The CIAA basketball tournament is back in town for the 14th straight year. The 13-member CIAA conference is the nation's oldest African-American athletic conference and Charlotte's largest annual tourism event. WFAE's Gwendolyn Glenn talked with Q City Metro's Katrina Louis about the tournament games, parties and other family-oriented events.
Gwendolyn Glenn: What are some of the highlights on tap for [Thursday night] and throughout the weekend?
Katrina Louis: So [Thursday night], you will have the old school skate party at Kate’s Skating Rink. That's $15 to get in.
On Friday, there's the legacy step show throw down where Greek organizations are going to compete against each other at the Charlotte Convention Center. That's hosted by Power 98’s "No Limit Larry & Morning Maddhouse" and Darren Brand from Wild N’ Out.
And then on Saturday at the Epicentre, you'll have the Tournament Take Over featuring rapper Ludacris.
Glenn: The epicenter is also going to have a lot of roof parties and other events, correct?
Louis: Yes, there will be lots of parties and lots of celebrities at the Epicentre.
Glenn: And the Mint Museum is having a CIAA event with movie screening on Friday morning? Tell us about that.
Louis: So at the Mint Museum — they're having the second annual “We Are Rising from Tragedy to Triumph.” So they're going to have a light breakfast, mimosa bar and you will be able to view excerpts from the “American South as We Know It.” You'll be able to speak with the filmmaker and a guest speaker, and they're just going to celebrate the history of HBCUs.
Glenn: At some of the events you talked about, you have to get tickets for those. But the Toyota fan fest is free right? And it's very popular.
Louis: Correct. That's a two-day event happening at the Charlotte Convention Center. They're going to have different concerts and entertainment. Radio host Tom Joyner Morning Show is going to do a live broadcast and then Friday evening, there's going to be a performance by Real Housewives of Atlanta’s Kandi Burress. On Saturday, that same event is going to have rapper 2 Chainz for the entertainment. There's a lot to pick from.
Glenn: Any other big must-attend day or night parties going on over the weekend?
Louis: I think there's just going be so much going on. You definitely want to attend some of the official events for the CIAA — so the step show. And also there are some that are unofficial events but are still pretty big. You have the "I Love the 90s" brunch on Sunday along with Henny and Waffles, which is pretty popular. So there's entertainment for the whole weekend.
Glenn: Well, I know the CIAA is taking up a lot of the venues in Uptown. Anything going on the rest of the weekend for non-basketball fans?
Louis: There are a lot of things to get into this weekend. There's "Museums on Us," where if you're a Bank of America cardholder, you can get into the museums for free. So happening at Oven's Auditorium, you have the "Funny as Ish" comedy tour with Mike Epps headlining. So that's happening at Oven's for the folks who you know aren't going to the tournament games.
Every Thursday tune into All Things Considered on WFAE 90.7 for our latest Weekend in Entertainment segment featuring voices from Charlotte’s media scene bringing you the latest music, cultural and social events.