to think we are helping put commuters in the holiday spirit every time they drive by Carowinds."

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mint Museum offers free shuttle service

Thanksgiving means out-of-town visitors for many, which means next Friday and Saturday, Charlotteans will be looking for ways to entertain those guests.

One popular idea will be the Mint museums, and this news may make it even more popular: The Mint will offer free shuttle service between the Randolph and Uptown locations on both Nov. 26 and 27.

The shuttle will run every 30 minutes from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Admission to the Mint is valid for both locations for two days from the date of purchase. (The museums are closed on Thanksgiving Day.)

At the Mint Randolph, visitors can get up close and personal with a Mary Cassatt painting recently installed in the galleries. There is also a small spotlight show around the painting "Mary Cassatt's Madame X: A Masterpiece from the Charlotte and Philip Hanes Collection," which will present period fashions and decorative objects from the artist's era.

At the Mint Uptown, visitors can view the inaugural exhibitions "New Visions: Contemporary Masterworks from the Bank of America Collection" and "Contemporary British Studio Ceramics: The Grainer Collection." In addition, children can play in the Lewis Family Gallery or go on a scavenger hunt using "ARTventure cards," which are available at the front desk.

For more information on the Mint museums, click here.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Ke$ha returning to Charlotte in 2011

Ke$ha will play The Fillmore Charlotte on April 19, 2011, as part of her first headlining tour. The “Get $leazy” tour kicks off in Portland on Feb. 15th and wraps in Los Angeles on May 6.

Ke$ha, who was the headliner at Gravedigger's Ball in Charlotte on Oct. 30 at Dixie's Tavern, is touring in support of her new album "Cannibal" (in stores Nov. 22).

Tickets for the Fillmore concert will go on sale Friday, Nov. 19, at 10 a.m. at LiveNation.com, The Fillmore Charlotte box office, Ticketmaster or charge by phone 800-745-3000.

Monday, November 8, 2010

EpiCentre set to welcome ACC fans

From a press release that just popped into our inboxes:

In the days leading to the ACC Championship Game on December 4, popular uptown destination EpiCentre, located at 210 E Trade Street, will serve as headquarters for all ACC football fans.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Whisky River will kickoff the festivities on Thursday night, December 2, by hosting a live performance by country music recording artist Bridgette Tatum. The singer-songwriter’s single “LOUD” is the official theme song of ACC football this year and appeared during Raycom Sports broadcasts of ACC football throughout the season.

Tickets for Bridgette Tatum at Whisky River are available at WhiskyRiverCharlotte.com; Extra Point Pass holders will receive free admission to the concert. The Extra Point Pass is the official membership program of Charlotte Collegiate Football and includes free services and discounts at participating restaurants, local retailers and entertainment venues. More information about the Extra Point Pass program is available at ExtraPointPass.com.

The following evening, Friday night, December 3, EpiCentre hosts ACC Fan Central beginning at 7 p.m., featuring special appearances by ACC team mascots, pep bands and cheerleaders beginning at 9 p.m. ACC football fans will also receive free admission to EpiCentre hotspots BlackFinn, Kazba, Mez, Mortimer’s, StrikeCity, Suite and Whisky River until 11 p.m. on Friday night.

ACC Fanfest will take place on Saturday, December 4 from noon until 7 p.m. adjacent to Bank of America Stadium. Fanfest will include interactive games, team bands, mascots, pep rallies, ACC corporate partner attractions and giveaways, food/beverages, autograph opportunities with ACC Legends and entertainment all day long, including a performance by country music stars Montgomery Gentry. Admission to Fanfest is free to anyone attending the ACC Championship Game.

The weekend culminates with the Dr Pepper ACC Championship on Saturday night inside Bank of America Stadium; kickoff is set for 7:45 p.m. The game pits the ACC Atlantic Division winner against the ACC Coastal Division winner for the opportunity to represent the conference as ACC Champion in the Discover Orange Bowl on January 3 in Miami. Tickets for the Dr Pepper ACC Championship are available at ACCFootballCharlotte.com.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Upcoming Mint Museum Uptown events

Here are details on two:

Kick off the weekend at the new Mint Museum Uptown (500 S. Tryon St.) with First Friday on November 5 from 6:00-9:00 p.m. First Fridays is an ongoing evening event series held at the Mint the first Friday of every month, featuring hands-on art activities for all ages, live entertainment, gallery tours, and refreshments. This month’s theme, MoveMint, accompanies the opening of the Museum’s newest exhibition Janet Biggs: Going to Extremes (on display November 5, 2010 – May 29, 2011). Video artist Biggs’ commissioned work, Duet, focused on NASCAR racing, will be screened for the first time at the Mint Museum Uptown. Meet the artist, view an on-site Joe Gibbs race car, and listen to the Mike Strauss Band. Admission is free for Mint members and $10 for non-members. For more information, call 704.337.2034 or visit www.mintmuseum.org/firstfridays.

Debuting in November, the Let’s Get Reel music and movies series will be held the second Tuesday of each month at the Mint Museum Uptown. Free live music starts at 6:00 p.m., followed by a movie screening at 7:00 p.m. On November 9, enjoy jazz by the Calvin Edwards Trio, followed by the movie Amélie (French with English subtitles). Admission to the movie is free for Mint members and $5 for non-members.

Have you been to the Mint Museum Uptown yet? If so, what did you think?