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Light up the holidays (already!)

By Brittney Cason

Christmas has come early. Charlotte is already celebrating with tree lighting celebrations this weekend, and we have some early presents in the form of multiple new nightlife spots.

Friday

Miracle on Piedmont Row Drive tree lighting celebration at Piedmont Town Center (4725 Piedmont Row Drive): Rockefeller Center’s decorator has come to Charlotte to light up SouthPark with Christmas cheer. The tree will be for Toys for Tots, so a donation of an unwrapped toy to put under it is encouraged. 6-9 p.m. (tree lighting at 7 p.m.). Free. 704-906-2929.

Grand Opening of FireWater Lake Norman (20930 Torrence Chapel Road, Cornelius): The best marriage of a sports bar and a nice restaurant that I’ve ever found. Not only is FireWater a good place to watch games with bottomless mimosas on Sundays, but Friday brings live music from The Groove Mob to celebrate its second location. Music starts at 8 p.m. No cover. 704-895-7907.

Also new and worth checking out: Unknown Brewing Company (1327 S. Mint St.), now open 4-10 p.m. Thursday-Friday, noon-8 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. www.unknownbrewing.com.

Saturday

Split Happens Bowling Classic at 10 Park Lanes (1700 Montford Drive): A fun bowling tournament complete with an award ceremony. Noon-3 p.m. $50 person (includes two games, shoes, buffet lunch and Labatt Blue beers). 704-570-9610.

South End Tree Lighting at Atherton Mill (2140 South Blvd.): Local merchants will be open so you can shop and enjoy live music, holiday spirits and treats, with free hot chocolate for the kids. 5:30-7 p.m. Free. 803-744-6741.

Sittin’ at the Kids Table Comedy Extravaganza starring the Chuckleheads at the Warehouse Performing Arts Center (9216 Westmoreland Road, Cornelius): A Thanksgiving-themed comedy improv musical variety show featuring lots of audience participation. 8 p.m. $10-$15. 704-301-1564.

Sunday

Rated Art at Roux! At Boudreaux’s (3306 N. Davidson St.): An artistic fusion series featuring hip-hop, poetry, dance and live art. 8 p.m.-midnight. $10; a portion of proceeds goes toward providing food to the homeless during the Thanksgiving season. 919-685-7780.

Carolina Renaissance Festival (16445 Poplar Tent Road Huntersville): Last chance to travel back in time and get yourself some Medieval margaritas from the multiple pubs within the forest retreat. 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. (also Saturday). www.renfestinfo.com.

Brittney Cason is a writer who talks for a living at CBS Radio mornings on WFNZ, nights on WSOC.
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