One of the great things about Celebrate Charlotte is its constant metamorphosis into something fresh and exciting. There are many reasons to celebrate the greater-Charlotte community, and the committee is constantly finding news ways in which to do so.

This year’s festival is a prime example of how new ideas can generate exciting results — in this case, the Candy Land Carnival. Sponsored by Candy Ford in Charlotte, the Candy Land Carnival will set up in the city parking lot located on the corner of Bostwick and Lovett Street, directly west of Beach Market. The carnival will feature family friendly rides from noon to 10 p.m. Friday, June 16 and from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, June 17.

The Charlotte Community Library will host an ice cream giveaway on Friday, from 1 to 3 p.m., and an open house on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Visit for more details.

One of Celebrate Charlotte’s most popular attractions — Touch a Truck — returns downtown Friday, June 16, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Co-sponsored this year by The Dolson and Pray Funeral Home, Touch a Truck completely shuts down the 100 and 200 block of S. Cochran Avenue so children can explore some of the biggest “toys” the City of Charlotte and local businesses have. Children can explore everything from fire trucks and police cruisers to large farm and construction equipment all for free.

At the same time, folks are encouraged to check out the local fare during the newly renamed Savor Charlotte (formerly Bite of Charlotte), which takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. This event allows local eateries to provide samples of new or popular dishes, appetizers or desserts. Tickets can be purchased at the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce office beginning in June.

Activity shifts to Beach Market at 8 p.m. on Friday, as Windwalker Underground Gallery hosts its wildly popular Open Mic Night, which opens the Celebrate Charlotte Blues and Brews festivities for the weekend. Come sample brews from local establishments while observing the many hidden talents Open Mic Night unveils in the community. Blues and Brews goes until 11 p.m. Friday night.

The activity gets going bright and early Saturday, June 17 as Eaton County United Way’s 3rd Annual Color Run begins at 8:30 a.m. The colorful 5K departs from AL!VE, and weaves its way throughout the community before returning back to AL!VE. Visit for more details.

AL!VE will also play hose to the Father’s Day Family Health Event — sponsored by Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital — from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Visit for more details.

The Eaton Theatre will show a free screening of The Lion King at noon on Saturday.

The Celebrate Charlotte Car Show returns downtown at a new day and time this year — Saturday, June 17, from noon to 4 p.m. Sponsored by Eaton Federal Savings Bank, the car show is free and open to anyone who wishes to put their classic car or motorcycle on display.

The annual Bike, Scooter and Skate Competition returns to Lincoln Park on Saturday, from 1:30 to 6 p.m. Visit

Beach Market opens at 5 p.m. on Saturday for the second night of Blues and Brews, featuring Well Enough Alone, playing between 6 p.m. to midnight.

The Freedom Fireworks, sponsored by Charlotte Meijer, and Locals in Business will take place Saturday night at dusk at the Eaton County Fairgrounds.

As always, Celebrate Charlotte wraps up Sunday morning with the annual Father’s Day Fly-in and Pancake breakfast, sponsored by the Charlotte Rotary Club. Fitch H. Beach Municipal Airport will be filled with activity from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. Sunday morning.

The Charlotte Community Band will perform its 4th Annual Celebrate Charlotte Concert on Thursday, June 15 at 7 p.m. in the Sanctuary at Lawrence Avenue United Methodist Church. The Men of LAMC will be serving ice cream sundaes and treats in the basement of the church free of charge at 6 p.m.