What is there to do in Charlotte this weekend? Here’s our experts’ picks on everything from entertainment – movies to music to theater – to food and wine, beer and restaurants. And shopping, of course...
Charlotte’s Symphony’s altsounds: Steelpan Orchestra ventures into what most audiences would consider the unknown. Composer and pianist Andy Akiho and CSO perform “Beneath the Lighted Coffers,” a concerto for steelpan and orchestra inspired by the Roman Pantheon, the former temple which remains the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome nearly 2,000 years after its construction. $19-$39 (with two special deals: In advance, buy one, get one free with offer code BOGOSTEEL, or get night-of $15 “rush” tickets beginning two hours before the concert’s start time). 7:30 p.m. Knight Theater.
More than 450 vendors descend on the Park Expo and Conference Center for 12 days of holiday shopping at Charlotte’s 50th Annual Southern Christmas Show. There’s plenty of decorations, food, and traditional holiday fare. You can also knock out your holiday shopping with gifts from jewelry to home décor to arts, crafts, and toys. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday-Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday. $10-$12, $3 children 6 to 13, 5 and younger free; free admission for active and retired military Saturday.
Enjoy four-legged fun during Rural Hill’s 23rd Annual Sheep Dog Trials and Dog Festival on the 265-acre farm in Huntersville. Activities include sheepherding competitions, agility demonstrations, the U.S. Border Collie Handlers Association, Ultimate Air Dogs, and sports demonstrations. Two-legged attractions include regional beer and wine, hay rides, livestock, historic craft and cooking demos, open trails, food, shopping, pumpkin chunkin’, kids activities and living history demonstrations in the 1760s-era cabin. Adults $11, children 5 to 12 $8, children 4 and younger free. Well-behaved, leashed pets are welcome. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Dust off your wings for Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens’ Third Annual Fairy Fest. Families can explore the garden grounds – where they may even spot a few fairies – create outdoor habitats for friendly fae, and enjoy face painting, crafts, lawn games and story time. There’s also a 1 p.m. tea party for ages 3 to 12 with fruit teas, cupcakes, sandwiches, a parade, sing-along and take-home crafts. Garden admission is free for children in fairy garb, although participation in the tea party requires pre-registration. $40 for one child, $25 for each additional. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Members free, adults $12.95, seniors, $11.95, non-fairy children age 2 to 12 $6.95.
If your definition of bingo is something your grandmother does in her retirement home, then you’ve never experienced Gay Bingo. Now in its 17th year, the annual fundraiser for RAIN (Regional Aids Interfaith Network) is so spectacular, outrageous and hilarious, it’s much more than a game. This year’s theme is Phantom of the Bingo, so take that as a Broadway-meets-post Halloween shenanigans with singing, dancing, and cracking up. $35. 6:30 p.m., Grady Cole Center.
In September music fans flocked to Chicago’s RiotFest for the reunion of Jawbreaker. The influential punk trio, whose legend grew after its 1996 split, is the subject of the documentary, “Don’t Break Down: A Film About Jawbreaker.” It not only revisits the band’s implosion, but features input from peers Billie Joe Armstrong, Foo Fighters’ Chris Shiflett, and producer Steve Albini. $5 for CFS members, $10 for non-members. 6:30 p.m. C3 Lab.
Blumenthal Performing Arts kicks off its 25th anniversary season with Celebrating Big Dreams: Starring Leslie Odom Jr. The Tony-winning Broadway star, who originated the part of “Hamilton’s” Aaron Burr, is joined by Charlotte native Abby Corrigan, who last greeted hometown audiences as the star of “Fun Home,” plus Blumey Award and Loonis McGlohon student jazz artist winners as the Odom-led cast captures the spirit and history of Blumenthal through show tunes, jazz and other popular pieces. The audience will also learn about the inception of Blumenthal through a short film. $25-$99.50, 7:30 p.m. Belk Theater.
Former WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair returns to the Queen City for WWE’s Smackdown Live, where she’ll continue her rivalry with current champ and fellow wrestling royalty Natalya. Charlotte Flair’s last hometown main event was the kind of awe-inspiring match wrestling careers are built on. She’s joined by AJ Styles, Jinder Mahal, Randy Orton, Kevin Owens, Shane McMahon, and Daniel Bryant on one of the last events leading into Survivor Series later this month. $18.50-$295, 7:45 p.m. Spectrum Center.
Hip-hop’s reigning king returns to the stage with Jay Z’s - 4:44 Tour. Vic Mensa opens. Although rumors about both pricy and dirt cheap tickets have circulated since the show was announced, they range from $29.50-$195. You can opt for pricier VIP options if you want to roll like Jay and Bey for the night. 8 p.m. Spectrum Center.