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Mental Stimulation 

Sunday, August 12

If you're the kind of dork who schedules your days around your favorite Discovery Channel shows, finds the scent of old books in the library refreshing, and harbors a subconscious desire to see every exhibit in every museum that Charlotte has to offer, then mark your calendar for an exciting assembly of like-minded nerds like us. Charlotte's Second Annual Literary Festival is exciting for a few reasons ­-- there will be educational seminars and discussions to feed curious minds. For example, Andy Patel of the Institute for Entrepreneurship discusses the right methods to starting a successful business in his seminar "Are You Ready to Be Your Own Boss?" There'll be numerous writing workshops, free resume tips, and (my personal favorite) "A Crash Course in Creativity" to remedy the next writer's block. Another reason to attend -- the food drive. Americans love free T-shirts. Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina is teaming up with World Wrestling Entertainment and RealEyes Bookstore to distribute T-shirts to those who donate food over the two-day event. Of course, the obvious celebrity authors and your chance to connect with them also make it a sin to miss this event. 10 a.m. -- 8 p.m. Marshall Park, Third and S. McDowell streets; The Blake Hotel, 555 S. McDowell St. www.charlotteliteraryfestival.com.

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  • On Saturday, Oct. 21, hundreds gathered at Camp North End on Statesville Avenue for Charlotte's first black alternative music festival. We captured some of the bands in action on stage, but mostly we surveyed the grounds as fans, families, vendors and more lounged around the sprawling, colorful Camp North End site. It was a great day of music, food, fun, and sweet, autumn sunshine. (Photos by Mark Kemp)
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