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ICE CREAM DAY July is National Ice Cream Month. Be a part of the celebration with Mayfield Dairy Farms. The popular ice cream brand will hand out free samples of its four new flavors to help with the decision of which one becomes a permanent part of the Mayfield line. This event will be at Polk Park, located downtown at the corner of Trade and Tryon. Friday, July 21, 11am-2pm. For more info, check out www.mayfielddiary.com or call 1-800-629-3435.

SUMMER RETRO FILM SERIES Check out film classics all summer long at the Ballantyne Village Theatre, 14815 John J. Delaney Dr. Get the complete schedule at www.ballantynevillage.com, and order tickets online or by calling 704-369-5101. July 21-23: Raiders of the Lost Ark; July 28-30: Jaws; Aug. 4-6: Billy Madison. June 9-Aug. 6, Friday-Saturday, 10pm and midnight; Sunday, 1pm. $5.

WOMEN'S SELF-DEFENSE SEMINAR With violent crimes on the rise, it pays to be prepared for anything. That's what this free seminar, "Practical Personal Protection for Women," is all about. Top martial arts instructors will teach women basic techniques like having a survival mind-set, raising your level of awareness and readiness, the use of common self-defense tools such as pepper sprays, and most importantly -- how to survive an assault. The seminar is Saturday, July 22, from 10am-1pm at Hard Target Martial Arts. Call 704-676-9292 or go to www.hardtargetmartialarts.com for more details.

FROM BUSBY TO BOLLYWOOD: CLASSIC MUSICALS The Main Library's Summer Film Series will present its latest season at its new viewing venue in ImaginOn's Wachovia Theatre. Films throughout the summer will be shown at 2pm Sundays. Remaining titles: Oklahoma! (July 23); Hair (July 30); Devdas (August 6). Admission is free. For further info, call 704-336-6217 or go to www.plcmc.org.

PARTY IN THE PARK Summer is the perfect time for outdoor dining. How about a picnic in one of Charlotte's beautiful parks, complete with a serenade of live music to help with that digestion? The YMCA of Greater Charlotte is sponsoring this event for the whole family. Games and activities are available for all ages. No picnic is required, but it's free for those who bring their own. Fridays: July 14, 21, 28, at 6:30pm. $5 adults/$3 for children. Call 704-716-4600 for more info. www.ymcacharlotte.org.

"VISIT" TO BOLLYWOOD Just to treat you to a special encore after the July 25 opening at Belk Theater, cast members from the touring Broadway company of Bombay Dreams will perform (for free!) musical numbers from their show, in the Main Library auditorium, from 12:15-1:00pm. Info at http://plcmc.org/programs.

SHINDIG ON THE GREEN Put on your dancing ... clogs and hike on up to Asheville for the 40th season of music and dance, Appalachian-style. Shindig on the Green celebrates the rich heritage of this great region with showcases featuring folk musicians and dancers, old-time string bands, ballad singers (reminiscent of O Brother Where Art Thou), storytellers and, of course, cloggers! Bring a lawn chair or blanket and cuddle up to the sounds of the mountain. The show will be held this year at Martin Luther King Jr. Park in downtown Asheville. Runs Saturdays: July 15, 22; Aug. 12, 19, 26; and Sept. 2. Reserve your tickets at 828-258-6101 x345. Web: www.folkheritage.org.

SALSA NIGHTS Be Shakira for a night and prove that your "Hips Don't Lie" at the free Latin-style dance lessons offered at the Loft, 1526 Elizabeth Ave. Learn salsa, merengue, bachata and more. Touting "celebrity instructors," this joint gets hips swiveling every Wednesday night at 8pm. Hit www.hispanos-usa.com or call 704-333-5898.

WHERE IS THE LOVE? Assuming you've seen Busta Rhymes' new video "I Love My Chick" in which he and Gabrielle Union spoof Brangelina's Mr. and Mrs. Smith, you're fully aware of how important it is to communicate effectively. That's where this free open forum/networking event comes in. Men and women talking, not just reacting. Antonio Anderson and Sara White, widow of NFL great Reggie White, will serve as co-hosts. Be at the Dilworth Neighborhood Grille, Thursday, July 20, at 7:45pm. Call 704-377-3808 or e-mail: nottheaveragechicks@yahoo.com.

SUMMER SHOOTOUT SERIES Here's something to do this summer the kids will love. Kids: imagine, if you will, watching a school bus, that big yellow monstrosity that takes you to the worst place on earth, hurtling towards another one on a one-way collision course. Sounds good, huh? The rundown: 10 races over nine weeks (June 16-Aug. 8) with a fireworks doubleheader, character-themed race cars called CRASHcars, Legends Car, Thunder Roadster and Bandolero racing. Grab the kids and race to Lowe's Motor Speedway. Hit 'em up at 1-800-455-3267 or www.lowesmotorspeedway.com. $5 adults/$3 children (ages 6-12).

= FREE!

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