Big Tournament Community Events!

By Sarah Obeid
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CIAA Parties 2012 Day Night

Courtesy of Willy J

The 9th annual CIAA comes to the city of Charlotte next week on February 25th through March 1st. Female and male student-athletes from 12 different institutions will play harder than ever before in hopes to move up to the NCAA Division II tournament.

The CIAA is one of the most popular basketball tournaments. But this tournament is so well-liked and admired for more than just the games, fans, and cheers. Thousands of residents additionally enjoy attending daily and nightly events throughout the course of CIAA weekend.

The CIAA welcomes people of all ages to join in on the excitement. Maybe you are looking to go clubbing? Or maybe you want to attend a concert? But say you have family and would prefer going to a community event?

While Charlotte offers a wide variety of events for teenagers and young adults, there are also several community events more oriented for families, parents, and children.

These events serve different purposes than that of clubs and concerts. Regardless, every event is designed specifically to entertain the visitors- to give them memorable, fun experiences during the CIAA.

Now- March 2nd:

The Blumenthal Performing Arts Center is at it again.  The organization is not necessarily associated with CIAA but Blumenthal events do take place during CIAA weekend. The arts center presents the play, “The Mountaintop”, a touching recreation of events the night before the assassination of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Visit to find more performances happening around CIAA madness.

CIAA (Photo by CBS Radio Local)

(Photo by Jennifer Hall/CBS Radio)

February 27th- March 1st:

Be sure to stop by the CIAA Fan Experience, a three-day fan festival event located at the Charlotte Convention Center. Opening and closing times vary based on day. The best part- the entire event is free.  Robin Thicke, Trey Sonz, Rick Ross, and others will be performing. Win sponsor prizes, play video games, explore cooking exhibits and car shows, and be a part of interactive activities. This festival is nothing but real family fun.

February 28th- March 1st:

Teenagers and young adults are not the only ones who like to party. This is a call for small kids and children looking for an entertainment-filled night of toys, games, sports, books, movies, and arts and crafts galore. Not to mention pizza, snacks, and ice cream will also be included. The After School Construction Zone’s 6th Annual Kids Night Out will be held in Charlotte on Mt. Holly Huntersville Road from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.

Wednesday February 26th:

The CIAA encourages education and hard work as a way of giving back to the community. The tournament welcomes middle and high school students to the Education Day event from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Charlotte Convention Center. University representatives will help prepare students for life after they graduate.

Thursday February 27th:

Attention parents and grad students. Looking for career opportunities for future employment? The CIAA is hosting a Career Expo at the Charlotte Convention Center from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Students straight out college or parents interested in entering the workforce have a chance to meet recruitment officers and representatives from a number of business and organizations. I bet you though a grocery store was only good for the eating function. The Charlotte Convention Center will hold the 4th annual Food Lion Teen Summit from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Food Lion plans to educate teens about healthy lifestyles, positive habits early in life, and college/career preparation. Conversations could range from mentoring to internships to Greek Life. It’s definitely worth a listen. Alongside, there will be food, music, a DJ, and a step show. Skate the night away to old-school hip hop and R&B music by famous DJ Kool at Kate’s Skating Rink from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. CIAA is offering a night of pure skating fun for all young adults out there. You must be 21 years or older to enter.

CIAA 2013 (Photo by CBS Radio Local)

(Photo by Jennifer Hall/CBS Radio)

Saturday March 1st:

As a part of Black History Month, McDonalds will present the CIAA Stepshow “Stepoff” School vs. School production from 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Step teams from local schools will come out and perform at the Grady Cole Center in Charlotte. Bryan White from the dance film, “Stomp the Yard” will proudly show off some moves. By the end of the show, McDonalds will really have you saying, “I’m lovin it”.

For more information on some of these events plus more, check out and

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