Thousands of people headed to Charlotte for the popular college athletic conference, Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA), which is well underway in the Queen City. Festivities began Monday with a Tip-Off Luncheon, however there are still some events going on. Celebrations will continue to run through Sunday with a multitude of club openings, fundraisers and of course, basketball.
Among the throngs of visitors, several big names from the music, movie and sport industries are rumored to appear, such as Sean Puffy Combs, a.k.a. P. Diddy and R. Kelly. Renowned for her love of basketball, Michelle Obama stopped by the city during the conference last year, which has returning fans keeping an eye out for the sporty First Lady. Although centered around five days of women’s and men’s college basketball, there are many exclusive festivities to partake in after hours. As a result, Charlotte’s many businesses are eagerly anticipating the event; according to Fox Charlotte, the 2012 CIAA brought nearly 200,000 guests to the Queen City and $50 million in revenue.
Photo Courtesy of CIAA Tournament
Games take place at the Time Warner Cable Arena with 12 CIAA schools competing for Saturday’s championship game. The women’s team kicked off with an 11 a.m. match on Tuesday, while the men’s game started at 7 p.m. On opening day, Jazz Diva Events and CBS Radio presented "Tuesday Night Jazz," at the exclusive venue, Label for an evening of contemporary jazz music featuring Eric Darius. Visitors who preferred networking over entertainment opted to join local journalists and media types at the WXYZ Bar inside the Aloft Hotel for the "Tournament Week Media Mixer."
Photo Courtesy of Thinkstock/iStockphoto
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Celebrity appearances over the five days will be numerous. On Wednesday, founder and CEO of FUBU, (as well as a guest personality on the ABC series Shark Tank) Daymond John spoke at Byron’s South End at 2:30 pm. He discussed business growth at "Taking your Business to the Next Level: A Conversation with Daymond John." For the evening hours, cigar enthusiasts mingled with other like-minded folk during the VIP "Suits and Ashes: A Gentleman's Experience." The event included an open scotch bar, two premium cigars, appetizers and entertainment from 10 until midnight at the Lashes & Mustaches upscale portable cigar lounge ($100). In addition to the parties, there were fundraisers such as the black-tie "Party with a Purpose," benefiting Payton’s Place Child Abuse Advocacy Center.
Photo Courtesy of Phoenix
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Thursday night’s entertainment featured performances by old-school artists like Bell Biv Devoe, Kid Capri and ‘90’s female group SWV at The Oasis Party, between Eighth and Ninth streets. Guests reserved VIP cabanas and tents while reliving the spirit of the 90’s. Edgy Charlotte-based entertainment venue, Phoenix played host to “The Pink Groove VIII," presented by the ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Rho Psi Omega Chapter. VIP tickets were $50 and part of the proceeds went towards the Rho Psi Omega scholarship fund. At Charlotte City Club, Ida Divine & The Garvey Collective performed live for “The Premiere Tournament Kickoff," while "Luxe 2013: The Ultimate Upscale Tournament Experience," (which began on February 28, 2013, but will convene over three days)started up inside the new upscale club, 505 E (VIP admission ranges from $50 to $95).
Photo Courtesy of the Westin Charlotte
Friday, March 1, 2013
Happenings on Friday present guests with an opportunity to see big names like Jermaine Dupri, DJ Jazzy Jeff and Biz Markie as well as a chance to meet Team Breezy’s Chris Brown. Luxury hotels throughout the city will be hosting events. Sponsored by Grey Goose Cherry Noir, The Westin Charlotte will offer guests the chance to mingle with Trey Songz, Kenny Burns and DJ Koot. Guests can also spend the evening inside Ritz-Carlton ballroom, dancing to music and enjoying beautiful views of the city during the "Gorgeous at the Ritz" event. Reserve The Five-Star VIP table, which seats six, for $650. Visitors can also soak up the city while grooving on the Hyatt House Uptown glass rooftop dance floor, overlaying the pool. The Hyatt House’s "Hall Pass: Rooftop Day Party" will take place from noon until 6 p.m.
Photo Courtesy of Lake Norman
Saturday, March 2, 2013
Saturday night culminates with a concert by Chaka Khan, but before the grand finale guests can enjoy a day on Kings Point Marina for the "Yacht Day Party" event. Located on Lake Norman, guests will board one of the marina’s beautiful yachts and enjoy complimentary food, cocktails and a DJ from one in the afternoon to six in the evening. Tickets are also available for performances by Drake at Cameo, Ludacris at Whisky River, the Braxtons at Privilege and T.I. at Label. We speculate that no matter what your priorities are, meeting celebrities or watching basketball, you will not be at a loss for options.