Charlotte area

The big debut is the Charlotte Knights’ ( opening of their uptown home, BB&T Ballpark. Their regular season continues through Sept. 1.

Carowinds theme park (, open Fridays-Sundays now, open daily May 23-Aug. 17 and weekends-only Aug. 23-Nov. 2. New at Carowinds’ Boomerang Bay water park: a pair of water slides, each more than four stories tall.

The Coca-Cola Speed Street Festival returns uptown May 22-24 (, wrapping around the May 25 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway ( Also at the track: The May 17 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the Aug. 9 Back-to-School Monster Truck Bash.

June 6-8 brings Taste of Charlotte ( uptown, with restaurants showing their stuff at booths and tents. At The Green – free and outside – The Charlotte Shakespeare Company ( offers “Love’s Labor’s Lost” (May 29-June 15) before moving inside Booth Playhouse for an Aug. 7-24 production of “Measure for Measure.” Also uptown: Charlotte Pride’s LGTBQ festival and parade (Aug. 16-17;

At Symphony Park at Southpark mall, the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra will stage its Pops in the Park series of outdoor concerts (June 8-July 3;

In other area parks? Bark in the Park Top Dog Festival is April, 26 in Huntersville at Historic Rural Hill (; the Kings Drive Artwalk is April 26-27 on the Little Sugar Greenway ( Aug. 29-31 at uptown’s Bearden Park, a birthday bash with music, dance and art will honor the famed artist.

Other notable events: Rock Hill’s Come-See-Me Festival (through April 20;, Mother’s Day at the Garden at Belmont’s Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden (May 10-22;, Foothills Merry Go Round Festival in Shelby (April 26-27;; Gaffney’s S.C. Peach Festival (July 17-19 and 25-26;, Hickory’s Furniture Festival (July 25-27;, Shelby’s American Legion World Series (Aug. 15-20;; Summerfest (Aug. 24; in York, S.C.

Labor Day weekend? Time for fair-style fun at the Matthews Alive Festival (Aug. 29-Sept.1;


By the time Festival in the Park rolls into Charlotte’s Freedom Park the weekend of Sept. 19-21 (, you may be ready for fall. John Bordsen