Things to Do

How to Celebrate Charlotte's 250th Anniversary in May

This post is brought to you in partnership with Marriott International. All opinions are our own.

Charlotte just gets better with age—especially for being 250 years old. Throughout the past year, the city has been celebrating CLT250, an anniversary celebration to recognize Charlotte’s history and celebrate its future, by hosting a variety of unique events in many of the 199 neighborhoods, public spaces and offices in and around the Queen City.

The grand finale event for CLT250 is Charlotte SHOUT!, a celebration of art, music, food and ideas in Uptown. Get ready to take part in more than 75 concerts, performances, installations and more, promising a unique and unforgettable citywide art, music, food, film and innovation festival.

Marriott International is even joining in on the fun, offering special surprise and delight moments to get guests in the mood to celebrate 250 incredible years in Charlotte. Participating Marriott International hotels will offer guests complimentary goodie bags featuring a coupon book, keepsakes and other delicious items.

If you haven’t gotten your calendar out yet, now’s the time to do so. Here are our don’t-miss picks for exploring Charlotte SHOUT! in May.

Lunch Hour Jazz

May 1-3, 11:45 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.
Jazz Pavilion on the Levine Center for the Arts Plaza

Switch up your normal lunch break by heading to the Jazz Pavilion on the Levine Center for the Arts plaza. The ultimate stress reliever to your day will be listening to some of Charlotte’s best jazz artists. Food trucks will also be on site. This event is FREE.

Ladies Sing the Blues

May 3, 6-11 p.m.
Jazz Garden Tent at Romare Bearden Park

You’re about to be blown away as The Donna Hopkins Band, Deva Mahal and Maria Muldaur each perform a full-length set. Sit back, relax and enjoy the blues all night long. General admission tickets are just $24.50 and get you access to all three performances.


Family First Presented by Novant Health: Sculpting Your Vision

May 4, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture

Learn more about artist Kevin Cole’s story and life experiences through his mixed-media sculptures. Many of these famous works are made to look like neck-ties and blankets. General admission tickets are just $5.


May 9-12, 8 a.m. - midnight
5th St. at 299 N. Tryon St.

Instagram users, listen up. Prismatica is an installation comprised of 50 pivoting prisms that will transform 5th Street into a giant kaleidoscope. Visitors will be able to check out the infinite interplay of lights and colorful reflections, while variable-intensity music is played. Talk about a picture perfect opportunity. This event is FREE.


Anthony Hamilton

May 9, 9-10:30 p.m.
Romare Bearden Lower Park Stage

Don't miss out on Charlotte native and Grammy Award-winning singer Anthony Hamilton perform his incredibly raw music in the Queen City! His latest album, "What I'm Feelin'" stays true to his core, and explores the merge of a life-long journey with a musical evolution. Tickets are just $35.


Umphrey's McGee

May 10, 9-11 p.m.
Romare Bearden Lower Park Stage

Get ready to jam out to American rock band, Umphrey’s McGee at one of the best outdoor venues in Charlotte, Romare Bearden. We’re hoping they play “Can’t Rock My Dream Face” and “In the Kitchen.” Fingers crossed. Tickets are just $35.


There’s never been a better time to visit and celebrate in Charlotte. Whether you’re a local or are looking to get close ones together, there are plenty of family-friendly events to be part of. Charlotte wasn’t named the #1 Most Up-and-Coming City in America by Time magazine and Yelp by accident!

Ready to visit? Book the Then, Now, Next: Celebrate Charlotte’s 250th Birthday package from 12 participating Marriott International hotels in Charlotte and receive a goodie bag with a coupon book of savings for around the city, delicious items, keepsakes and more. Make sure to use the promo code CUE.


Make sure to capture your memories of the celebration by using the hashtags #CLT250 and #Bonvoy.