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October's Fests 

Places to be, food to eat

You can't help but like a church that has the slogan, "If you like our barbecue, you'll love our church." On Thursday, Oct. 25, the Mallard Creek Presbyterian Church will celebrate its 78th Annual Bar-B-Que. For the inaugural year, three pigs and a goat were roasted. This year, the church expects to sell 15,000 pounds of pork barbecue, 2,500 gallons of their renown Brunswick Stew (with rice), and two tons of slaw. About 20,000 hungry folks will breeze through their four-lane drive-thru or eat on site. Traditionally local politicians will congregate to shake a few hands. If you are new to the area, barbecue has historically been used as a fundraiser and a way to bring a community together. Hours are 10 a.m. until they sell out. Go early.

The Mallard Creek Presbyterian Church Bar-B-Que is not held at the church, but at the old Mallard Creek Community House, 11400 Mallard Creek Road.

The sixteenth annual Latin American Festival will be held on Sunday, Oct. 7 at the Mint Museum on Randolph Road from noon until 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for children, and the food is sold through a token system. On hand will be 15 food vendors, some local "calle" vendors, featuring foods from throughout Latin America. Among the featured foods are churros, Colombian empanadas, and "authentic" dishes from Chile and Argentina. Entrees will cost $8 or less. In addition to food, handmade art and crafts are available as well as musical and traditional folkloric dance performances.

The eleventh annual Ciao, Italia! Festival, sponsored by the Christopher Columbus Italian Club of Charlotte, will be held Saturday, Oct. 13, in the Wachovia Atrium, 301 S. Tryon St., from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. Admission is $2, children 12 and under are free. At 3 p.m. the "International Pizza Toss Champion" will perform. Food and drink, including Italian cookies, wine, and espresso are available.

If you're willing to go up the road a bit, the 24th Annual Lexington Barbecue Festival, will be held in downtown Lexington on Saturday, Oct. 27. Included in this year's events are their famous Lexington Barbecue; the Tour de Pig, a cycling event; and the 5K Hawg run sponsored by Carolina Cardiology Associates.

Listen to well-traveled food warriors Jane and Michael Stern, and author and radio host Lynne Rossetto Kasper during Novello on Wednesday, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. in the McColl Family Theatre at ImaginOn. Tickets are $15. The Sterns are authors of more than 20 books and write "Two For The Road" in Gourmet magazine. Lynne Rossetto Kasper, host of public radio's "The Splendid Table" and author of The Splendid Table: Recipes from Emilia-Romagna, the Heartland of Northern Italian Food; and The Italian Country Table: Home Cooking from Italy's Farmhouse Kitchens was featured on a Creative Loafing cover in August 1997.

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