7 things to do during Labor Day weekend

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Written by Helen Schwab, Kathleen Purvis and Lawrence Toppman

(1) Ooh. Baseball.

Minor-league baseball’s Charlotte Knights might wow you with their play against Norfolk on Friday or Gwinnett on Sunday, but you can hedge your bets those evenings, too, because uptown’s BB&T Park will have fireworks both nights. (Added plus on Sunday: A 40th anniversary tribute to the well-loved Charlotte O’s of yore, with players signing autographs.) $8-$25.

(2) Ahh. Art.

Yard Art Day on Monday is the annual “yes, YOU are an artist!” celebration brought to life by Charlotte photographer/artist Deborah Triplett. People all over the city create works of varying intensities and media (including performing) and display them in their yards. Find a map to help you tour them at www.yardartday.org; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday. Free. (Above, Linda Vista’s “Rehab,” a past work.)

(3) Mmm. BBQ.

Not all barbecue is pork. The Charlotte Kosher BBQ Festival focuses on brisket, chicken and beans. A $20 ticket buys you a judging sample from seven teams (brisket and beans only, and limited to the first 50 people), or $5 to $15 tickets get you hot dogs, veggie burgers, chicken and brisket. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday at the Levine Jewish Community Center, 5007 Providence Road. (A peek at part of the menu, above.)

(4) Wince (and clap).

Watch the Monster Energy MXGP, part of a global motocross championship series, with stars of the sport such as Justin Barcia (above) doing amazing, crazy, amazingly crazy things with those vehicles. Check them out Friday and Saturday atCharlotte Motor Speedway in Concord. About $16-$70.

(5) Clap (and wave).

The Uptown Labor Day parade rolls down Tryon starting at 11 a.m. Monday. Free.

(6) Ride rides.

The family-oriented Matthews Alive, running Friday through Sunday, packs in carnival rides, live music and arts and crafts booths, and proceeds (admission’s free but some activities require tickets) benefit area nonprofits.

(7) Find some uplift.

See “Hands of Stone,” a conventional boxing movie about a poor kid who rises to the top using his fists, in this case Panama’s Roberto Duran. But beautifully told and well-acted, with Edgar Ramirez as Duran and Robert De Niro and Ruben Blades (above) – and the film ends with a moment of triumph.

The original version of this story appeared at CharlotteObserver.com.
Photo: Charlotte Observer file

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