The holiday parties have begun, and I’ve made a list that includes a few good ones this weekend. But check it twice – there are also options for parties that don’t have holiday themes.
ACC Fan Central at the EpiCentre (210 E. Trade St.): With performances by Florida State and Duke’s mascots, cheerleaders and bands, it’s a pep rally/party. I hope neither team is staying at the EpiCentre’s aloft hotel, because it’ll be tough to sleep through the rowdy revelry happening at the complex. 7-11 p.m. No cover. 704-688-5980.
Second String Santa at Silver Hammer Studios (817 Hamilton St., behind NC Music Factory): The 25th-anniversary edition of this holiday tradition, one of the biggest and best charity events in Charlotte. I’ll be hosting, so there will be a life-size elf there. Bring an unwrapped toy to donate; a lot of kids in Charlotte get to have Christmas because of this event! 8 p.m.-midnight. $20 with a toy donation, $40 without. www.secondstringsanta.org.
Level Charlotte’s Grand Opening Party (225 N. Caldwell St.): This new club features three levels of fun, but they’re all in “club level.” (Get it, Panthers fans?) A strict dress code will be enforced. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. No cover until midnight, or if you bring an unwrapped toy to donate to Toys for Tots. 704-910-4754.
Winter Wonderland at Phillips Place in South Park (6700 Phillips Place Court): Phillips Place transforms into a winter wonderland, complete with carriage rides, Dickens carolers and a visit from Santa. 1-4 p.m. Free, but guests are asked to bring an unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots. 704-906-2929.
Charlotte Checkers vs. the Rockford IceHogs at Time Warner Cable Arena (333 E. Trade St.): As Steve Smith said, “Ice up, son.” 7 p.m. $15 and up. 704-342-4423.
Beards BeCAUSE Grand Finale at Neighborhood Theatre (511 E. 35th St.): “No Shave November” started nine weeks ago for these follicle fighters against domestic violence, and this is the moment they’ve all been growing for: the best beard award ceremony. With live music from Chasing Pedestrians and Grown Up Avenger. 7:30 p.m. $10 donation at the door. www.beardsbecause.com.
Brittney Cason is a writer who talks for a living at CBS Radio mornings on WFNZ, nights on WSOC.
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