As the seventh year of the Mint Hill Highland Games begins Friday May 6 and Saturday May 7 at The Park on Fairview, organizers feel they have nearly perfected the art of hosting a Scottish festival. Other than a little rain in recent years, for the most part the event has run smoothly.
This year, they have a different concern. On the first three weekends of May, there are several Scottish festivals being held within driving distance of Mint Hill.
“It’s a delicate balance trying to find a date,” said Donna Rogers, the event’s founder.
The Mint Hill Highland Games has seen a steady rise in attendance since it was first held in 2005. Rogers said they expect 4,000-5,000 to attend this year. Because the festival charges by the car, it’s difficult to gauge exact attendance counts.
Rogers said people will come from all over the state and beyond to attend the festival. Perhaps the biggest draw in recent years has been the music. For the last three years, the headlining band has been Rathkeltair, a world famous Celtic-rock band. This year, Glengarry Bhoys will be performing four times over the weekend. The band, which hails from Canada, is one of the most popular Celtic bands on the Scottish games circuit, and is making a rare appearance in the south. Founded in 1988, the band is described as “a Celtic fusion band blending traditional Scottish and Irish music with modern Celtic and contemporary sounds.”
Also playing this year’s festival is Stirling Bridge, a Celtic band from the Charlotte area. Rogers’ husband, Trip is the group’s lead singer. Continue reading
The Mint Hill Historical Society will be busy this weekend. Several events that were rescheduled from Discover Mint Hill a few weeks ago, plus events that were already scheduled, will take place this Saturday.
Discover Mint Hill was canceled several weeks ago because of rain. However, The Mint Hill Historical Society decided to reschedule the double-decker bus tour for this weekend. The popular tour showcases historical points of interest around the town and costs $3.
Historical society administrator, Sue McDonald, said even residents who have lived in the area for many years will be surprised by some of the points of interest on the bus tour.
The tours will take place as the historical society hosts its farmers market grand opening for the summer. Continue reading
The Town of Mint Hill could end up footing the bill for a new School Resource Officer at Rocky River High School, as well as a juvenile detective if the Board of Commissioners approve Police Chief Tim Ledford’s request for the positions.
Ledford presented his case to the board at its first budget workshop a week ago before and after its regularly scheduled meeting. Each head of town departments outlined to the board its needs for the next fiscal year. Mayor Ted Biggers was unable to attend to the workshop.
Ledford said Rocky River High School has seen 56 arrests as of February 7 of this year. Only Vance High School had more arrests in the same time period. Rocky River, because it is a first-year school, does not have a senior class. The school could grow by at least 500 students next year.
Other schools in CMS with high arrest rates like Vance have three School Resource Officers. Because of budget cuts, Rocky River was assigned only one. Mint Hill Police currently have to send one of their own officers to the school when an arrest needs to be made. They then have to transport the student to the jail in downtown Charlotte. Ledford estimated the trip to Charlotte takes about 1 hour 45 minutes, not counting the time they spend at the school.
Welch told the board that because most of the visits to Rocky River occurred Monday through Friday—an off peak time for the police—it hasn’t caused too many disruptions for the police. However, if the SRO at Rocky River calls in sick, then a Mint Hill Police officer has to go to the school.
Commissioners were concerned about the high arrest rate and use of police resources.
“Chief, that’s not fair,” Commissioner Mickey Ellington said. “They (CMS) want our money and police, but don’t want anything to do with us.” Continue reading