Kersey Valley offers a range of family fun for everyone. Its laser tag course plunges competitors into military-style battles through more than 20 different firefight scenarios across 55 acres of battlefields. Lasers modeled after MP5 submachine guns fire over 1,000 feet during assassination missions or airstrike missions when the staff careens through the air on ziplines while trying to pick players off. The zipline adventure tours prove equally thrilling for Kersey Valley visitors, who glide through the skies across 14 legs of sail-ways that stretch between 200 and 800 feet per leg. Some first-time riders prefer to stretch their aerial time to the max by zipping more than 800 feet long in one run. Those who prefer to keep their amusements more grounded may frolic through seasonal, family-themed adventures, including the Maize Adventure and the Kersey Valley Spookywoods.
In addition to the sense of perseverance and accomplishment that comes with finishing a 5K, the organizers of the Bacon Chase have added another incentive: bacon. During their two races?the 5K Piggy Pilgrimage, which is a traditional 5K, and the 0.05K Blitz to Bacon, which is a 164-foot sprint?runners can munch on unlimited bacon bits before feasting on unlimited amounts of bacon at the finish line. Runners 21 and older can wash down the savory strips of bacon with a bloody mary, and all runners get a Bacon Chase T-shirt and a signature bacon-scented bib. The festival opens at 8 a.m. and features many bacon-themed activities, plus music.
The festive day serves a greater purpose, too. Attendees will be able to register to become a St. Jude Hero, raise money for St. Jude Children?s Research Hospital, or both.
Originally opened in 1927, the Genesee Theatre slowly deteriorated over the course of the century until its closing in 1989. But starting in 2001, a $23 million cash infusion from the city allowed 120 volunteers to restore the theater to its Gilded Age splendor. Its elegant trappings include authentic wall fabrics, an exact replica of the original marquee, and a 2,200-pound chandelier that gently spotlights the grand lobby and every audience member passing underneath to show how everyone is a star if you really think about it.
Throughout the Charlotte Film Festival, projectors will flicker with fresh-faced and classic cinema spanning the subject-style spectrum. From compelling documentaries to inventive indie flicks, highlights include Skateland, a roller-skate-riddled homage to the early ’80s featuring Twilight’s Ashley Greene, and Japanese director Nobuhiko Obayashi's 1977 oddity House, a colorful blend of evil spirits, collages, and psychedelic schoolgirls. Also on the weeknight docket are two soon-to-be-announced award-winning features in the documentary and narrative categories, both of which will face stiff competition from current favorite Flubber. For a crisp picture of what's to come, check out the full schedule and synopsis listings online.
The Taste of Charlotte unrolls a five-block red carpet of family-friendly merriment, presenting culinary celebrations from area restaurants, live music, and myriad entertainment options. Use the coins to score smoky samples from 2010 Best of the Taste winner Outlaw BBQ Shack or a decadent delight from Divine Pies Bakery (restaurant samples range from one to three coins). Take shelter from stampeding herds of street performers at the Tavern, in which hardworking taste buds can treat themselves to soothing sips of New Belgium beers and Twisted wines, including pinot grigio and moscato (beverages range from two to four coins).
• For $40, you get two general-admission lawn tickets (a $62 value before fees, or up to an $80 value online, including all Ticketmaster fees). • For $58, you get two tickets for seating in sections 4–9 or 10–15 (a $90 value before fees, or up to a $115 value online, including all ticketing fees).