It’s true. Some things in life are free! 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.
Yes, I live in Charlotte, Yes my son plays and attends a HBCU. Yes we enjoy to his game and being his personal pep squad. But sadly I must admit, I will not be at any of the CIAA games. BUT I will have my children at the FREE family events.
But first, let me give you a little history of the CIAA. The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association was founded in 1912 on the campus of Hampton Institute. Its founders were Allen Washington and C.H. Williams of Hampton Institute; Ernest J. Marshall of Howard University; George Johnson of Lincoln University, PA ; W.E. Atkins, Charles Frasher and H.P. Hargrave of Shaw University; and J.W. Barco and J.W. Pierce of Virginia Union University.
Now it is the oldest African-American athletic conference in the United States. mostly consisting of historically black colleges and universities. Recent addition Chowan University is the first non-HBCU to play in the conference. Conference teams participate in the NCAA‘s Division II. Teams in the conference are mostly from North Carolina and Virginia, though there is one each fromPennsylvania and Maryland. The CIAA is divided into Northern and Southern Divisions in all of the sports except track and field/cross country and baseball, and sponsors 16 annual championships.
Can you say big dollars for the QC?! There is talk about it leaving next year. At stake is one of the city’s biggest tourism events, estimated to create more than $40 million in economic impact. It may end up in Raleigh, Atlanta, Greensboro, Washington D.C., Brooklyn, N.Y. and Baltimore…who knows.
I plan to be at Hampton University watching my son play. But if you’re gonna be here. Here’s a few free event to enjoy.
The Fan Experience also will feature free concerts.
• Regina Belle, Thursday, Feb. 27 at 8:30 p.m.
• Jagged Edge, Thursday, Feb. 27 at 9 p.m.
• Mack Wilds, Friday, Feb. 28 at 9 p.m.
• Monica, Saturday, March 1 at 6:30 p.m.
*Fourth Annual Food Lion Teen Summit
Girls and boys, ages 13 to 18, are invited to an evening of “real talk.” This summit encourages teens to have candid conversations and interaction among their peers, and will also include food, a step show, DJ, contests, and prizes. Hosted by Girl Talk Foundation, Inc. 5:30-7:30 p.m. Free admission; advance registration required. Charlotte Convention Center, 501 S. College St., girltalkfoundationinc.com
The Jump Off
This party will run from happy hour to late-night, featuring music from DJ Biggs of Washington, D.C. and DJ Lonnie B of Virginia. Brought to you by Eddietainment Inc., Pearl Vision Group, Eddleton Events, and J&J Entertainment. 5 p.m.-2 a.m. Free admission before 9 p.m. Vapiano, 201 S. Tryon St.,
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.
Fan Experience Presented by Toyota – Thursday, February 27 – Saturday, March 1
Charlotte Convention Center, Halls A and B
CIAA Fan Experience Presented by Toyotais a three-day FREE fan festival event that is family-friendly and filled with activities. Taking up 200,000 sq. ft. at the Charlotte Convention Center, CIAA Fan Experience will feature free concerts, live entertainment, cooking demos and more. Celebrity guests include Tatyana Ali, Dawnn Lewis, DJ Rock T, Lance Gross, Morris Chestnut, Malcom Jamal Warner and Sheryl Lee Ralph. Keep checking back for updated information.
Fan Experience also will feature free concerts on the Coke Zero Sound Stage and will host a variety of performers. “Throwback” Thursday, February 27 AARP presents Grammy Award winner Regina Belle at 8:30 p.m. followed by Jagged Edge at 9 p.m. “New School” Friday, February 28, the official Lowe’s Day, will feature Mack Wilds at 9 p.m. and on “Super Saturday,” March 1, Monica will perform at 6:30 p.m.
CIAA Fan Experience Hours:
- Thursday, February 27, 5 – 10 p.m. – presented by Toyota
- Friday, February 28, 5:30 – 10 a.m., for the Yolanda Adams Morning Show
- Friday, February 28, 5 – 10 p.m. – presented by Lowe’s
- Saturday, March 1, 12 – 8 p.m. – presented by Toyota
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.
Kitchapalooza 3: Tournament Edition 2014 Pop Life party with three buildings (Cosmos, Phoenix and Re:Public), one alley one host (Power 98’s No Limit Larry) and six DJs (DJ Skillz, DJ Shaun Nyce, DJ Hot Rod, DJ Ngenius, DJ CK & DJ 360). For tables and bottle service, call Tami at 980-322-9859. Free admission. Feb. 26, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. 300 N. College St.www.thesolkitchen.com/category/ciaa/.
TRYST: Brunch & Day Party Eddietainment, A.C.T. Productions and Dynasty 5 present this day party with music by DJ Paradime and DJ Tayrock from Atlanta. For more information, visit http://www.eventbrite.com and search “TRYST: Brunch & Day Party” or click here. Free admission before 1 p.m. Feb. 28, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Vapiano, 201 S. Tryon St.
I should be able to catch some of this on Sunday:
Ninth Annual Panache Farewell Brunch
Order from a delicious à la carte menu, while enjoying music from a live band. Brought to you by Digital Divas. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Free admission; reservations encouraged but walk-ins are welcome. Ruth’s Chris Uptown, 222 S. Tryon St., digitaldivasevents.com
Farewell: The Last Day Party
Don’t leave town just yet. This day party will be hosted by DJ Biggs, with music from DJ Skillz, DJ Lonnie B, and DJ Self from New York City. Brought to you by Eddietainment Inc., J&J Entertainment Group, Pearl Vision, and Eddleton Events. Noon-7 p.m. Free admission. Suite, at EpiCentre, 210 E. Trade St., eddietainment.com
That’s My DJ Midday Sunday Send-Off
After rocking parties for the last few days, several DJs are coming together under one roof, including DJ SNS, DJ Kash, DJ Pnut, DJ MC, and DJ Bro-Rabb. Brought to you by BestFriendz Entertainment. Noon-11:30 p.m. RSVP for free admission before 4 p.m.; VIP tables available. Whisky River, at EpiCentre, 210 E. Trade St.,thatsmydj.eventbrite.com
Author Reading and Book Signing
Author and former Charlotte resident La Toya Hankins will read from and sign copies of her latest novel, K:Rho—The Sweet Taste of Sisterhood
, which focuses on sorority life, LGBT issues, and the power of friendship. She will also discuss her first novel, SBF Seeking
, which is set in North Carolina and features the CIAA weekend as one of the major plotlines. The books will be for sale and a portion of the proceeds will go to Charlotte area nonprofits. Refreshments will be provided. 2 p.m. Free admission. Zetas of Charlotte, 4248 Beatties Ford Rd.,latoyahankins.com
I would suggest the step show, but it’s sold out already. if you have never been to one, ‘Boy are you missing something incredible. There is NOTHING like a HBCU!
A List of Colleges and Universities in the CIAA
CIAA 2014 Radio
Have fun & be safe,