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Weekend In Entertainment: Open Mic, Michael Jackson Experience & More!


Summer fun is all around for this second weekend in July. Live performances, festivals and more coming up in the Charlotte area. Joining "All Things Considered" host Mark Rumsey for our regular Thursday preview of the Weekend In Entertainment is Katrina Louis, managing editor of QCity Metro

Katrina Louis, QCity Metro
Credit Sarafina Wright
Katrina Louis, managing editor of QCity Metro.

Rumsey: So let's jump right in. On Friday, the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center is hosting - for the brave or foolish I guess - an open mic night. Who's going to be stepping up to that open mic?

Louis: So it's anybody who's got some talent. So they're going to have some musicians, some poets, singers, magicians I hear are on the list. They had a sign-up sheet. Unfortunately, it's closed now, but if you want to attend it is a free event to attend. That’s happening Friday at 7:30 at the McGlohon Theater at Spirit Square.

Rumsey: Okay sounds like a fun night. Up near Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday some off-track festivities will be going on - the Charlotte City Fest, I guess also known at least this time around as the Queen City Food Truck and Music Festival, right?

Louis: Yep. So we know it as the City Fest, but like you saidQueen City Food Truck and Music Festival at Route 29 Pavilion so that's across from Charlotte Motor Speedway. It kicks off on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. It goes all the way until 10:00 p.m. A good family friendly event. They're going to have activities for the kids so a play zone, food trucks and things like that. What is really cool is they're going to have live music but they are including the Michael Jackson Experience, so like a Vegas-style performance. Tickets for kids start at $5 and then for adults it’s $20.

Rumsey: All right. And Katrina in west Charlotte on Saturday there's an event titled The Charlotte Historic West End Public Art Community Engagement. The focus of this will be on some future public art, right?

Louis: This engagement or this event is really about getting the community involved with what public art is going to look like in historic West End. So this will be taking place at the James B. Duke Library at Johnson C. Smith University and it's going to feature local artists and community leaders. It's scheduled from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. but part of it is really to help preserve the history of the area. So they're asking folks to come and share their stories and photos that really tell the stories and personal experiences about either living in the West End or just being in that area. And they're going to in the end portray it through art.

Rumsey: And so once the stories are shared and the public artwork is designed and ultimately installed where's it going to be?

Louis: It's going to be at the Five Points Plaza at the I-77 and West Trade Street underpass. And the artwork is expected to be completed by next fall. 

Rumsey: Okay, finally Katrina another place where people might land this weekend is the Carolinas Aviation Museum near Charlotte Douglas Airport. The museum's been around since the early '90s. But what's going to make this coming Sunday different at the Aviation Museum?

Louis: So this Sunday will be the last day to visit the Carolinas Aviation Museum before it's closed for redesign and repurpose. I actually had a chance to visit the museum a couple of years ago. It's actually pretty cool. They have the Miracle on the Hudson exhibit. You can see a replica of the Wright brother's plane and just other things that are tied to aviation in the Carolinas. That is happening on Sunday from 1 to 5. Tickets for kids start at $8 and for adults $12. 

Rumsey: And just curious what do we know about the plans to eventually reopen the Aviation Museum with a new location and facilities?

Louis: We know that there is a planned reopening in 2022. The last I heard they were still selecting from several sites so we haven't pinned down where the new location is but they are looking at something that could house all the cool exhibits.

Rumsey: So this weekend the last chance to visit the Carolinas Aviation Museum before it experiences a slight layover. Katrina Louis, managing editor of QCity Metro. Thanks a lot. 

Louis: Thanks a lot, Mark.

Mark Rumsey grew up in Kansas and got his first radio job at age 17 in the town of Abilene, where he announced easy-listening music played from vinyl record albums.