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In less than 12 hours, I was saturated in Asian and black culture all on a Saturday in the Q.C. My day started on Lake Norman for the annual Charlotte Dragonboat Festival. Dozens of organizations and businesses sponsored boats to participate in the races on the lake.

The event was part of the annual Asian Festival, which also featured a pageant and performances. I was there to shoot video for Crossroads Charlotte, but I also got to paddle in one of the boats.

If you’ve never been to the festival or paddled a dragonboat, make a point to go next year. It’s fun, free, and a great way to experience the city’s rich culture.

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After racing dragonboats, I spent Saturday afternoon at the Connections Underground Railroad Project. The community organization, spearheaded by Jay Ferguson (atty James Ferguson’s son), partnered with the Charlotte Symphony Youth Orchestra to present “Toward a Life of Liberty: Chronicling the Paths from Slavery to Freedom.”

During the program, teen leaders shared what they learned about slavery and the underground railroad. The event was at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Charlotte. On Sunday, the Charlotte Youth Symphony Orchestra presented “Song of the Bitter Cup: Composing Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl” at CPCC.

Just another weekend in the Q.C.