Jody Mace: On the Cheap

Get into a museum for free this weekend

Bank of America and Merrill Lynch customers can get in free to multiple museums for free this weekend.
Bank of America and Merrill Lynch customers can get in free to multiple museums for free this weekend. jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com

Bon Odori

Sat 7.31 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Wells Fargo Atrium, 301 South Tryon St. bit.ly/bonodoriclt

Bon Odori Festival returns for the 31st year, with a traditional tea ceremony, food from Japanese restaurants (for sale), dancing, drumming, door prizes, martial arts exhibition, crafts and children’s activities. This popular free event is hosted by the Japanese Association in Charlotte and The Japanese Language School in Charlotte.

Parade of Power

Wed 8.5 Noon. Charlotte Motor Speedway, 5555 Concord Pkwy South, Concord. charlottemotorspeedway.com

Get ready for the “Season of Speed” at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Parade of Power. The parade starts at Concord Mills and will include more than two dozen vehicles, from stock cars to dragsters to classic cars.

The free fan event at the Speedway features a Q&A with NASCAR drivers Austin and Ty Dillon. Fans can take free monster truck rides, the Kangaroo Express Fan Van and more. The first 100 fans to pick up a wristband on event day can participate in an autograph session with several motorsports personalities. The wristbands will be available at the information booth starting at 8 a.m.

Friday Night Live

Fri 7.31 7-10 p.m. South Main St., Belmont. bit.ly/frinightlive

It’s worth the short drive to Belmont to enjoy the fun, party atmosphere of the small town’s every-other-Friday outdoor summer concert series. Tonight features The Fantastic Shakers, a beach music band that will be inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame this fall.

Blue Moon Hike

Fri 7.31 9 p.m. Latta Plantation Nature Preserve, 6211 Sample Road, Huntersville. 704-875-1391 parkandrec.com

A “blue moon” is rare – that’s a full moon that occurs for a second time in one month. Test your trail skills and night vision as you hike easy terrain for 2 miles around the nature preserve. This event is open to all ages. Call to reserve your space or to ask questions.

Museums on Us

Sat/Sun 7/31-8.1 Various museums. museums.bankofamerica.com

The first weekend of every month, Bank of America and Merrill Lynch customers get into many museums nationwide for free. Call individual museums for their hours. The following museums are participating: Mint Museum Uptown, Mint Museum Randolph, Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Levine Museum of the New South, Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture.

Bring a Bank of America/Merrill Lynch credit or debit card for admission. The deal excludes special exhibitions, fundraising events and ticketed shows.

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