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The top 24 CIAA parties

Almost 100 parties will sweep through the Queen City this week in celebration of CIAA. But you can't go to all the shindigs, now can you? Well you might try, but you'll probably feel like doo doo by March 3. To that end, we decided to sift through dozens of e-mails and flyers to find the week's best parties. Here's what we came up with:

Wednesday, Feb. 27

What: Creative Loafing & The Sol Kitchen present Pop Life: The Tournament Edition
The Deal: CL and the folks at Sol Kitchen bring back their much-loved nightlife event for one night only. Art, free food, drink specials and the most eclectic blend of music in the city.
The Details: Free admission. 6 p.m.-2 a.m. Prevue, 2909 N. Davidson St. 21 and over. For more info, visit www.thesolkitchen.com.

What: Cocktail reception at Ruth's Chris Steak House
The Deal: Ruth's Chris Steak House rolls out the welcome mat for folks in town for CIAA 2008. Complimentary appetizers will be served (Free food. Yummy.) and drink specials will also be offered.
The Details: 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Ruth's Chris Steak House, 222 S. Tryon St. For more info, call Joe Lazar or Sajeedah Jones at 704-338-9444; or e-mail jlazar@rccharlotte.com or sjones@rccharlotte.com.

Thursday, Feb. 28

What: CIAA Unleashed at Grand Central
The Deal: Organizers are calling this event a "VIP pre-party" and the "ultimate CIAA kick-off party." That, of course, remains to be seen. One thing, however, is certain: Folks who check out this party will be able to gulp down appetizers and free beer. Yes, that's right -- FREE BEER. Enough said.
The Details: $15 (advance tickets). 8 p.m. Grand Central, 101 N. Tryon St. For more info, call 704-965-3173 or 704-605-4240; or visit www.luxe-ent.com or www.hardrock-ent.com.

What: George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic in concert
The Deal: You won't get too many opportunities to hear live music during CIAA -- especially by big-time talents. So you should definitely make a drive over to NoDa and party with Clinton and his P-funky bunch.
The Details: See Web site for time. $35. Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St. For more info, visit www.neighborhoodtheatre.com.

What: The Tip Off
The Deal: It's another Sol Kitchen event. And this one -- also hosted by Dynasty5 and CL -- features the sounds of DJ BroRabb aka "Mr Lawd Have Mercy."
The Details: $15 (advance). 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Buckhead Saloon, 201 E. 5th St. For more info, call 704-373-9380; or visit www.thesolkitchen.com or www.dynasty5.com.

What: 15th Annual Old School/New School Party
The Deal: The Tanglewood Crew teams up with the good folks at Tempo for this particular soiree, which according to the title should be good for folks of all ages. Featuring DJ Syd and MC "Oh My God." (DJs have some cool-ass names, eh?)
The Details: $10 (with flyer). 9:30 p.m.-3 a.m. Tempo, 4809 Wilkinson Boulevard. For more info, call 704-391-8909; or visit www.tempocharlotte.com or www.myspace.com/tanglewoodcrew.

What: The Official CI JumpOff
The Deal: Big-time promoters Thomas Washington and FunkLabb bring you this "jump off." And yes, this is one of those "dress to impress" affairs, so leave the leisure suit and pleather jacket at the crib.
The Details: 21 to enter; 25 and up encouraged 10 p.m.-2 a.m. The Sunset Club, 1820 South Boulevard Ladies free before 10:30 p.m. For more, e-mail info@thefunklabb.com or visit www.uptownciparties.com.

Friday, Feb. 29

What: Digital Divas Presents: De Ja Vu @ Blue
The Deal: Digital Divas events usual bring out Charlotte's young black professional crew, so come to this event and party with the city's movers and shakers. Music by DJ Daddy D.
The Details: $5. 12:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Blue Restaurant, corner of 5th St. and College St. For more info, visit www.digitaldivasevents.com.

What: The Face Off: Celebrity DJ Battle
The Deal: Eddie Owens of The Session reps old-school hip-hop in a turntable war against Power 98's No Limit Larry (repping for the new school). We love Larry, but old school rules!
The Details: $20. 8 p.m. Buckhead Saloon, 201 E. 5th St. For more info, call Rhonda at 704-488-3998 or Tonya at 704-649-5304; or visit www.ciaaevents.com.

What: Dynasty 5 Presents: Friday Night Live featuring Doug E. Fresh & Friends
The Deal: We don't exactly know who the "friends" are, but nobody throws down like Mr. E. Fresh.
The Details: $30-$45 (In advance; Prices will be higher at the door). 9 p.m.-3 a.m. Hilton Center City, 222 E. 3rd St. For more info, visit www.ez-tixx.com.

What: The Sol Kitchen presents The Mix Series with Biz Markie and friends
The Deal: Two words: Biz Markie. If you've never heard him DJ, get ready to party to off-the-wall music (both old and new), sound effects, and even crazy TV theme songs. And better yet, it all goes down at Charlotte's coolest new nightclub, HOM.
The Details: 9 p.m.-4 a.m. 25 and over only. "Dress to kill" is the dress code. HOM, 116 W. 5th St. For more info/tickets, call 704-375-3737; e-mail justin@myhom.com; or visit www.myhom.com or www.thesolkitchen.com.

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