Mark your calendar with these May must-dos

May 3

Some of Charlotte’s finest designers will create stunning tablescapes at the 30th-annual Festival of Tables, hosted by the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary at the Sheraton Charlotte Hotel, 555 S. McDowell St. The event will feature a silent auction, luncheon, and guest speaker Jane McIntyre, former executive director of the United Way of Central Carolinas. Proceeds benefit homeless women and children and provide scholarships for children in the Boys & Girls clubs. Cost is $55 per ticket.


May 5

Get festive during the Derby Days fundraiser presented by the Young Affiliates of the Mint to benefit their annual fund, which supports school tours of the Mint’s galleries to underprivileged CMS students. The annual event—scheduled for 3-7 p.m. on the lawn of the Mint Museum Randolph, 2730 Randolph Road—usually draws about 450 young professionals donning traditional Derby attire for live music, lawn games, mint juleps, food trucks, a raffle, and a large-screen viewing of the Kentucky Derby. Tickets range from $45 to $80.


May 12

Stop in and stay a while at the Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival, held at Symphony Park at SouthPark Mall, where you get samples of more than 60 beers and 40 bourbons, as well as a la carte ’cue with all the fixings. Enjoy live rock, blues, and bluegrass music, along with seminars with master distillers, brew masters, and pit masters. The regular session is 2 p.m.-6 p.m. (VIP gets in two hours earlier), and tickets start at $39.


May 17

Meet lauded Barcelona-based artist Martin Frias in person at the “Infinite Inspiration” exhibition at Allison Sprock Fine Art, 600 Queens Road. Once a friend of Salvador Dali, Frias was once commissioned to photograph and paint portraits of Princess Grace Kelly by the Royal Family of Monaco, though most of his photography is centered on rock music and its stars, from Mick Jagger to Carlos Santana to Bob Dylan. Event runs from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.


May 18-25

See the final 36 hours in the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Opera Carolina’s performance of I Dream at the Knight Theater. The story is told through flashbacks to the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement and King’s journey, alongside his wife, Coretta. Composed by Douglas Tappin, the production fuses classic, jazz, contemporary, and Broadway styles to show the enduring power—and immediacy—of King’s message. Tickets start at $20.