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Get a dose of culture this weekend with free fun in Charlotte

Jody Mace
Jody Mace is a freelance writer based in Charlotte, where she lives with her husband, two kids, and a dog, Shaggy.

Cinco de Mayo

Fanta Festival

11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday. McAlpine Park, 8711 Monroe Road.

This festival is the largest Cinco de Mayo celebration in the Charlotte area. Enjoy live Mexican music, traditional dancing and authentic foods. Kids can participate in a free soccer clinic and play at the McDonald’s Kid Zone and the Coca-Cola Fun Zone.


NoDa Studio Tour

5-11 p.m. Friday. 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday. NoDa neighborhood.

The visual artists and musicians of NoDa open their studios to the public during the biannual NoDa Studio Tour. A car or bike is recommended – NoDa stretches along North Davidson Street from around 32nd to 36th streets, but some of the galleries are a little off the beaten track. Be sure to check the website for participating galleries and hours.


Free Comic Book Day

11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Spandex City Comics, 2914-A Mount Holly-Huntersville Road.

Comic book stores all around the country are giving out special freebies Saturday. Spandex City Comics’ celebration will include costumed members of the Imperial 501st Stormtrooper Legion, door prizes, trading card sketch artists, games and other kids’ activities. Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find will host comic book artists who will draw free sketches for customers, and Rebel Base Comics & Toys is offering deep discounts on many comic books.


Charlotte Dragon Boat Festival and Asian Festival

11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Ramsey Park, 18441 Nantz Road, Cornelius.

This popular annual festival features teams racing colorful dragon boats, cultural showcases from several Asian countries, music, dance, Asian food and the Miss Asia Carolinas contest. Check the website for important parking information.


Midwood Maynia

9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday. Midwood Park, 2100 Wilhelmina Avenue.

The Plaza Midwood neighborhood’s annual festival begins with a pet parade that sets off from Kilgo Methodist Church at 2101 Belvedere Ave. Pets and their people will gather at 9:30 a.m. and start walking at 10. The parade ends at Midwood Park around 11, and most of the remaining festivities take place there, including kids’ activities, plant swap, scavenger hunt and live music from Jonesalee, Nita B Trio, Justin Tosco and Broken Napoleans. and is a member of the Charlotte News Alliance, a network of hyperlocal websites.
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