Celebrate2Community members had been “Celebrating Charlotte” for more than a decade when organizers decided last year that some tweaks could provide a spark. If participation in planning this year’s event is any indication, they must have pushed the right buttons.
“A lot more people have come forward to join the efforts and have their events added,” said Grace Boehmer, executive director of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce. “I think a lot of people were curious to see if the changes to the event would be positive. Last year’s event was very successful.”
The biggest changes made last year were to put more emphasis on music and entertainment in addition to ensuring that most activities would take place downtown. Those efforts continue this year and have even been enhanced, Boehmer said.
The festivities kick off Wednesday, June 17 with a special concert by Donny Brown, with guest Abbey Hoffman at the Charlotte Performing Arts Center. The concert serves as the kick off for the 2015-16 professional series at Charlotte Performing Arts Center. Proceeds from the event will go to Eaton Area Senior Center, which will provide attendees with the opportunity to make the evening a dinner and show special.
The action in downtown Charlotte begins Thursday, June 18 with the popular Bite of Charlotte event, featuring samples from Charlotte restaurants throughout downtown. Making this year’s Bite of Charlotte even more enticing, especially for families, is the Touch a Truck event that will coincide with the Bite of Charlotte, from 5 to 8 p.m. The 100 and 200 blocks of S. Cochran Avenue will be closed for three hours for children to have the opportunity to get up close to trucks and tractors of all sizes.
The fun continues downtown on Friday, June 19 with the Celebrate Charlotte Cruise In Car Show from 5 to 9 p.m. The car show will be followed by the 2nd Annual Pub Crawl, featuring several downtown establishments from 8 to 11 p.m.
“The Celebrate Charlotte committee knew it was important to the downtown business owners to bring the car show back downtown, so we put together our own Cruise In,” Boehmer said.
Saturday, June 20 will be packed full of fun for people of all ages, beginning with Eaton County United Way’s inaugural Colors United color run. Registration for the event begins at 7 a.m. Kids activities will fill a portion of the Courthouse Square lawn from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday. Courthouse Square will also be the place to hear a lot of great music before the action heads to Beach Market at 5 p.m. for the Blues and Brews concerts.
“We’re featuring all local brews this year,” Boehmer said. “We have a lot of returning artists as well as some new ones.”
The Charlotte Rotary Club and Fitch Beech Municipal Airport stepped up to keep the annual Father’s Day Fly-In alive, Boehmer said. The Rotary Club has taken over the pancake breakfast and the airport is working to make sure this year’s fly-in is one of the biggest in recent memory.
The weekend concludes with the Freedom Fireworks at the Eaton County Fairgrounds Sunday evening.
“Everyone is really getting behind the efforts to make this year bigger and better,” Boehmer said.
For more information or a complete schedule of events, visit www.micharlotte.org.