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The Annual Guide to Spring Events in Charlotte

A reserved reopening

Charlotte Knights
The last time fans filled Truist Field for a Charlotte Knights game was in 2019. (Photo by Laura Wolff)

Nothing signifies the end of winter and the beginning of spring more than hearing the words, “Play ball.” Minor-league baseball towns around the country never experienced that spring transition in 2020, as the Charlotte Knights and other teams saw their season end before it could begin.

On Feb. 18 of this year, Major League Baseball (MLB) announced that Minor League Baseball will be returning, and almost immediately, the Charlotte Knights released their upcoming schedule.

 

The team was scheduled to start its season on April 6 in Jacksonville before hosting the Durham Bulls for their home opener on Tuesday, April 13, at Truist Field, but alas, on March 3, the Charlotte Knights announced they had been informed by MLB that the season for Triple-A East baseball, in which the Knights play in the Southeast division, will be delayed until May 6.

A statement from the team read: “We will have more details soon on how that will impact our 2021 schedule and what that will mean for our fans and partners. We appreciate the community’s support and look forward to welcoming Knights fans back to the ballpark in the near future.”

According to Gov. Cooper’s latest orders at the time of publication, Truist Field will be allowed to open at 30% capacity, which will mean letting in right around 3,000 fans per game. Queen City Nerve contributor Darrell Horwitz recently had an in-depth chat with Knights COO Dan Rajkowski about what that will look like and other changes this season, and stay tuned to our social media and website for updates on the new Knights schedule.

In the meantime, here are some spring events that have already been announced. We’ll admit the selections are lacking at the moment, but keep your eye on our Lifewave in upcoming issues as folks begin to poke their heads out and see what’s safe.


 

SPORTS

spring schedule, zmax dragway
zMax Dragway

Races at Charlotte Motor Speedway

5555 Concord Pkwy. S; 1-800-455-FANS

May 14-16

Stars of the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series turn zMAX Dragway into a 44,000-horsepower festival of nitro. Tickets are $20 and up.

May 28

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series kicks off Memorial Day weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway with 200 miles of racin’. Tickets are $25 and up, kids under 13 are free.

May 29

NASCAR Xfinity Series regulars will take on NASCAR Cup Series superstars in the Alsco Uniforms 300, an afternoon showcase of speed. Tickets are $32 and up.

May 30

The historic 62nd running of the Coca-Cola 600, billed as NASCAR’s toughest test of man and machine, whatever that means. Tickets are $49 and up.

 

Queen’s Cup Steeplechase Livestream

April 24

This year’s race will be held without an audience for the first time ever, but you can hook up a projector in your garage and treat it like a traditional tailgating lot, fancy hats and all (and no need for a DD).

Charlotte 49ers Baseball

March 23

This will be the first official baseball game in the new Atrium Health Ballpark in downtown Kannapolis, as UNC Charlotte Niners go head-to-head with Appalachian State. $10. 

Kannapolis Cannon Ballers Baseball

  • vs. Down East Wood Ducks 

May 4-9

  • vs. Columbia Fireflies 

May 18-23

  • vs Carolina Mudcats 

June 8-13


 

ARTS, CULTURE & RETAIL

Maker’s Market CLT & St. Paddy’s

March 20 | 2-6 p.m. | Tommy’s Pub 

Tommy’s Pub hosts the folks from MMCLT for a day of outdoor shopping with 20 local vendors and live music, all to benefit the Carolina Waterfowl Rescue. Attendance is free.

Virtual Music and Museum: Twentieth-Century Women

March 21 & April 25 | 6 p.m. | Online | Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Fourth-Floor Gallery

Both of these concerts will be in conjunction with the new Bechtler exhibition, Twentieth Century Women, and feature women composers. Tickets are $5-$9.

Metropolitan Market

April 4 | 10 a.m.-4 p.m. | Metropolitan

The Metropolitan Market will operate in partnership with the Starving Artist Market at the Metropolitan in Midtown. Expect handmade goodies from 30 local artists and businesses that have yet to be announced. Attendance is free.

Front Porch Sundays

April 10-11 | 10 a.m.-4 p.m | Sycamore Brewing

Front Porch Sundays is hosting a new socially distanced event called Front Porch Weekends in which the popular market will operate over the course of two days with 25 local vendors rather than the pre-COVID 70. Attendance is free.

Charlotte's Water Lantern Festival
Charlotte’s Water Lantern Festival (Photo courtesy of Water Lantern Festival)

Charlotte Water Lantern Festival

May 8 | 5:30-10 p.m. | Symphony Park, SouthPark Mall

The most chill festival in town includes DIY water lanterns made (by you) to reflect messages of love, hope, and happiness, as well as food trucks and live music. Tickets are $36.

Spring Pottery Festival

May 8| 10 a.m.-4 p.m.| McAlpine Business Park

Carolina Clay Matters, Inc. holds two pottery festivals each year featuring work from over 50 of their talented members. Attendance is free.

Interactive Van Gogh Charlotte

Starting June 18th | Camp North End 

This exhibit includes wall-to-wall projections of Vincent Van Gogh’s classic works, giving visitors the experience of living inside one of his paintings. Tickets are $39.99 and up.

 


 

FOOD & DRINK 

University City Food Truck Friday
University City Food Truck Friday. (Photo courtesy of University City Partners)

University City Food Truck Friday

March 19| 5-9 p.m.| Armored Cow Brewing

Getting a head start by kicking off on the day before spring starts, University City Food Truck Friday returns. Visitors can expect a new rotation of food trucks, live music, craft vendors and drinks from the brewery. Attendance is free.

5th Annual University City Wine Festival

April 14 – 18| Times vary| Shoppes at University Place

Four events in five days include Wine Wednesday; the Royal Wine and Dine Experience; Taste, Sip, and Stroll, and the weekend-long festival, featuring staggered sessions for safety reasons. Tickets range from $30 to $550

Charlotte Taco Week

April 19 – 25| Locations vary

Visit 18 participating restaurants, including hidden gems of Charlotte’s taco scene and a few local all-time favorites, throughout the upcoming Taco Week to get a go at each eatery’s $3 specialty offering.

South End Wine & Hops Fest Returns This Spring

May 13-16 | Locations vary

Leading up to the seventh annual South End Wine & Hops Festival, attend a wine dinner at Alchemy at c3 Lab and the Skate & Bubbles at Unknown Brewing Company. Tickets range from $35 to $550

Taste of Charlotte

June 11-13 | 11 a.m.-11 p.m.| North Tryon Street, Uptown Charlotte

ToC is back with over 100 samples from area restaurants and various performances and activities for festival-goers. Attendance is free, with tokens available for purchase if you’re hungry. (Why would you go if you’re not hungry?). 


 

Spring Restaurant Openings

Greg Williams and Jamie Barnes of What the Fries. (Photo by Peter Taylor Photography)

Orto
NoDa’s newest craft-cocktail venture by James Beard-nominated chef Paul Verica with an Italian-cuisine focus.

Margaux’s Wine, Pizza & Market
Locally owned market coming to Pineville with St. Louis-style pizza, hundreds of specialty food items and fully prepared meals

Vaulted Oak Brewing
Inside of a former bank on Monroe Road, Vaulted Oak will be the newest addition to the east-side brewery scene

What the Fries
The popular food truck will offer their French fry iterations in a brick-and-mortar in south Charlotte and collaborate to sell local art in the former CiCi’s Pizza space on Park Road near Carolina Place Mall. They’ll open for business on March 23 at 11 a.m. 

 

Xiao Bao Biscuit
Southeast-Asian inspired food coming to Optimist Hall that began in Charleston and has been mentioned by Bon Appetit and The New York Times. Sounds familiar.

Babe & Butcher
Another newcomer to Camp North End, Babe & Butcher will bring a custom charcuterie board experience to the area and allow customers to build a board to-go from a display case.

Cheat’s Cheesesteak Parlor
Officially the most popular new pop-up concept in Charlotte. Customers often order their food one week in advance. Cheat’s will be setting up shop in the Plaza Midwood/Commonwealth neighborhood.


 

MUSIC 

live music in charlotte, deniro farrar, neighborhood theatre
Deniro Farrar.

Neighborhood Theatre

511 E. 36th St.; 704-942-7997

*Virtual
March 20: Deniro Farrar*
March 24: Modern Moxie*
March 31: Doneta Dawson*
April 14: Vadim Kolpakov*
April 15: Tom Russell
April 16: Stephen Marley Acoustic Soul
April 21: Natalie Carr
April 21: Lost Dog Street Band
April 23: Josh Wolf
April 28: Emily Sage*
April 30: John Mark McMillan
May 26: Satsang

Lenny Boy Brewing

3000 S. Tryon St.  

March 19: The Vegabonds with WOMZ from Futurebirds
March 26: Swim in the Wild with Whitehall
April 2: Pip the Pansy with Emanuel Wynter
April 9: The 502s with Virginia Man
April 16: Little Stranger with Human Resources
April 23: Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers with Próxima Parada
April 30: Flipturn with Arson Daily

Rural Hill

4431 Neck Road, Huntersville

Live cruise-in concerts

April 9: Tab Benoit & Samantha Fish
April 14: Robert Earl Keen
April 28: Allman Betts Band
May 11: Mt. Joy with Briston Maroney
May 25: St. Paul & the Broken Bones

The Evening Muse

The fine folks at The Evening Muse are planning a big 20th anniversary celebration for sometime in April, so stay tuned to Queen City Nerve for more info on that and visit their website to help the venue after the toughest year of its existence, along with a chance at winning Lori Love’s vinyl Keith Richards piece that currently graces the wall at The Muse. In the meantime, The Muse has announced their official reopening on May 19, offering more intimate gatherings with a limited number of socially distant four-top tables. We will continue to update the list as more shows are added. 

May 19: Jason Eady with Adam Hood 

Other Live Music

GLITTERYARD

April 10 | The Music Yard | 2433 South Blvd. 

A Studio 54 disco night featuring DOMii, Kate Garvey, DJ Trife and Alan Ospina.

The Charlotte Symphony

April 24, May 14 & May 15 | The Charlotte Symphony | 128 S Tryon St #350

The Charlotte Symphony (CSO) will welcome audiences back to the Belk Theater for performances taking place on April 24 and May 14–15, 2021. This marks the first time audiences have been able to attend an indoor concert with the Charlotte Symphony since March 7, 2020. The CSO will also host Evenings at the Park, a three-concert mini-series at Symphony Park featuring classical works.

Crown Town Shakedown

May 15 | Greenlife Family Farms | 281 Odell School Road, Concord

This festival includes food trucks, craft vendors, live art, fresh produce and much more, but the music is the real draw. Charleston-based Southern goth-psych rockers Susto and Charlotte’s own Late Night Special, Queen City Nerve’s pick for Best Blues Rock Band of 2020, are the headliners, to be joined by Tin 4 and Dead Swells. Oh, and it’s BYOB. 


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