Let the fun begin!

CIAA week has arrived. Check out Qcitymetro.com each day for the latest news, events and photos.

CIAA week is finally here.

For some, that means five days of tournament basketball. For others, it’s all about the parties.

This year, officials have added several new events, including the Women’s Celebration of Soul Concert on Thursday (tickets $10) and the Women’s Health & Wellness Symposium on Saturday. Both will be at the Charlotte Convention Center.

"We’re excited about this year’s Tournament," said CIAA Commissioner Leon Kerry. "We’ve added some great events and created more entertainment at the arena for our fans. The CIAA has the most loyal fans in the world and their support of the conference and tournament shows their passion for the HBCU community and the CIAA."

Officials say they especially want fans attending the games.

Basketball action starts Tuesday at 7 p.m. with women’s play. The men’s tournament begins Wednesday at 7 p.m. The championship game for each will be played Saturday.

The CIAA Ford Fan Experience is back this year at the convention center. Performers will include recording artists Yolanda Adams, Robin Thicke, Chrisette Michele and Anthony Hamilton. Celebrity chefs B. Smith and G. Garvin will be on the Taste of Food Lion Super Stage. And radio hosts Steve Harvey and Mo’Nique will broadcast their syndicated shows live on Friday. All events are free.

At the Time Warner Cable Arena on Saturday, fans can watch a cheerleading exhibition hosted by Terrance J from BET’s 106 & Park, a performance by Laurie Ann Gibson from MTV’s Making the Bands and the Battle of the Pep Bands. Those events also are free.

The fun starts Tuesday at 6 p.m. when Jaye and Monica Delai host the CIAA’s first official event — A Peace of Jazz concert series at Kiss, 204 W. Woodland Rd.

For a schedule of official events, go to www.ciaatournament.org.

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