1. Charlotte could be in for longest cold snap in 2 years

Temperatures across the Carolinas are expected to remain well below average throughout the weekend as a blast of Arctic air made its way into the area. But unlike the usual Carolina cold snap, this one's expected to hang around for some time.

"Cold is the story tonight," said Chief Meteorologist Brad Panovich. "The thing about this cold snap, yes it does get this cold every winter, but the difference is the length of it. Probably the longest cold snap we've had in a couple of winters."

Temperatures across the Carolinas are expected to remain well below average throughout the weekend as a blast of Arctic air made its way into the area. But unlike the usual Carolina cold snap, this one's expected to hang around for some time.

"Cold is the story tonight," said Chief Meteorologist Brad Panovich. "The thing about this cold snap, yes it does get this cold every winter, but the difference is the length of it. Probably the longest cold snap we've had in a couple of winters." Click here for the full First Warn forecast.

2. Queen City preps for Belk Bowl, New Year's celebration

Preparations are underway across Charlotte as the city prepares for two queen-sized events. Outside Bank of America Stadium Thursday, the stage was being built ahead of the Belk Bowl Fan Fest. Thousands of fans are expected in the Queen City as the Wake Forest Demon Deacons take on the Texas A&M Aggies Friday at 1 p.m.

And in uptown, set up has begun for Charlotte's First Night New Year's Eve celebration at Romare Bearden Park. More than 6,000 people are expected to ring in the new year at the family friendly event, which kicks off Sunday at 8 p.m.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officials said they've been gearing up for quite some time. Click here for all the details.

3. Charlotte's 2017 homicide rate highest in 25 years

Charlotte is closing out the year with the highest number of homicides in 25 years. As of Thursday evening, there have been 86 homicides in the city in 2017.

Thursday afternoon, a new group called the Concerned Elders of the Black Community announced it was going to work to end the violence. The group was founded by Reverend James Barnett, a long-time Charlotte activist.

"Nobody can save us from us, but us," Barnett said.

Barnett pointed out that the majority of the deaths had been young African-American males killed by other young African-American men and it was time for the African-American community to step up and do something about it.

"Law enforcement can't do it alone, elected officials can't do it. If we don't get involved the murder rate will continue to increase," he said. Click here for full story.

4. 'I hadn't danced for 60 years': Senior local ladies put on dance competition

A group of women at Brookdale Senior Living are proving that age is just a number as they cha-cha, foxtrot and waltz across the dance floor.

"When I first started to do it and try out I didn't know that we would be doing this," Brookdale resident Jean Grayson said.

Grayson is referring to the senior center's Dancing with the Stars performance. After months of lessons, the women decided to put on their own performance of the popular show... and it was a big hit. Click here to watch the women strut their stuff.

5. 2017 in Review

With the calendar reaching the final week of 2017, we here at NBC Charlotte are looking back at the year that was on WCNC.com. Below you will find the links to different stories that reigned in 2017.

- The most clicked stories on WCNC.com in 2017

- Top 10 stories that warmed your heart in 2017

- Top 10 local stories in 2017