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23rd Annual ArtFest of Matthews

10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday; noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Free. Matthews Town Square, Matthews Station Street. 704-847-3649;

Artists from all over the Southeast will be showing off artwork and master crafts, meeting with the public and answering questions. All of the participating artists' work will be entered for jury prizes. There will also be a youth exhibition, live entertainment and a children's art area, where kids can get creative and hands-on.


Big Band in the Park and Fireworks

6 p.m. Saturday. Bailey Road Park, 11536 Bailey Road. Free. 704-892-6031, ext. 160.

The Andrew Theilen Big Band, one of the largest bands in the Carolinas at 17 performers, will wow the audience with its huge sound. And they don't just play swing music. Expect to hear a good mix of Motown, rock and pop as well. There will be children's activities and a fireworks show following the performance.


Oktoberfest Kickoff

6 tonight. Gallery Restaurant and Bar at Ballantyne Resort, 10000 Ballantyne Commons Parkway. Free. 704-248-4100.

Join Ballantyne After Dark (BAD) and Gallery Restaurant to celebrate Oktoberfest. Inspired by the sights and sounds of Munich, the event will feature seasonal brews, entertainment and Gallery's house-made delicacies. 21 and older only.


International Festival

10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday. UNC Charlotte, Barnhardt Student Activity Center, 9201 University City Blvd. Free. 704-687-7781;

Spend a day traveling the world without leaving Charlotte. International students and members of the international community will offer samples of cuisine from more than 50 countries. There will also be souvenir opportunities, music, dance and entertainment from around the world, as well as activities just for children.


Fall Family Festival

9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, 6500 S. New Hope Road. $5-$10 (members get in free). 704-825-4490;

Celebrate the world of bugs. The event coincides with the launch of “Something's A-Flutter,” the garden's butterfly exhibit. There will also be bug-themed activities for kids and adults, a Hollywood bug-movie marathon, and live music both days. And of course, if you choose, you can just walk through the garden.


Scarowinds Opening Weekend

7 p.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday (also select nights through Oct. 31). 14523 Carowinds Blvd. $41.99 at the gate (online and group discounts available). 704-588-2600;

The ghosts, goblins, ghouls and ghastly monsters are ready to scare the daylights out of anyone brave enough to check out the theme park's annual fall makeover. With eight mazes, three scare-zones and more, you may need to bring an extra pair of shorts. Guests will not be permitted to wear costumes. 13 and older only.