Trade, John and McDowell Streets
Matthews, NC 28105
Date: Aug. 29 to Sept. 1, 2014
Now in its 22nd year, the Matthews Alive Festival celebrates small town life with four days of festivities in and around historic downtown Matthews, with all proceeds benefiting local non-profit organizations. The annual parade, the largest Labor Day parade in the Southeast, takes place Saturday morning at 10:30 a.m., with floats, bands and many community groups marching from Matthews-Mint Hill Road down Trade Street to the Matthews United Methodist Church. Kids will enjoy the many carnival rides and the Kid Connection area with a craft pavilion, pony rides, train and a stage with jugglers, magic acts, clowns, puppets and more. Live music is a major part of the festival, with the main stage in Stumptown Park featuring top acts, including the Tams and Catalinas on Beach Music Friday, Tribute Saturday with headliner Bruce In The USA, a top Springsteen tribute band and Little Texas topping off Country Music Sunday. Other activities include an art show, basket weaving demonstration and quilt show at the Hendrick Arts & Crafts Pavilion in the Matthews Community Center, an indoor acoustic stage hosting Songwriter Sunday, and the Auto and Motorcycle Show at the Town Hall Green on Monday.
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324 S. Mint St.
Charlotte, NC 28202
Date: Aug. 31 to Sept. 1, 2014
If you haven’t experienced the Charlotte Knights playing America’s sport—baseball—in their new Uptown ballpark, this is your final chance this year. The Knights close out the 2014 season with a two-day home stand against traditional rivals, the Gwinnett Braves. Monday’s game is one of the rare afternoon games, with the first pitch thrown at 2:05 p.m. Sunday’s 7:05 p.m. game will be capped with a fireworks show.
N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC 28202
Date: Sept. 1, 2014 at 11 a.m.
Charlotte’s 15th annual Labor Day Parade honors the men and women who struggled to establish the rights and benefits workers enjoy today, including Social Security, the 40-hour work week, weekends off and health care. The parade includes bands, dance groups, political candidates, community and labor groups and businesses, all marching to honor the American worker. Stepping off at 11 a.m., the parade travels down Tryon Street from 9th Street to Third Street. Labor Day has been a national holiday since 1894, and is celebrated in all 50 states.
5225 Sample Road
Charlotte, NC 28078
Date: Aug. 30 to Aug. 31, 2014
Historic reenactors dressed in the authentic costumes of British and Patriot forces will recreate the 1780 Battles of Charlotte and McIntyre Farm on Labor Day weekend, an annual event at Historic Latta Plantation. In addition to watching the battles, visitors can tour the 18th century-style camps of both forces and watch military and musket firing demonstrations. The historic site is part of the Latta Plantation Nature Preserve on the shores of Mountain Island Lake, with picnic sites, a nature center, trails, an equestrian center and the Carolina Raptor Center offering a full day of family fun. You can picnic and hike at the park for free; entry to the reenactment and plantation house is $8, free for children ages five and under.
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5000 Whitewater Center Parkway
Charlotte, NC 28214
Date: Aug. 31, 2014
End the summer with a splash at this Olympic trial facility on Charlotte’s western edge. You can run the whitewater rapids on the man-made river in a raft or kayak, enjoy a peaceful paddle on the Catawba River or enjoy the ziplines, climbing wall or mountain bike trails all day. Live music runs on the outdoor stage from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., with fireworks at dark. Admission to the festival is free with a $5 parking fee; a variety of activity passes, plus plenty of food and drink, are available.
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With 15 years of experience covering restaurants in Charlotte and the Carolinas, and two regional guidebooks under her belt, Renee Wright examines the dining scene with enthusiasm plus a deep knowledge of food trends and outstanding local eating ops. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.