See-Eye-Double-Aye! Top-20 Party Picks for CIAA Week 2014

There are hundreds of parties to choose from February 25 - March 1 in Charlotte. Here’s help in narrowing them down
Many of you are CIAA party veterans at this point. But even for the most-skilled partier, it challenges your abilities to decide which handful of the 200-plus parties taking place during CIAA Week you plan to attend. So if you’re a novice, bless your heart. 
You all have been scouring the party lists for weeks—we began publishing them at in late January, and have one more update to do—but now it’s almost game time (literally speaking if you decide to attend a tournament game, which you should). 
Countless people have asked me, whether in person while I’m out, through email, or text message, “which CIAA parties do you recommend” or “which CIAA parties are you going to.” I appreciate that they hold my opinion in high regard, but here’s how I can best guide them and you. With so many parties going on, there’s no one “it” party; there will be several “it” parties. There will also be a few busts. My best advice is that you pick the events whose descriptions most appeal to you, do a little research on the venue and the promoter putting it on, if applicable, and you and your friends decide, buy your tickets in advance (the prices have already been going up); then go there and drink, dance, and be merry.
But because I have such a big heart, I’ve done some of the leg work for you, and am offering up my top-20 (23 if you’re counting) party picks over five days for CIAA Week, with Friday and Saturday divided into day and night parties (in no particular order other than the date). Make it do what it do, baby!

Tuesday, February 25

The Happiest Hours: After-Work Tournament Mixer
Mix and mingle after work, enjoying neo-soul and hip-hop classics early in the evening by Mike Kitchen. Then later in the night, the energy will be turned up with music DJ Shogun. Brought to you by FAZE Inc., The Sol Kitchen, Eddietainment, and The Grays. 6 p.m.-midnight. Free admission before 9 p.m.; VIP tables available. Suite, at EpiCentre, 210 E. Trade St.,

Wednesday, February 26

Frolic: The Social Climb
It’s a “boss lady collaboration” between Talk of the Town, Digital Divas, and The Jazz Diva, and they invite you to come out and enjoy live jazz and R&B from The Shades of Brown Trio, along with DJ Flemingo. 6-11 p.m. $15 in advance. Sip, 200 N. Tryon St.,
Pop Life Presents Kitchapalooza 3: Tournament Edition 2014
It’s a huge party, spread across three venues and featuring six DJs: Skillz, Shaun Nyce, Hot Rod, Ngenius, CK, and 360. Hosted by Power 98 FM’s No Limit Larry. Brought to you by The Sol Kitchen. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Free Admission; for VIP tables, District 300—Cosmos Café, Phoenix, and Re:Public, 300 N. College St.,

Thursday, February 27

Fourth Annual Charlotte Black Film Festival (through March 1)
This festival will include screenings of independent films that express the African-American experience, as well panel discussions, hands-on workshops, and networking events. The schedule also includes the Vision Awards, which recognizes the achievements of emerging actors, composers, screenwriters, and directors. Ticket prices vary. UNC Charlotte Center City, 340 E. 9th St.,
CLT Tournament Tip Off
Start your tournament weekend with Charlotte’s young and fabulous, including alumni, fans, and friends of Bowie State, Chowan, Elizabeth City State, Fayetteville State, Livingstone, JCSU, Lincoln University, Livingstone College, Saint Augustine, Shaw University, Virginia State, Virginia Union, and Winston Salem State. The event includes complimentary food from Terrace Café, and free beer and wine. Music by DJ OP. Hosted by Pride Public Relations, WGIV 103.3 FM and JCSU’s Charlotte Alumni Chapter. 5-10 p.m. $10 in advance. Tilt on Trade, 127 W. Trade St.,
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.,
Fourth Annual All-Tournament Alumni Mixer
Innertwyned Music, the live band behind R&B stars Anthony Hamilton and Tamia, will provide the musical soundscape along with DJ Rob Stacks from Virginia. You’ll also be able view the new episode of hit television show Scandal upstairs in the hookah lounge. Food and drink specials all night. A portion of proceeds will go to the CIAA Scholarship Fund. Brought to you by TMB Marketing Firm. 8 p.m.-2 a.m. General admission, $20 in advance; VIP, $50. Tanner’s Bistro & Lounge, 505 E. Sixth St.,

Friday, February 28


[Day Events/Parties]

Watch the Throne: CIAA Greek Day Party
This is an official day party of the CIAA. Two DJs, two levels, and a heated patio. In partnership with NXL21 Charlotte and Earthquake Productions. 2-7 p.m. $20 in advance. Ri Ra Irish Pub, 208 N. Tryon St.,
Good Times Day Party with Doug E. Fresh
Party with hip hop legend Doug E. Fresh, along with music by DJ C-Rob, There’ll be drink specials and a special $10 food menu. Hosted by Moxie Society, 100 Black Men of Charlotte, Deltas of Charlotte Foundation, A.E. Grier & Sons, and We Run ECU. 2-7 p.m. $20 in advance. VBGB, at NC Music Factory, 920 Hamilton St.,
Ninth Annual Déjà Vu
Come ready to party the day away, with music from DJ Daddy D. Large bar and lunch menu available. Ages 30 and older preferred. Brought to you by Digital Divas. 1-7 p.m. $20 and up; VIP seating available. Blue Restaurant and Bar, 206 N. College St. (corner of 5th and College streets),

[Night Events/Parties]

50 Shades of Blue Volume II
Sophisticated party revelers are encouraged to partake in this celebration as DJ C-Rob returns. Featuring a late-night menu, an array of specialty cocktails, and hors d’oeuvres. Brought to you by Dre Brown, James Rickmond, and Herb and Felicia Gray. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. $20 and up in advance. Blue Restaurant and Bar, 206 N. College St. (corner of 5th and College streets),
Party with a Purpose
Come dressed to impress, walk the red carpet, and enjoy this night of partying to help a great cause. All proceeds will benefit A Child’s Place, which supports and raises awareness about child homelessness in the African-American community in Charlotte. Music by DJ Mark, and a photographer will be on hand. Ages 30 and older preferred. Brought to you by Rudy and Natalie Brown, Ramona Halloway, Dirty Eight Productions, and BLT Steak. 10 p.m.-3 a.m. $50 in advance; $60 at the door; private tables available. BLT Steak, at The Ritz-Carlton, 110 N. College St.,
Fabolous Live
Come party with chart-topping rapper Fabolous, hosted by DJ Kyra Chaos and D’usse brand ambassador Mr. Rugs. Brought to you by Lou LV and Big Tex. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. $30 and up in advance; VIP tables available. Studio Movie Grill, at EpiCentre, 210 E. Trade St.,
Divas Night Out: The Black Hollywood Edition
The big party under the big tent returns, and this night will feature a live performance by Tamar Braxton, hosted by Morris Chestnut. Brought to you by Digital Divas, Kam + Kam Entertainment, and Jigga Entertainment. 9 p.m.-3 a.m. General admission, $25 in advance; VIP admission, $40; VIP tables and cabanas also available. Oasis Party at The Tent, 514 N. College St. (between Eighth and Ninth streets),

Saturday, March 1


[Day Events/Parties]

Ninth Annual Day Party Headquarters—Turned Up
Held at Fox and Hound each of the last several years, this two-day day party has a new home, but you can expect the same good times. Hosted by Big Tigger and Tab D’Biassi, with music by four DJs: Shakim, Flemingo, Big Cutz, and a special surprise DJ. Party on two levels and the heated patio, with 40 TVs, live entertainment, and food and drinks served all night. Brought to you by Talk of the Town, LK & R&R Productions. Noon-midnight. $30 in advance. The Saloon and The Comedy Zone, at NC Music Factory, 900 NC Music Factory Blvd.,
The Ultimate Day Party: Saturday Edition
Charlotte’s old school and R&B station, WBAV 101.9 FM, hosts you at this champagne bar and lounge. Music by DJ Chase. Noon-6 p.m. $15 in advance; VIP tables available. Bubble Charlotte, 210 E. Trade St.,
DJ Kid Capri’s Annual Master of the Mix Day Party
The legendary Kid Capri will grace the turntables. Party being put on by IMM, TC Entertainment, and Harding Law. 1-7 p.m. $30 and up in advance; VIP tables available. Phoenix Nightclub, 300 N. College St.,
Cufflinks and Cocktails: The Day Party
This sophisticated, monthly after-work event goes dayside for tournament weekend. Music by DJ Moe. Brought to you by the Charlotte Kappas. 1-6 p.m. $20 and up in advance. Enso Asian Bistro and Sushi Bar, at EpiCentre, 210 E. Trade St.,

[Night Events/Parties]

The Finale with Kevin Hart
Popular comedian and movie star Kevin Hart hosts this party, with music by DJ P-nut. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. $30 and up in advance; VIP tables available. Vanity Charlotte Nightclub, 500 W. 5th St.,
Lil Wayne YMCMB Takeover
Come party with the hip hop superstar at Charlotte’s “mega club.” Brought to you by Jacob York and BestFriendz. 10 p.m. General admission, $60 in advance; VIP admission, $100; VIP tables available. Label, 900 NC Music Factory Blvd.,
The Westin Experience (Saturday)
Multiple DJs will play your favorites in hip hop, R&B, old-school, and reggae at this party that takes place on back-to-back nights. Brought to you by Velvet Enterprise and The A List. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. General admission, $30 in advance; VIP admission, $50; VIP tables available. The Westin Charlotte, 601 S. College St.,
Red Carpet Rooftop Grand Finale Starring Pooch Hall
The actor many came to love as Derwin Davis on The Game, Pooch Hall hosts this party. Indulge in a night of opulence. Brought to you by Culture19 Entertainment. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. $15 and up in advance. Pavilion at EpiCentre, 210 E. Trade St.,
Charlotte Takeover: Hosted by Future, Diddy, and Fabolous
Three of the biggest names in hip hop will undoubtedly draw a large crowd to this party, taking place at one of uptown’s most recently renovated hotels. Brought to you by Sherod Promotions and AG Entertainment. 9 p.m. General admission, $50 in advance; VIP admission $100; VIP tables available. Sheraton Charlotte Hotel, 555 S. McDowell St.,
Verify dates, times, prices, and other info at the web addresses listed for each event. Follow me on Twitter @HollidayInk.

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Categories: CIAA, Dusk Till Dawn