Hot Dates: Speed panning, Taylor Swift, Cougars and Hashbrown Belly Boys

Taylor Swift performs on stage during "The 1989 World Tour" at LSU Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, LA on May 22, 2015. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for TAS)
Taylor Swift performs on stage during "The 1989 World Tour" at LSU Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, LA on May 22, 2015. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for TAS) Getty Images for TAS

Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., pan for gold – or prizes – at the annual North Carolina Open Gold Panning Competition, or Pan-O-Lympics for short. Experienced gold panners will compete at the Reed Gold Mine Historic Site with novices looking for adventure in the speed panning event. The competition will be along the historic Little Meadow Creek, site of the country’s first documented discovery of gold.

The panners will be issued 14-inch Garret Gravity Trap pans with sand and four pea-sized lead nuggets. They must remove as much sand as possible while keeping the nuggets – in the fastest time possible. The three panners with the quickest time will be awarded trophies and prizes.

The Reed historic site is at 9621 Reed Mine Rd. near Midland in southern Cabarrus County. It was there in 1799 that young Conrad Reed found a yellow stone in the water and took it home. His father, John, didn’t know what the stone was and used it as a door stop. Three years later, a jeweler bought the gold for $3.50. It was worth $3,600. Details, click here.

Monday: Taylor Swift at Time Warner Cable Arena, 7:30 p.m.: The world’s biggest and cheeriest pop star – not to mention seven-time Grammy winner – returns to Charlotte to kick off the summer concert season with her “1989 Tour” and its near-endless supply of hits. Australian singer-songwriter Vance Joy opens the show. Details, click here.

Ellen talks to Swift about “1989”:

Thursday, Kenny Chesney brings his Big Revival Tour to Time Warner arena, 8 p.m.: The country superstar makes his annual trip to Charlotte, though for the first time uptown since he co-headlined Bank of America Stadium with Tim McGraw three summers ago. Opening will be Chase Rice, former UNC-Chapel Hill linebacker and “Survivor” runner-up. Details, click here.

Also on Thursday, “Cougar: The Musical” at the Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte, 7:30 p.m. It will be a regional premiere for Donna Moore’s show about three women seeking romance with younger men. The theater is at 650 E. Stonewall St. uptown. Details, click here.

And this, too, on Thursday: “The Picture of Dorian Gray” at Duke Energy Theater, 7:30 p.m., Spirit Square, 345 N. College St. Playwright Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s update of Oscar Wilde’s 1891 novel about corrupted innocence. Presented by Shakespeare Carolina, the updated version is modernized, spanning from the 1980s in London to the 2010s in America. Details, click here.

Opening Friday at a theater near you: “Jurassic World.” Twenty-two years after “Jurassic Park,” Isla Nublar now features a dinosaur theme park. The movie’s not technically a sequel but neither is it a total reboot of the Jurassic Park franchise. The theme park imagined by Richard Attenborough's character in the original has gotten fully operational, but audiences are bored with the same old dinos. So scientists create a massive hybrid that suddenly runs amok. Chris Pratt stars.

Also Friday, the Charlotte Folk Society’s Gathering Concert & Jams at Great Aunt Stella Center, 926 Elizabeth Ave. It will feature The Barefoot Movement, a young, high-energy bluegrass band, with the Hashbrown Belly Boys opening at 7 p.m. Free, but donations appreciated. Details, click here.

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