Your 5-minute guide to the best things to do in Charlotte | May 17 – 23

Photo courtesy of Circle K Speed Street presented by Coca-Cola


Join Charlotte’s biggest Game of Thrones fans for Science on the Rocks: Winter Is Here, a themed evening for adults only at Discovery Place Science. Protect Bran in a Hodor “hold the door” tug-of-war challenge, undergo training with Swordwinds Historical Swordfighting so you can learn to fight like Podrick, enjoy specialty foods and drinks like The White Walker cocktail and more. 5 – 9 p.m. $12. 301 N. Tryon St.

It’s officially River Jam season at the U.S. National Whitewater Center, where you can find a free live music performance in a massive outdoor venue every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night through the end of September. Make your way there this Friday to hear some folk and Americana from the band Old Salt Union. 7 – 10 p.m. 5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy. Free.

Meet Vanna White from Wheel of Fortune fame at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where she’ll serve as grand marshal of the NCEL 200 NASCAR truck series race Friday night. 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. NC Education Lottery booth, Speedway Fan Zone. Free.

[Related: Have a drink for the dogs at the South End Hops Festival]


Channel your inner-superhero at The Super Run 5K at McAlpine Creek Greenway Park. All participants (adults and children alike) will receive a “Caped Crusaders” superhero cape, event bib and finisher medal with their registration; VIP participants will also receive a hero-themed event t-shirt. And of course, don’t forget to get a photo in front of the Superhero photo screen before you leave. 8 – 11 a.m. 8711 Monroe Rd. $29.99.

Stop and smell the flowers at the 2019 Art in the Garden Tour, the Charlotte Garden Club’s annual fundraising event featuring six stunning residential gardens, art and festivities on Saturday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.. Artists will paint “en plein air” to capture the beauty of these Southern gardens while visitors tour each one. The after-tour party and art show will take place at Mint Museum Randolph on Sunday afternoon from 1 – 4 p.m. 2730 Randolph Rd. $25 for members, $35 for non-members.

Celebrate the legendary soft drink of the South at the 3rd Annual Cheerwine Festival, just 45 minutes away from Uptown. Sample regional flavors free of charge at the “Taste of the Carolinas” booth, compete in a scavenger hunt for the chance to win prizes, discover more about Cheerwine’s 102-year history, listen to live music from a variety Carolinas-based bands as well as multi-platinum band Smashmouth, enjoy craft foods and beverages and more. 12 – 10 p.m. Main St. in Salisbury, NC. Free admission.

[Related: Your ultimate spring festival guide, from local bites to arts and entertainment]

Join the Charlotte Museum of History for the annual MeckDec Day Celebration, a day of revelry in celebration of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. Learn about the role Hezekiah Alexander played in declaring independence in Charlotte’s oldest home, take in the smells of liberty at a Colonial cooking demonstration, hear Captain James Jack read the Mecklenburg Declaration in a Colonial tavern and more. 12 – 4 p.m. 3500 Shamrock Dr. Free.

Bold Missy Brewery celebrates its second anniversary with limited edition beers, food trucks, a market of local female makers from noon to 5 p.m. and live music from Comfortably Nuts. The brewery will have more than a dozen beers on tap, including new spinoffs of its five core beers. Bold Missy will also release 22-ounce bottles of Gombe, a bourbon-barrel-aged American brown ale that comes in at 7 percent ABV. Noon-10 p.m., 610 Anderson St. — Daniel Hartis


Get your tickets to the 14th Annual Festa Italiana, Charlotte’s all you can eat (and drink) Italian food and wine festival. Look forward to bottomless wine, prosecco, and Peroni beers as well as endless pizza, risotto, cannoli, gelato and more. You’ll also be able to explore works by local Italian artists and authors, and enjoy a festive time featuring live music, dancing and much more. 1 – 7 p.m. 800 W. Trade St. $100.


Join Camp North End and Discovery Place Science for a new free, shared science talk series called “Think & Drink,” which will feature discussions with some of Charlotte’s top thinkers and innovators. The series kicks off with Think & Drink: The Science of Sound with Joni Deutsch, where Deutsch (host of the Amplifier podcast for WFAE) will talk about why we love certain songs, why we hate certain sounds and more. Food from Fresh Med and drinks from NoDa Canteen will also be on site at Camp North End throughout the evening. 6 – 8 p.m. 1824 Statesville Ave. Free.


Circle K Speed Street presented by Coca-Cola returns for its 25th year this Thursday through Saturday, turning Uptown into one of the biggest events in the Southeast. Look forward to appearances from NASCAR drivers and celebrities, live music from nationally-renowned bands, an impressive assembly of NASCAR show cars and simulators, dynamic exhibits and more. 12 – 10 p.m. W. 10th St. Costs vary.


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