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More and more spring events 

Festivals/Events

2010 SPRING FLING PROGRAM SHOWCASE The event offers information and exhibits about Park and Recreation programs and events for pre-school children, youth, teens, adults and seniors. Emphasis is on spring and summer activities. Visitors can see demonstrations, booths and tables for information on nature centers, recreation centers, special events, sports, and more. Sat., March 20, 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Free. Freedom Park, 1900 East Blvd.

3RD ANNUAL SHIELDS AND SIRENS LIVE AUCTION Bid on all-inclusive packages featuring tickets to Bobcats and Checkers games, private cooking lessons and more. Hors d'ouevres will be served. All proceeds benefit the American Red Cross, as well as benevolent associations for CFD and CMPD. Presented by Club Red. Sat., March 20, 6 p.m.-11 p.m. $10-$15. The Pavilion at the EpiCentre, 210 E. Trade St. For more information, visit http://redcrosshelps.org/sirensandshields.

HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS he show features athletes and entertainers, including Big Easy Lofton and Flight Time Lang, who are stars in the CBS' The Amazing Race, as well as Special K Daley, Scooter Christensen, Handles Franklin and Ant Atkinson. Sat., March 20, 7 p.m. $22 and up. Time Warner Cable Arena, 333 E. Trade St. 704-688-9000. www.timewarnercablearena.com.

PHOTO WILD! A two-day raptor photo shoot for amateurs and professionals. The morning starts with an "early-bird" breakfast at 7:30 a.m., followed by six, 30-minute photo sessions with each bird. After the three-hour shoot, folks can spend the final hour of each day photographing flight show raptor superstars. This year's raptor photo shoot features a two-day pass, which gives folks a chance to photograph different birds in different settings each day. To register, call Amber Rosintoski at 704-875-6521, ext. 207 or e-mail arosintoski@carolinaraptorcenter.org. You may also register online at www.carolinaraptorcenter.org. March 20; March 21; March 27; March 28. Carolina Raptor Center, Huntersville. 704-875-6521. www.carolinaraptorcenter.org.

SPRING SLALOM RACES Race is for anyone who wants to participate with a slalom boat or recreational boat. Classes include men's kayak, women's kayak, men's C1, women's C1, and C2. The race will feature two runs per racer and the best run counts. Fastest boat down the course and with least penalties in each class wins. To register, e-mail dhepp@usnwc.org. March 20, 2 p.m.; March 21, 2 p.m. $30 entry fee (includes water time for both days). U.S. National Whitewater Center, 5000 Whitewater Center Parkway.

SPRING TEA TASTING Enjoy sights in the garden while drinking traditional English tea. Participants will try different Southern-themed teas and learn the benefits from them. Snacks will be paired with teas. Hosted by Miss Marie's Tea, which will also have tea available for purchase. Sun., March 21, 1:15 p.m.-2:15 p.m.; 3 p.m.-4:15 p.m. $20 for members; $25 for non-members. Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, 6500 S. New Hope Road, Belmont. 704-825-4490. www.dsbg.org.

GERMAN BIER FEST The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery hosts this event featuring traditional German music, homemade brats and freshly brewed German-style beer. There will also be raffle prizes and soft pretzels. Wed., March 24, 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, 215 Southside Drive. For more information, visit www.oldemeckbrew.com.

MEXICO VS. ICELAND International soccer exhibition. Wed., March 24. $30-$80. Bank of America Stadium. 704-522-6500. For tickets visit www.ticketmaster.com or call 1-800-745-3000.

KAYAKING POOL SESSIONS AT THE YMCA The U.S. National Whitewater Center is teaming up with several YMCA's to offer indoor pool kayaking instruction. Beginners welcome. For information on sessions and to register, call 704-716-6611. Sun., March 28. $25 for YMCA members; $30 for non-members. YMCA, Simmons, 6824 Democracy Dr. 704-716-6611. www.ymcacharlotte.org.

ULTIMATE FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIP FIGHT NIGHT LIVE Featuring a showdown between Kenny Florian and Takanori Gomi. This bout will headline the latest edition of Spike TV's hit UFC Fight Night series. Wed., March 31, 5 p.m. $35 and up. Bojangles' Coliseum, 2700 E. Independence Blvd. 704-372-3600. www.bojanglescoliseum.com.

INTERNATIONAL COLLECTIBLES & ANTIQUES SHOW SPRING CLASSIC Featuring an array of antiques and collectibles, including furniture, arts and crafts, jewelry, toys, rugs and more. March 31, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; April 1, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; April 2, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; April 3, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; April 4, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Metrolina Expo Trade Center, 7100 Statesville Rd.

2010 CHARLOTTE OPEN WHITEWATER SLALOM RACE Racers will compete in a two-day event. The top finishers advance to the finals on Saturday and have a chance to gain points in the International Canoe Federation's World Rankings. April 2, 10 a.m.; April 3, 10 a.m. US National Whitewater Center, 5000 Whitewater Center Parkway. For more information, visit www.usnwc.org.

DOGSWALK AGAINST CANCER The American Cancer Society will host its fourth annual event, which is a non-competitive walk dedicated to raising awareness and funds for the fight against both human and animal cancers. Sat., April 3, 9 a.m. $20 registration fee. Canine Cafe Charlotte, 1447 S. Tryon St. 704-588-3647. For more information, visit www.dogswalkcharlotte.org.

MCDOWELL TRAIL HIKE SERIES Monthly themed hikes that explore new areas of the nature preserve and the season. Ages 10 and up. For more information, call 704-588-5224. April 3, 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m.; April 17, 10-11:30 a.m.; May 1, 10-11:30 a.m.; May 15, 10-11:30 a.m.; Sept. 18, 9:30-11 a.m. Free. McDowell Nature Center, 15222 York Road. 704-588-5224.

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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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