Race week is like homecoming for Charlotte’s NASCAR community, and so the next week and a half will basically be one big party where a race breaks out. Between Food Lion Speed Street, the All-Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600, it’s a nightlife holiday for race fans. But there is a lot more to do than go fast and turn left. Here are some non-NASCAR events that are sure to get your motor running.
Carolina girl Kellie Pickler is coming back to town to captain The New 103.7’s Redneck Yacht Club at Whisky River (210 E. Trade St.). Doors open at 7 p.m., Pickler is scheduled to go on at 10. Admission is free! But first-come, first-served.
Today marks the grand opening of the new venue at the corner of Fifth and Church streets: a restaurant, appropriately titled 5Church. The owners – MAP Management – are hoping to break the curse of that corner, which has seen several places fail there. Offering free valet parking is a good start. The place got a complete makeover from interior designer/owner Mills Howell, and will use local farm-grown ingredients selected by executive chef Jamie Lynch. Two of the owners, Patrick Whalen and Alejandro Torio, previously worked at Butter NC, so the meal will come with a side of party. 704-919-1322.
“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee ” is a musical comedy at Theatre Charlotte (501 Queens Road), not a fifth-grade spell-off. I’ll actually be in the play – attempting to spell without the assistance of spell check or auto-correct – at 7:30 p.m. Sunday. But there are several performances you can catch between now and May 27. $8-34. 704-376-3777.
Looking for laughs? “The Single Life vs. The Married Life Improv Show” featuring Over The Counter Improv is playing Saturday at Fort Mill Community Playhouse (615 Banks St., Fort Mill). $10, but if you tell them I sent you, you get 50 percent off! 8-10:15 p.m.
Kick cancer’s butt at drumSTRONG at Misty Meadows Farm (455 Providence Road, Weddington). The 30-hour non-stop drum circle (and party) will include more than 20 bands. $30-$50 for the weekend, with all proceeds benefiting local and national cancer organizations. www.drumstrong.org.