Race Week at Charlotte Motor Speedway culminates with the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday. Meanwhile the streets of uptown will be filling up over the next few days for the 25th anniversary of the Speed Street Festival. Q City Metro Managing Editor Katrina Louis joined WFAE's Mark Rumsey to discuss this and some other weekend offerings in entertainment and the arts.
Rumsey: For those who haven't been around so long and may not be familiar with Speed Street and how that works uptown, what's it like?
Louis: It basically takes over uptown and kicks off today through Saturday. It starts at noon and they will line the streets with food trucks, there'll be race-themed games and vendors. There will be player appearances. If you are a fan of NASCAR, even if you're not a fan of NASCAR and you're looking for something to do uptown, this is a very cool activity.
Rumsey: Those players would be the NASCAR drivers, right?
Rumsey: It's a lot going on down there as well as some street closings for everyone to be aware of?
Louis: Yes, so if you're not going to anything Speed Street you may just want to avoid uptown. They'll be closing Church Street, Tryon Street and MLK. Pretty much different areas uptown around the Trade and Tryon area.
Rumsey: And at Speed Street every year of course we shouldn't fail to mention that another big feature is concerts. There's concert activity on multiple stages going on all weekend.
Louis: Correct. So the big headline concerts will happen at Romare Bearden Park. And those actually require tickets. They’re $20 and you can buy them online or on site. At Levine Avenue of the Arts they'll have smaller stages. I know one that I'm looking to see is Rose Royce because you know "Car Wash" was my jam. But a lot of the activities during Speed Street are free. But the concerts do have a ticket costs.
Rumsey: Okay. Speed street through Saturday uptown. Maybe folks just want a good laugh this weekend. Where might they find that?
Louis: So if you head out to the Comedy Zone near the Music Factory you have Gary Owen coming in town this weekend and he's here pretty often, so he's always hilarious. So some people may remember him from BET’s Comic View. He's also been in films like Think Like A Man and Think Like a Man Too. So he's performing tonight through Sunday.
Rumsey: Excellent. Moving on...an interesting blend of art along with an emphasis on health issues affecting young people in the community. This weekend it's called “This is Art. This is Public Health.”
Louis: This is a pretty cool collaboration between Mecklenburg County public health and local artist Bree Stallings. And like you said it's geared toward the youth in our community and it’s a really creative way to talk about public health issues affecting them like teen dating, mental health and suicide prevention. So they're going to have conversations around these topics. And then Bree will lead them in an art exercise and then at the end they are going to have an exhibition that speaks to the topics in the conversations that they're having. So that's going to be on Friday at 6 p.m. at Camp North End.
Rumsey: And back to the musical realm. Out at Carowinds this weekend there's a Gospel Music Festival. You know I was just wondering do they still use that. What do they call it? The Palladium there at Carowinds.
Louis: That is exactly where. I had no idea that was there, but I am actually looking forward to going to this. So this is one of the country's largest gospel music festivals and it's in an amusement park. That's pretty cool. But they have national acts that will be performing. So you'll have Mary Mary, Marvin Sapp, Jonathan McReynolds and more so that's happening like you said on Saturday at Carowinds in the amphitheater at 3 p.m.
Rumsey: Okay another busy weekend coming up. Choices, choices. Katrina Louis, managing editor of Q City Metro, thanks for the preview.
Louis: Thank you Mark.