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Arts & Culture
Each Thursday, WFAE checks in with a local arts and entertainment reporter about things to do in Charlotte during the upcoming weekend.

Memorial Day Weekend Activities Include Whitewater Center Festival, South End Blooms And Charlotte Museum Of History Special Access

U.S. National Whitewater Center

The Memorial Day weekend has plenty of events where everyone can participate. The U.S. National Whitewater Center is hosting a full weekend of holiday events. The Charlotte Museum of History offers a rare opportunity for patrons to stroll the grounds and the South End Blooms Festival is in full bloom. With WFAE's "All Things Considered" substitute host David Boraks to help preview our Weekend in Entertainment is Jodie Valade, one of the writers of WFAE’s Tapestry newsletter, which focuses on the arts and entertainment.

David Boraks: Hi Jodie!

Jodie Valade: Hey, David. How are you?

Boraks: Jodie, the US National Whitewater Center has an entire weekend built around Memorial Day. It’s built around a concert on Sunday. Tell us about it.

The War and Treaty

Valade: Yes, a Michigan-based duo called The War and Treaty — which seems like a fitting name for a patriotic Memorial Day weekend — will be performing two shows on Sunday, one at 8 p.m. and another at 9:45 p.m. And there will be some fireworks between the two sets. Carl Anderson will be opening for them.

Boraks: They’re offering more for the weekend, correct?

Valade: Yes, definitely. The Whitewater Center has a huge Memorial Day weekend celebration every year, which obviously was on hiatus last year with COVID. But it’s all back this year. You can start the weekend Saturday morning with a race through the Whitewater Center’s trail system. Runners can choose from 5- and 8-mile options. The course opens at 8 a.m. and closes at 2 p.m. There’s also yoga offered several times on both Saturday and Sunday.

Boraks: Now, we are certainly not back to normal yet with entertainment options – what is the biggest challenge for venues? The virus or trying to book guests?

Valade: Oh, I don’t think there’s any problem as far as trying to book bands at venues. I talked with the owner of Neighborhood Theatre last week and he said everyone is very eager to return to performing live music. There’s still a little bit of uncertainty about whether guests feel safe, yet, so most places are doing as much as they can to ensure everything is done safely. Outdoor venues are still preferred right now, which is what makes the Whitewater Center a perfect place to listen to concerts.

Boraks: Also Jodie, the South End Blooms Festival is this weekend as well. What can you tell us about it.

Valade: Our colleague Dash Coleman wrote about this for WFAE’s entertainment newsletter Tapestry this week. South End Blooms is a monthlong celebration of Charlotte’s creative community with surprise, pop-up art experiences that are “blooming” every weekend through June 20. There are all kinds of temporary creative experiences — which they’re calling “blooms.” It’s everything from public art to live music, and it’s intended to encourage South End visitors to explore the neighborhood and the Rail Trail. Some will be at South End restaurants and retail locations. Others will take place in public spaces.

Boraks: What are some of the events that will be there this weekend, Jodie?

Valade: This weekend, events include a hunt for painted rocks on the Charlotte Rail Trail, a soap bubble circus and photo ops in front of an art installation. There will also be a performance by singer-songwriter Tre. Charles, who had this to say about performing in his hometown.

(recording of Tre Charles)“If you want to come out and support, I would appreciate it, and support all the artists that are going to be out throughout the month, because everybody kind of wants to perform for everybody and get their music back out there.”

Boraks: Tre. Charles isn’t the only one who will have his own set this weekend as Grammy-nominated singer Anthony David will be performing as well. Tell us about it.

Valade: Sure. QC Social in uptown is holding what they’re calling an Intimate Night of Live Soul with Anthony David on Friday. There will be two shows - one at 7 and one at 9:30.

Boraks: Awesome. Jodie, the Charlotte Museum of History is allowing patrons to have an afternoon on the grounds.

Charlotte Museum of History

Valade: Yes, as more things are starting to open up, the museum is opening its 8-acre grounds one Saturday a month for a self-guided, outdoor experience of Charlotte’s oldest home. That’s the 1774 Alexander Homesite. Guests can explore the park-like setting, walk through the garden, and view the historic building.

Boraks: What are some of their social distancing policies?

Valade: They are still pretty strict at the Museum of History. Everyone over the age of 5 is required to wear a face covering when they’re indoors, and anyone between ages 2 and 5 is highly encouraged to wear one. Outside, everyone over the age of 5 is required to wear a face covering when they’re within 6 feet of a person who’s not in their group, including museum staff. They’re limiting tickets to allow for social distancing, and the museum building is only open for restroom use. No exhibits are open.

Boraks: That’s great, always have to be safe. Other events this weekend include Thursday Night Vibes at Victory Yards for an after-work event. On Sunday, the Mint Museum Randolph has their monthly Party in the Park with free admission to the museum, food trucks and live music. Also on Sunday, Your Neighborhood Orchestra will be performing on Sunday. Catch them on their livestream on their Facebook or YouTube pages.

Jodie, thanks for joining me to preview the weekend in entertainment.

Valade: Thanks, David!

Boraks: Jodie Valade is a co-writer for WFAE’s Tapestry Newsletter.

Do you want to know more about arts and culture in the Charlotte region? WFAE's weekly arts and entertainment email newsletter, Tapestry, will keep you in the loop. Sign up here to have Tapestry delivered straight to your inbox.

Corrected: May 27, 2021 at 6:57 PM EDT
The audio of this story was updated to include the correct name of the Charlotte Museum of History.