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Weekend In Entertainment: Eye On Tryon, Cristela Alonzo, HBCU Bands & More!

Cristela Alonzo
Cristela Alonzo
Comedian Cristela Alonzo

There's a lot going on in the Queen City this weekend. There's the Eye on Tryon at Victoria Yards in uptown, HBCU Culture Homecoming Band Showcase, and a nationally known comedian is on stage. And for food lovers, there's the 4TH annual CLT s'MACdown competition.

On this edition of Weekend in Entertainment to talk about these events and more is Katrina Louis, managing editor of QCity Metro. 

Gwendolyn Glenn: Welcome, Katrina.

Katrina Louis: Hi Gwen. 

Glenn: OK, so what is the Eye on Tryon at Victoria Yards and where will it be held?

Louis: So, the Eye on Tryon is the 80-foot Ferris wheel that is going to be on the corner of 7th Street and Tryon Street now known as Victoria Yards. 

Glenn: Oh, it's a Ferris wheel?

Louis: Yes, it's a Ferris wheel. It's actually pretty popular. They have it at music festivals like Bonnaroo, which is a music festival in Tennessee. It debuted last year, so it's returning. It's a good family event. It's $8 for adults, $6 for kids. And then after 8 p.m., it's 21 and up. So it makes for a cute date night.

Glenn: Will there be entertainment or other things?

Louis: They’ll have vendors and they have a music lineup this week and next week. So it starts Nov. 6 through the 16th.

Glenn: Have you ever attended?

Louis: I actually went last year for my birthday. I'm looking forward to it again.

Glenn: So moving on to a bit of food ... CLT s'MACdown and cheese competition. It's got to be tasty and a fun event. Tell us about it.

Louis: So this is the fourth annual CLT s'MACdown. It's the mac and cheese competition. And they're actually also going to have some craft beer tastings to pair along with it. But you'll have chefs competing for the title of s'MACdown Champs. They have different sandwiches and things like that. But along with that, they'll have, you know, games, activities, there'll be some raffles and things. So that's happening at the Carolina Union Volleyball Club on Saturday from 1 p.m to 5 p.m.

Glenn: OK. Now, another big event this weekend is CONTRA-TIEMPO starting tonight at Booth Playhouse. Now, this is a Los Angeles based dance company that fuzes several dance types into their performances, right?

Louis: Yes. They're a popular dance company. They travel to cities across the country. They fuze Afro, Cuban, hip hop, salsa. They're a contemporary dance company. And this is happening at the Booth Playhouse on Saturday.

Glenn: And I hear that they're doing something special for this Charlotte performance that will include some local dancers?

Louis: They're going to feature UNC Charlotte dance students as part of the cast. And then following each performance, they're going to ask the audience to come on stage for a community dance jam, and then they'll have DJs that will have music rooted in the Latino and the African diaspora. 

Glenn: Also, a little in that same vein, this time of year, most homecomings are over where a big part of the festivities includes college bands battling it out on the field. This weekend, there's going to be an exciting HBCU Culture Homecoming Band Showcase on tap. What's that going to be like and where?

Louis: So this is actually a pretty fun event. And I actually went to this last year and it's happening at Bojangles' Coliseum on Sunday starting at 5 p.m. Tickets start at $20, but they're going to have different historically black colleges and universities bands from those schools competing.

Glenn: What kind of music are they playing? 

Louis: It's usually like your popular songs. They do a lot of old-school hits and it is really cool to hear bands and instruments play with no lyrics.

Glenn: So what are some of the bands that will be part of this?

Louis: They have Talladega College, Virginia State University. They have Winston-Salem State University, North Carolina A&T State University (Go Aggies!), Fort Valley State University and Benedict College.

Glenn: Okay. And if that's not enough to keep folks busy, there's actress and comedian Cristela Alonzo, touted as the first Latino to have her own network show. It was called Cristela. Katrina, what do you know about her?

Louis: So like you say, she's a comedian, an actress, a producer, a writer. She talks a lot about social issues and culture and how she brings that over in America. So it's pretty interesting.

Glenn: And where can people see her this weekend?

Louis: On Sunday she’ll be at Neighborhood Theater and the show is at 8 p.m.

Glenn: Great. Another full lineup for the weekend. Thanks, Katrina. 

Louis: Thanks, Gwen. 

Glenn: Katrina Louis is managing editor of QCity Metro.