Fall Into Holiday Fun in the Queen City

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A list of unique holiday events celebrating Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and fall in Charlotte, NC, gives ideas for weekend travel and seasonal fun.

a symphony of the greatness of the human spirit.

Charlotte, NC – (October 21, 2010) – Tis’ the season for holiday celebration. Fall and winter inspire a myriad of themed events, and Charlotte, NC, has no shortage. Halloween and Christmas plays, shows, and attractions abound, and countless fall activities celebrate this special time of year. Favorite annual events return with a bang, and new options for fall fun are around every corner. Mark your calendar now for a trip to the Queen City!

Haunt a lot: Halloween
•Charlotte NC Tours leads a G-rated ghost tour highlighting historic landmarks and buildings in Center City. charlottenctours.com
•Visit Latta Plantation for a candlelit Civil War ghost walk complete with reenactments. lattaplantation.org
•Historic Rosedale leads guests on a midnight tour and possible ghost encounter. historicrosedale.org
•Grab a flashlight and a friend and attempt to find your way through the Amazing Maize Maze, a corn maze with clues leading you to the exit. ruralhill.net/maze.htm
•The NC Music Factory, a stroll district with live music venues and clubs, hosts NC Fright Factory, where the brave can go for “coffin rides” and vampire, clown and zombie themed haunted houses are sure to illicit some screams. ncfrightfactory.com, ncmusicfactory.com
•NoDaWEEN, a charity fundraising event in the NoDa arts neighborhood, is hosting a Freaky 5K Twilight Race, pumpkin art auction, and a midnight viewing party of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, where participation is highly encouraged. nodaween.com
•SCarowinds is the annual Halloween transformation of the Carowinds theme park into a haunted thrill ride with specialty attractions and games. The event is recommended for kids over 13, but little ones will love Howl-O-Fest’s Boo Blast during the day, with fun activities and entertainment just for kids. scarowinds.com, carowinds.com

Celebrate a lot: Thanksgiving
•The 63rd Annual Belk Carolinas’ Carrousel Parade is one of the largest Thanksgiving parades in the United States, with marching bands, horses, dance teams, music, floats and more. Make sure to stay to the end so kids can get a glimpse of Santa’s float. carrouselparade.org
•Part of the classics series, a special Thanksgiving Concert by the Charlotte Symphony features Prokofiev’s heroic Fifth Symphony, described by the composer as “a symphony of the greatness of the human spirit.” charlottesymphony.org/Classics.asp

Cheer a lot: Fall
•Every year thousands flock to the Carolina Renaissance Festival to be transported back in time with medieval wares, food, arts and crafts, jousting, acrobatics, magicians, and more. The festival has grown to be one of the largest nationwide, with over 100 vendors and 10 stages of entertainment. royalfaires.com/carolina
•This year’s Dr. Pepper ACC Championship game will bring the excitement of college ball to Charlotte on December 4. Festivities will include a pre-game pep rally and ACC FanFest for a fun-filled weekend. accfootballcharlotte.com
•Over 60,000 fans will fill Bank of America Stadium for the Meineke Car Care Bowl on December 31. An ACC vs. Big East match up, this bowl game was named one of the five best start-ups in sports over the past five years by the Sports Business Journal. meinekecarcarebowl.com

Dazzle a lot: Christmas
•In its 56th season, the Singing Christmas Tree is a long-standing Charlotte tradition. Carolina Voices’ MainStage Choir sings seasonal favorites and rockin’ arrangements, with the singers arranged into a living Christmas tree set. Special kids’ performances include sing-a-longs and puppetry. carolinavoices.org
•Lace up your skates and head to The Green in Center City for a spin on the WBT Holiday on Ice skating rink. Bring your own skates or rent a pair while the rink is open, November 24 to early January. wbtholidayonice.com
•Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Carolina Christmas is a spectacular 2.5-mile drive-through Christmas light park and village located on the track and infield of the legendary superspeedway. visitcarolinachristmas.com
•More than 600,000 lights illuminate Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, where Holiday Lights at the Garden celebrates the season with old fashioned trains, visits from Santa Claus, carriage rides, and holiday carols in addition to the light display. dsbg.org
•Billy Graham Library’s Christmas at the Library offers a glimpse into the awe of the first Christmas night with a live nativity complete with animals, and carriage rides, story time for kids, and exclusive holiday ornaments. billygraham.org
•Irving Berlin’s White Christmas takes the stage at Oven’s Auditorium, sure to please with some of the greatest songs ever written, including the title song, noted as one of the best-selling singles of all time. blumenthalcenter.org
•Treat your ears to classic Christmas tunes at Charlotte Symphony’s Magic of Christmas concert, where conductor Albert-George Schram returns to lead the Symphony, Oratorio Singers, and an array of spectacular guests in this festive celebration of the holiday. charlottesymphony.org/POPS.asp
•NC Dance Theatre brings the beloved Christmas classic, Nutcracker, to life at the Belk Theater. ncdance.org

For more events and activities, go to charlottesgotalot.com to see the full calendar of events, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Visit Charlotte, a division of the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, has promoted the Charlotte region for over 25 years as a destination for tourists, a host city for meetings and conventions and a site for sporting events. It employs a staff of approximately 40 that includes satellite sales offices in Chicago and Washington, DC. For more information, visit http://www.charlottesgotalot.com.

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