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Winter's cold weather has barely set in, but our ice skating rink is about to close for the season (go figure 8). The Outdoor Ice Rink on the Green in Uptown will be frozen for your skating pleasure only through 10pm this Sunday, so if you want to check it out, you'd better hurry. It's $5 to skate and $3 for skate rentals. can give you more details. (Vespa)

The Continental Tire Bowl Street Party closes down Tryon between 3rd and 5th from 11am to 11pm today as hordes of football fans overflow the Square. Plenty of food, beverages, and team merchandise will be available, along with games and entertainment -- including live music by Cherry Bomb, Lantana, and Charity Case on the Papa John's Party Stage. The stage is also the setting for the giant pep rally from 5-6:30pm. The party continues tomorrow from 9am to 12:30pm. For more info, call 704-332-2227. (Vespa)

If football and rowdy crowds aren't your favorite way to wind down the year, an evening at the Booth Playhouse might be more to your liking. Charlotte Rep's production of I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change ends right along with 2004. Tickets for tonight and tomorrow's 7:30pm performances are $37.50; there are two performances on Friday, at 5pm and 9pm. Tickets for these special New Year's Eve performances are $50, and they include complimentary valet parking, champagne and party favors. For tickets, call the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center at 704-372-1000. (Vespa)


For once, there may be a substantial number of actual, for-real Charlotteans at the Continental Tire Bowl. The bowl game that in the past couple of years has brought a zillion visitors to the city may only bring, oh, a half-zillion this year, as Boston College fans head to Charlotte's warmer climes to watch their Eagles (8-3) take on the University of North Carolina Tar Heels (6-5). The other half-zillion will come from Charlotte and other NC towns to root for the underdog Heels. The game, at Bank of America stadium, begins at 1pm, and will be televised on ESPN2. Tickets range from $27.50 to $67.50 and can be purchased through Ticketmaster. Call 704-522-6500. (Grooms)


The Square at Trade and Tryon is the place to be for the Uptown Downtown Countdown to 2005. Ring out the old year with thousands of your closest friends, shout above the music, partake in the funnel cakes and other greasy street fare, and be dazzled by the fireworks display at midnight. The event is free; food and beverages will be available for sale (beer trucks will require proper ID). The revelry is from 9pm to 1am. For more info, visit By the way, new research has verified that what you've always been told is true: if you don't have a hot date on New Year's Eve and/or you don't have the greatest time of your life tonight at the most fabulous party in town, you are a complete loser. For the irony deprived, please note that the previous sentence is not exactly true. (Vespa)

The Avett Brothers, Seth Avett (vocals, guitar), Scott Avett (vocals, banjo), and Bob Crawford (upright bass, vocals), add loads of Carolina harmony with the abandon of punk rockers to their rousing take on American music. In place of a drummer, the brothers highlight their songs with foot pedals on drum and cymbal. Most of the new record Live Volume 2 was recorded at the same venue last year. This show will invariably sell out so jump on it early. There's also the requisite champagne toast at midnight to bring in the New Year. With Columbia's great Danielle Howle and Just About To Burn. At the Neighborhood Theatre, 9pm. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 day of show. For further details: 704-358-9298 or (Shukla)

The Charlotte Bobcats take on surefire All-Stars Ray Allen, Rashard Lewis and the red-hot, lights-out-shooting Seattle Supersonics tonight at 7pm at the Charlotte Coliseum. Tickets are $10-$115, available at or by calling 704-522-6500. (Davis)


The Carolina Panthers have a tremendous shot at making the playoffs, so they'll be pretty fired up when they meet the New Orleans Saints at Bank of America stadium at 1pm in their final game of the regular season. They defeated the Saints a few weeks ago in New Orleans, but this late in the season, anything's possible. They say the game is sold out, but it might be worth a shot to go to (Grooms)


Viva Klezmer! is the first First Tuesday Concert of the year, and it's sponsored by WDAV, the classical public radio station up the road. As the name implies, the featured musicians, Gene Kavadlo, Ali Kavadlo, Mike Moseley, and Ron Brendle, play klezmer music, which is commonly described as East European-based Jewish folk music. The Noon (12:10pm) and AfterWork (5:30pm) concerts are free at St. Peter's Episcopal Church on the corner of 7th and N. Tryon. A free reception will be held at the Hodges Taylor Gallery after the 5:30 concert. Call 704-335-0009 for more info. (Vespa)

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