Jody Mace: On the Cheap

Go ahead, dance this weekend. It’s free!

By Jody Mace


National Day of Dance

Sat 1 p.m. Wells Fargo Plaza, 301 S. Tryon St.

Nigel Lythgoe, executive producer of “So You Think You Can Dance,” created National Dance Day, an annual event to promote health and self-esteem through dance. Charlotte is celebrating in multiple ways. The Blumenthal’s event at Wells Fargo Plaza will have participants learn choreography and be part of a dance number.

In Plaza Midwood, three locations will host free mini-classes in dance at 11:30 a.m.: Pizza Peel, Workman’s Friend and The Peculiar Rabbit. Visit the Facebook group for details: Also, there’s word of a flash mob dance performance at 11:15 a.m. at the corner of Central Avenue and Thomas Street.

Street art

Graffiti Jam

Sat Noon. Goodyear Auto Service Center, 100 E. Stonewall St.

Try your hand at street art or enjoy the work of local graffiti artists as they paint canvases of all sizes and shapes at Graffiti Jam. It’s free to participate. If it rains, the event will move down to the Wells Fargo Atrium.


Puerto Rican Festival

Sat Noon-7 p.m. Marshall Park, 800 E. Third St.

This is the largest Puerto Rican festival in the Carolinas, with food, live music, dancing, entertainment, a children’s area, vendors, souvenirs, raffles, giveaways and more.

Science and art

Innovate 301

Sat Noon-5 p.m. Saturday. Discovery Place, 301 N. Tryon St.

Learn to harness the power of the sun to create dazzling designs. By combining optics and heat, burn your creative ideas into the wood. Future Innovate 301 programs might involve sewing, soldering and programming, and will explore new materials, tools and processes.


Q4KIDZ Live! Creative Bash for Families

Sun 3-5 p.m. Free Range Brewing, 2320 N. Davidson St.

Here’s a chance to spend an afternoon enjoying a beer or two (not free) at the newly opened Free Range Brewing while your kids also have a good time. Free Range Brewing is family friendly, with a designated children’s area. On Sunday, Parents Together is introducing families to Q4KIDZ, a free service that sends parents a daily creative question to stimulate interesting conversations and promote bonding. RSVP:


Jody Mace runs and is a member of the Charlotte News Alliance, a network of hyperlocal websites.