CL Birthday Bash, World Festival, among this weekend's cheap things to do

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Going out in Charlotte doesn't have to be expensive. In fact, to prove that statement, we've compiled a list of cheap things to do in the Q.C. this weekend. These events may vary, but they're all entertaining and they won't break your bank (piggy banks excluded).

Bark in the Park at Rural Hill: Celebrate canine culture at its finest. The annual festival for dogs will feature booths and information regarding rescues, vendors, giveaways, demonstrations, and contests. Don't miss the annual "pooch" parade. For full event information, visit www.parkandrec.com. Free admission. April 26, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Historic Rural Hill Farm, 4431 Neck Road, Huntersville. 704-875-3113. www.ruralhill.net.

Charlotte World Parade & Festival at Freedom Park: It's one big global affair at this annual festival where nations collide in one fun-fill afternoon. The festival highlights various countries and cultures through informative displays, traditional cuisine and music and dance performances. The Parade of Nations will showcase colorful costumes from folks representing more than 45 countries. For more information, visit www.worldparadefestival.org. Free admission. April 26, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Freedom Park, 1900 East Blvd.

Dances of India at CPCC: The performance features internationally acclaimed performer Dr. Maha Gingrich who leads the dance troupe in traditional, classical and folk Indian dances. The rhythmic movements tell the story of ancient India through costumes, dance, drama and music. The event's signature dance, "Unity in Diversity," will be set to an orchestra. $5-$10. April 26, 4 p.m. CPCC's Halton Theater, 1201 Elizabeth Ave. 704-330-6534. arts.cpcc.edu/.

Creative Loafing's 27th Birthday Bash at Birdsong Brewery: To celebrate CL's 27th birthday, head to Birdsong. The brewery will unveil a new brew called "Loafy's Rye-venge." The Tin Kitchen will be onsite offering a special dish made with Loafy's Rye-venge and King of Pops Charlotte will also be offering up specialty brew pops for the occasion. Birthday cake, too. Free admission. April 26, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Birdsong Brewery, 2315 N. Davidson St. 704-332-1810. www.birdsongbrewing.com.

Hansel and Gretel at UNC Charlotte: The oven is heating up over at UNC Charlotte. The university's department of music is staging Engelbert Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel. The bizarre fairytale opera will be performed with the UNC Charlotte Chamber Orchestra. $4-$6. April 26, 7:30 p.m. and April 27, 2 p.m. UNC Charlotte's Robinson Hall, 9201 University City Blvd. coaa.uncc.edu.

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