Free Stuff: African dance, African drumming, more


Dances of the Soul ArtsFest

Sat 5-9 p.m. Studio 112, 1212 E. 10th St. www.eventbrite.com.

Presented by Oneaka Dance Co., this family-friendly festival will feature the longest African Line Dance in the history of Charlotte, authentic African appetizers and food, a family drum circle, youth and adult dance and art workshops, prizes and giveaways, live drumming, hip-hop, salsa and more.


Downtown Gastonia Summer Concert Series

Fri 7-10 p.m. Downtown Gastonia. www.downtowngastonia.com.

This event, held every other Friday (it alternates with the sister series in the neighboring town of Belmont), boasts music, an art crawl, merchants and a “Cars and Concerts Cruise-In.” The concert’s headliner will be the Voltage Brothers, who play a mix of rock, R&B, Motown and more.


Town of Matthews Summer Concert & Movie Series

Sat Family activities start at 7 p.m.; the movie starts around sunset. Stumptown Park, 120 S. Trade St., Matthews. www.matthewsnc.gov.

The featured film will be PG-rated “The Box Trolls.” Vendors will be selling dinner-menu items, as well as treats and beverages. Upcoming dates for the series include July 11 and 18, and Aug. 15.


Modern fire-building workshop

Tue 2 p.m. Reedy Creek Nature Center, 2900 Rocky River Road. To register: 704-432-6460.

Learn to use matches or flint and steel to start a fire, as well as the proper set-up for a fire, then test your skills by seeing if you can build and maintain a fire. For ages 8 and older.


African drumming

Tue 2 p.m. University City Regional Library, 301 E. W.T. Harris Blvd. 704-416-7200; www.cmlibrary.org.

Learn about and explore African drumming with performer Thomas Tillman. This program is part of the Children’s Summer Reading program. Make sure to check the library’s website for a list of other free summer events, including story times for young children, educational programs for teens and adults, movies for the whole family and more.


Summer Food Service Program

Mon-Fri Various Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools. For participating schools: 980-343-6041; http://cms.k12.nc.us.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the program provides free breakfast and lunch to children ages 1-to 18 this summer at 52 CMS schools. This is not something parents have to apply for; all children are eligible. Last summer, more than 200,000 breakfasts and 355,000 lunches were served to local children. The start and end dates vary by school, and some schools serve meals Monday through Friday, while others are on a Monday-to-Thursday schedule. Visit the website to see the summer menu, as well as allergen and nutrition information.