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Top Parties to attend for this year's CIAA 

Yes, the annual CIAA basketball tournament is primarily a sports event, but what it's really known for is its legion of world-class parties. Dozens and dozens of parties are scheduled to pop off in and around Uptown Charlotte from Wednesday through Sunday. Here are our picks for the week's most scintillating soirees:

Feb. 25

Pop Life, the "CI Edition" Part 2 -- Once again, Pop Life -- the funky nightlife event sponsored by Creative Loafing and The Sol Kitchen -- is serving as the "totally unofficial" kick-off party for CIAA 2009. (If you missed last year, wow, you missed one hell of a party.) This year, the event goes down at Apostrophe Lounge and features two separate party rooms with two DJs spinning the most eclectic blend of music in the city -- everything from soul to hip-hop to Afro-beat to Brazilian, house and more. Oh and it's free. Start your CIAA off the right way at Pop Life. Free. 6 p.m.-until. Apostrophe Lounge, 1440 S. Tryon St. (across from Amos' Southend). www.thesolkitchen.com.

FEB. 26

"The Official Welcome to Charlotte Bailout Day Party" -- Hosted by V101.9's Chirl Girl with music by DJ Chase. Also, offering drink specials and a buffet. 21 and up; 25 and up preferred. Dress code is casual. Everyone free all day long with flyer or e-mail pass. 12 p.m.-6 p.m. Venue, 301 E. 9th St. For more information, call 704-965-9610 or visit www.cihottestparties.com or www.ajentertainmentinc.com.

The Recession: C-I Jumpoff Part 2 -- Starring legendary hype king DJ Kool. Presented by Thomas Washington, Funklabb and Fred Massey, with DJ Chase of V101.9 on the wheels. $10 (in advance). 9 p.m. Amos' Southend, 1423 S. Tryon St. www.amossouthend.com. 21 and up; 25 and up preferred. For advance tickets, call 877-993-8400 or visit www.ez-tixx.com. For more information, call 704-819-3558 or e-mail info@thefunklabb.com.

The Essences of Purple & Gold Tournament Tip-Off Event -- Presented by Omegas 11. Complimentary VIP includes hors d'oeuvres and drinks. 21 and up. 25 and up is preferred. $20 (in advance). 9:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m. The Westin, 601 S. College St. 704-375-2600. For more information, call 1-877-993-8499 or visit www.ez-tixx.com.

"A Peace Of Jazz" CIAA 2009 -- With Nephew Tommy from The Steve Harvey Show. 6 p.m.-2 a.m. Hosted by Jaye and Monica Delai. Kiss Lounge, 204 W. Woodlawn Ave., Ste. H. Visit www.jayeandmonica.com for more information.

FEB. 27

Fish Fry Friday Day Party -- Presented by The Tanglewood Crew. Features a cash bar and music by DJ Syd and MC Oh My God. Free with flyer or party agenda. 12 p.m.-5 p.m. Tempo, 4809 Wilkinson Blvd. 704-391-8909. www.tempocharlotte.com.

The Official Friday C-I Perfect 10 Day Party -- Hosted by Power 98's No Limit Larry with music by DJ Magic. Also, offering drink specials and a buffet. 21 and up; 25 and up preferred. Dress code is casual. $10. 12 p.m.-6 p.m. Venue, 301 E. 9th St. For more information, call 704-965-9610 or visit www.ticketannex.com, www.cihottestparties.com, or www.ajentertainmentinc.com. You can also purchase tickets at the following locations: Flava Factory, 1519 Central Ave. and 2041 South Blvd.; Chicken Box, 3726 N. Tryon St.; La'Wans Soul Food Restaurant, 7705 S. Tryon St.

The Kick-Off Day Party "déjà vu" Part II -- Presented by Digital Divas. Featuring music by DJ Daddy D. 12:30 p.m.-5 p.m. Blue Restaurant, corner of 5th and College streets. 704-927-2583. www.bluerestaurantandbar.com. For more information, call 201-304-2933 or e-mail digitaldivasinc@gmail.com.

The Official Black Out Party -- Hosted by vocalist Sunshine Anderson and Carolina Dymes with music by DJ magic and entertainment by hip-hop architect Doug E. Fresh. 21 and up; 25 and up preferred. Dress code: grown and sexy. $20-$45; Ladies get in free until 10:30 p.m. with flyer or e-mail pass. 9 p.m.-2:30 a.m. Venue, 301 E. 9th St. For more information, call 704-965-9610 or visit www.ticketannex.com, www.cihottestparties.com, or www.ajentertainmentinc.com. Or you can purchase tickets at the following locations: Flava Factory, 1519 Central Ave. and 2041 South Blvd.; Chicken Box, 3726 N. Tryon St.; La'Wans Soul Food Restaurant, 7705 S. Tryon St.

The Official Best of Both Worlds CIAA Edition -- Starring comedian Mo'Nique and hosted by Tone-X and No Limit Larry. $25. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Kiss Lounge, 204 W. Woodlawn Ave., Ste. H. 704-561-9919. www.kisscharlotte.com. For ticket information, call 704-890-0771 or 704-241-8447. 23 and up.

The Official Before & After Spot -- Check out the cool, loungy feel of Apostrophe Lounge before and after you hit up the party or concert. Drink specials all night long. Free before 9 p.m. ($10 after) 5 p.m.-2 a.m. Apostrophe Lounge, 1440 S. Tryon St. (across from Amos' Southend). www.apostrophelounge.com.

The 4th Annual "Stogies & Stillettos" -- Presented by Digital Divas and Alize. Featuring a late-night menu, complimentary cigars and music by DJ Stretch. 10 p.m.-2 a.m. Zink, 201 N. Tryon St. 704-444-9001. www.harpersgroup.com/zink.html. For more information, call 201-304-2933 or e-mail digitaldivasinc@gmail.com. You may also visit www.digitaldivasevents.com or www.ez-tixx.com.

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