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Movies Under the Stars

Fri 8.1 7 p.m., Symphony Park, 4400 Sharon Road,

Make the most of the last few weeks of the summer by enjoying family-friendly movies on a 30-foot screen outside SouthPark mall each Friday through Aug. 22. The evenings will begin with live music and other activities at 7 p.m., and the movie will start at dusk. Bring your lawn chairs and blanket, and arrive early to grab an easy dinner from SouthPark’s food court. The first movie, on Friday, is “American Girl: Isabelle Dances into the Spotlight.”

Back to school

SWAG Back to School Festival

Sat 8.2 11 a.m.-3 p.m. BB&T Ballpark, 324 S. Mint St.

The city of Charlotte invites kids in kindergarten through 12th grade, with their parents, to attend the Students Working to Achieve Greatness Back to School Festival. The event offers entertainment for the whole family, as well as several freebies, including dental screenings and backpacks filled with school supplies. The backpacks will be given to children who complete the Passport to Academic Success tour with their parents.


Build Your Own Boat Festival

Sat 8.2 1-10 p.m. U.S. National Whitewater Center, 5000 Whitewater Center Parkway.

Watching rafters navigate the rapids is always entertaining. It will be even more fun Saturday, as the vessels will all be DIY creations. Teams will receive points for creative designs, as well as seaworthiness – that is, whether team members can stay “mostly on the boat” throughout the course. There’s a charge for participating in the competition, but it’s free to watch. (Parking costs $5.) Ancient Cities, Mingo Fishtrap, Simplified and Marc Broussard will be performing throughout the day and night. There will also be live music starting at 6 p.m. Friday, as boat builders register their contraptions.


Parade of Power

Wed 8.6 Noon. Bruton Smith Boulevard, Concord.

NASCAR fans won’t want to miss this exciting preview of what’s to come this fall. Vehicles representing every motorsport that will compete at Charlotte Motor Speedway, zMAX Dragway and The Dirt Track at Charlotte will parade down Bruton Smith Boulevard, starting at Concord Mills and ending at the speedway’s avenue of flags. Racing personalities including Richard Petty and Michael Waltrip will answer questions and sign autographs for the first 100 fans to pick up a wristband. The free fan event will also include special ticket offers, monster truck rides and the Kangaroo Express Fan Van.


‘Measure for Measure’

Thu 8.7 7:30 p.m. (and through Aug. 24). Booth Playhouse, 130 N. Tryon St.

Charlotte Shakespeare does the Bard’s comedy about a deputy’s sexual predation, updating it to a blaxploitation setting in the 1970s. Free, but donations are appreciated.


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