CIAA Is Taking Over

In the Agenda section of our March issue, we promised to give you a list of events taking place during CIAA Week, February 25 through March 1. CIAA, which stands for Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association, is a conference made up of eleven historically black colleges and universities, including Johnson C. Smith University. For the third consecutive year, the CIAA is hosting its six-day men and women's basketball tournament here.

While the CIAA sponsors several social events surrounding the tournament, the list of festivities is dominated by individual event planners and promoters who are looking to capitalize on the more than 150,000 people that are expected to come to town. So the list of events surpasses the hundred count. It's almost overwhelming. But that's a good thing. For one week, Charlotte will be a mecca of entertainment and cultural events.

Now, back to the aforementioned promised list, local entertainment Web site has that on lock. We recommend you visiting its event page for a long, long list of events to choose from. The Charlotte Observer's entertainment columnist Sarah Aarthun has compiled a really extensive list as well. For the third year in a row, The O is doing a great job providing up-to-date CIAA coverage. And the CIAA has a site that lists its officially sanctioned events.

And finally, check out the star power. Here's a list of celebrities who are confirmed to perform or host events during CIAA Week throughout the city. And this doesn't include the dozens more who will undoubtedly drop in for a visit (past CIAA guests have included the likes of Diddy, Magic Johnson, and Shaquille O'Neal). Keep your autograph books handy!

CIAA Celebrity Count

  • Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr.
  • Comedian Steve Harvey
  • Rapper Fat Joe
  • Hip-hop legend Doug E. Fresh
  • Hip-hop mogul (and Janet Jackson's boyfriend) Jermaine Dupri
  • Funk icons George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic
  • Actor Idris Elba
  • Actor Morris Chestnut
  • Hip-hop legend MC Lyte
  • NBA greats Horace Grant and Robert Parish
  • Jazz man and Go-Go pioneer Chuck Brown
  • R&B legends The Manhattans
  • Rapper Da Brat
  • Rapper Bow Wow and R&B singer Omarion
  • R&B legend Regina Belle
  • R&B singer Keith Sweat
  • Rapper Fabolous
  • Rapper Lil Kim
  • Gospel singer CeCe Winans
  • Rapper Chingy
  • BET's Big Tigger