The CIAA tournament is as much about the parties as it is about the hard court, as thousands of alumni from historically black colleges and universities gather for an informal reunion. Here are a few of the most anticipated events going on next week. (See the entire list of events at www.cltcentral.com.)
Wednesday, Feb. 26
Frolic: The Social Climb at SIP (200 N. Tryon St., Suite 100): Live jazz and R&B from The Shades of Brown Trio, with DJ Flemingo on the turntables. 6-11 p.m.
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Thursday, Feb 27
Heaven at Blue Restaurant (206 N. College St.): Featuring DJ 06 at 8 p.m., and The Let It Flow Band at 11 p.m. Voted the No. 1 Thursday night event each year by partygoers. 8 p.m.-2 a.m. Tickets: www.talkofthetownent.com.
Friday, February 28
Party With a Purpose at BLT Steak at The Ritz-Carlton (110 N. College St.): Dress to impress, walk the red carpet, and party to benefit A Child’s Place, which supports and raises awareness about child homelessness in the African-American community in Charlotte. Music by DJ Mark. Ages 30 and older preferred. 10 p.m.-3 a.m. Tickets: $50 in advance; $60 at the door. www.achildsplace.org.
The Official Day Party Headquarters: Turned Up! at NC Music Factory (900 NC Music Factory Blvd.): The Saloon and The Comedy Zone pulsate with music from four DJs, and offer a heated patio plus 40 TVs. Noon-midnight, with celebrity late-night parties from 10 p.m.-2:30 a.m.
Saturday, March 1
Top Shelf Comedy Tour at Bojangles’ Coliseum (2700 E. Independence Blvd.): A jam-packed night of stand-up by Bruce Bruce, Earthquake, Arnez J, Gary Owen and Dominique. 8 p.m.
The Mixtape With the Magnificent DJ Jazzy Jeff and Skills at X Night Club (950 NC Music Factory Blvd.): After an opening set by DJ 360, Will Smith’s old partner takes control of the turntables. 9 p.m.-2 a.m.
And remember: The men’s and women’s finals are Saturday, March 1, at Time Warner Cable Arena – 5 p.m. for the women and 8:30 p.m. for the men. Without the basketball tournament, none of these other events would be possible.