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See & Do

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MAY 27 - THURSDAY
Racefans, start your engines! Food Lion Speed Street takes over uptown Charlotte today through Saturday from 11am-midnight. Tables, tents and stages set up on Tryon Street between Stonewall and 7th Streets offer music, food, driver appearances and autograph sessions, and most importantly, great people-watching. Headliners this year include Three Dog Night on Thursday, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts on Friday, and Creedence Clearwater Revisited on Saturday. The festival's free, but the beer and food are not so be sure to bring plenty of pocket change. Call 704-455-6814 or visit www.600festival.com for a complete schedule of events. (Grossman)

MAY 28 - FRIDAY
During a break between acts at a recent show I listened in as two local musicians debated the relative merits of the ageless Canadian power trio Rush. It struck me that it was because of -- and not despite of -- the band's unabashed, geek-friendly fascination with all things sci-fi and prog rock-y that they retained their relevancy more than 30 years after the release of their debut. Unswerving loyalty to those same artistic principles -- not to mention Geddy Lee's eunuch-esque screech, Neil Peart's octopus-like drumming and Alex Lifeson's uber-angular guitar riffs - has earned the band grudging respect even in the most cynical circles. If you care to indulge that guilty pleasure, it'll cost you: they'll be at the Verizon Ampitheater Friday starting at 7:30pm, and tickets run from $25 for the lawn to $75 for the Gold Circle seats. For information or tickets you have no choice but to go to www.ticketmaster.com. (Schacht)

The Charlotte Sting play two more home games at the Charlotte Coliseum before venturing to Connecticut for their first regular season away game. Tonight, they host the Indiana Fever and on Tuesday, they take on the New York Liberty. Both games start at 7pm. Individual game tickets range from $10-$59 and may be purchased by calling 1-877-WNBA-TIX. (Grossman)

MAY 29 - SATURDAY
A new exhibit opens at the Mint Museum of Art today that addresses various themes in contemporary art from the 1960s onward. Revelation: A Fresh Look at Contemporary Collections includes paintings, sculptures, photographs and works on paper by notable artists such as Andy Warhol, Chuck Close, Robert Rauschenberg and Donald Sultan. Half of the 60 works are from the Mint collection and the other half come from area collections. The exhibit runs through Sept. 19. Admission to the Mint (2730 Randolph Rd.) includes same-day entry to the Mint Museum of Craft + Design in uptown Charlotte: $6 adults, $5 seniors $3 students and free for members and children 6 and under. Call 704-337-2000 for further information.

The NASCAR Busch Series Carquest Auto Parts 300 will begin today at 1pm at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Something of a AAA-level NASCAR event, the race will likely also feature a few Nextel Cup Series drivers -- Michael Waltrip and hot young comer Kasey Kahne, to name a couple -- amongst seasoned Busch Series pros like David Green. Tickets are $17-$66, available at lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-455-FANS. (Davis)

MAY 30 - SUNDAY
The big event of the Charlotte race season, the Coca-Cola 600, will begin today at Lowe's Motor Speedway beginning at 6:15pm. Fan favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr. will attempt to keep a hold on his Nextel Cup Series points lead over Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth, but the biggest test in this epic-length race is one of endurance. Don't believe us? The mileage accumulated by the drivers in this race is the approximate distance between Philadelphia and Detroit, Michigan. Tickets are $39-$131, available at lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-455-FANS. (Davis)

MAY 31 - MONDAY
It's Memorial Day, the unofficial "beginning of summer." Since it's been hot as a June bride in a feather bed lately, Memorial Day is apparently late. But, you know, it's the South, there's global warming, whaddayou expect? It shouldn't stop you and yours from taking the day off, relaxing, cooking out, partying, running back inside to soak up some air conditioning, and whatever else you plan to do. Have a blast. (Grooms)

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