Love Is Stronger: MLK Celebration

The YWCA of Greater Charleston will continue its celebration of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a parade beginning at 11 a.m. Monday. More than 100 churches, civic groups, businesses, community organizations and regional marching bands will depart from Burke High School, travel along Sumter Street to King Street and down King to Marion Square, turning onto Calhoun Street to pass Mother Emanuel AME Church. This year’s parade marshal will be Chris Singleton, son of Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, who was one of the nine parishioners killed at Emanuel in June 2015. Singleton made a tremendous impact on communities near and far when, on the day after his mother’s death, he told a crowd that “Love is always stronger than hate.”

Immediately following the parade, at approximately 12:30 p.m., there will be a youth speak-out at the College of Charleston’s Science Center Auditorium. This open mic poetry slam will feature known local poets and the first 15 additional applicants will be able to compete for monetary awards and an opportunity to perform at a private youth forum the next day. Poetry slams are designed for participatory crowd responses to the performances and content and are integral to the judging process.

WHEN: 11 a.m. Jan. 16 (parade); approximately 12:30 p.m. youth speak-out

WHERE: Burke High School, 244 President St., downtown Charleston to Marion Square, 329 Meeting St. (parade); College of Charleston’s Science Center Auditorium, Coming and Calhoun streets, downtown Charleston (youth speak-out)

PRICE: Free

MORE INFO: 843-722-1644, www.ywca-charlestonsc.org

Phil the music at Groundhog Day Concert

Although Punxsutawney Phil’s Groundhog Day is on Feb. 2, the Charleston Music Hall and Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art will present their fifth annual Groundhog Day Concert on Friday.

Musical director Bill Carson has put together an eclectic ensemble of local musicians from different genres for an opportunity to “experiment.” In addition to Carson, musicians include Jack Burg, Genevieve Camenisch, John Cobb, Michael Flynn, Jonathan Gray, Joel Hamilton, Kevin Hamilton, Lindsay Holler, Nic Jenkins, Amanda Kapousouz, Aisha Kenyetta, Nathan Koci, Elena Moon Park, Tyler Ross, Charlton Singleton, Mark Sterbank, Leah Suarez and Ron Wiltrout.

The show has been referred to as “a night of musical magic, fantasy, lore and craftsmanship,” which brings to mind a fusion of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and The Beatles’ “Magical Mystery Tour.” These selected artists often collaborate together and have been known to re-create music from the likes of Willie Nelson to INXS and Doc Watson to Etta James.

And who won’t be in attendance? Needlenose Ned Ryerson. Bing!

WHEN: 8 p.m. Jan. 13

WHERE: Charleston Music Hall, 37 John St., downtown Charleston

PRICE: $15 student; $20 gallery; $25 orchestra

MORE INFO: 843-853-2252, www.charlestonmusichall.com

Munch on inaugural Fried Chicken Challenge 

One of the greatest ideas since the Mac-Off comes to fruition Saturday: the inaugural Southern Fried Chicken Challenge. Yes, you read that right. A chance to eat fried chicken all day long. Fried chicken. All day.

Who makes the best fried chicken in the Lowcountry? Local chefs and restaurants will compete for the title, including some you wouldn’t expect to create such a dish. Other festivities will include live music from local party rock band Plane Jane and funk/rock/groove band Tidal Jive. There will be a vendor village with local artisan food and retail vendors and other sundries, as well as a children’s area. Guests are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets. Event proceeds will benefit the Green Heart Project and MUSC’s Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital.

WHEN: 1-6 p.m. Jan. 14

WHERE: The Grove at Patriots Point, 40 Patriots Point Road, Mount Pleasant

PRICE: $20 general advance; $75 VIP advance; $25 general day-of-event; $85 VIP day-of-event; $2 per tasting ticket

MORE INFO: www.southernfriedchickenchallenge.com

It’s all fake believe …

Looking for an opportunity to see magic and comedy AND help sick and injured animals at the same time? Seek no more. Magician and comedian Justin Willman will bring his “Fake Believe Tour” to the Sottile on Saturday, with the proceeds to benefit the Hallie Hill Animal Sanctuary in Ravenel.

Willman has regularly appeared on “The Tonight Show,” “Ellen,” “Conan” and Comedy Central. The Los Angeles Times has said he makes magic cool again for grown-ups. Willman also has hosted “Cupcake Wars” on the Food Network and “Win, Lose or Draw” on the Disney Channel.

The Hallie Hill Animal Sanctuary provides rest and rehabilitation for more than 150 cats and dogs, most of which are strays that have been injured or surrendered. The organization also prepares animals for adoption into a loving home.

WHEN: 8 p.m. Jan. 14

WHERE: Sottile Theatre, 44 George St., downtown Charleston

PRICE: $35

MORE INFO: 843-889-3713, www.justinwillman.com, www.halliehill.com

It's a rolling monster mash

Stinger. Fullboar. Megalodon. Carolina Crusher. Nope, not a list of pet names for an ex. They are the names of some of the special guest trucks expected at this year’s Monster Jam on Friday and Saturday at the coliseum. What’s a monster truck rally without a Master of Disaster or a War Wizard? What’s any event without them, truly?

For the uninitiated, monster trucks are about 12 feet tall and wide, with 66-inch-tall tires. They weigh at least 10,000 pounds. They can travel up to 100 mph AND they can “fly,” so to speak. They are loud. They crush things. They are awesome.

For those with more than just an appreciation for this kind of thing, there will be a Pit Party meet-and-greet prior to Saturday’s show.

WHEN: 7 p.m. Jan. 13-14; 4:30-6 p.m. pit party Jan. 14

WHERE: North Charleston Coliseum, 5001 Coliseum Drive

PRICE: $15-$89

MORE INFO: 843-529-5000, www.northcharlestoncoliseumpac.com, www.monsterjam.com/en-US/events/north-charleston-sc

Reach Liz Foster at 843-937-5581 and follow her on Twitter @TheDizzyLizzieB