Fall is upon us: Here are some area festivals celebrating Autumn in the Carolinas

Mint Hill Times

The weather is cooler and the kids have gone back to school. It’s time for fall festivals. The summer was very hot this year. Maybe it’s been a while since you spent a day outside. Pack up the kids, wear your comfortable shoes and bring some cash, not all festivals take credit cards although the list is growing. You’ll have a good time.

Some of these festivals charge admittance but many are free to enter. If you have a small budget this year, look for the free festivals and bring your own drinks and snacks. There are always samples and other freebies.
Fall festivals were started by farmers who wanted to celebrate and mark the end of the growing season. Original competitions were who could cut the most hay fastest and who could catch the most greased pigs.
You don’t have to own pigs or be able to cut hay to have a good time at today’s festivals. Just bring an umbrella in case it rains and be prepared to have a good time. Continue reading


Patriots Pummel North Meck

Mint Hill Times

Photo by Tim Long

A scary first quarter for Independence’s football team quickly turned into a 37-7 rout for the Patriots in Huntersville Friday night.  A fumbled handoff on Indy’s first play from scrimmage led to a turnover and the Vikings quickly capitalized, taking a 7-0 lead.  On the next series, starting quarterback Evan Guest left the game with muscle spasms.  From then on, both the offense and defense for Independence stepped up and the game was over by halftime.

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Sunday Afternoon in the Park returns this weekend

Mint Hill Times

Seurat's famous painting

The popular Sunday Afternoon in the Park returns this Sunday in Mint Hill. The event will be held from 1 pm to 6 pm at the park on Wilgrove, 5233 Wilgrove-Mint Hill Road. Artists, musicians, writers and others will display, perform and demonstrate their wares in a family-friendly atmosphere.


The Coffee Garden offers more than just a cup of coffee

Mint Hill Times

Whether you’re a student, a community group, or a regular,  has something for everybody.
The Coffee Garden, owned by Jerry and Suzi Butler, has been located in Stevens Mill Crossing for the past four years. It offers coffee from around the world  and also sells light lunches. The most important thing they offer is “a place for people to get together,” according to Suzi. Continue reading

A $10,000 challenge grant kicks off Mint Hill Arts fundraising campaign

An anonymous friend has given Mint Hill Arts an important challenge grant of $10,000.

This means that for every dollar the group raises (up to $10,000) it will be matched by this donor. Meeting this challenge means MH Arts willMint Hill Times have raised $20,000, which is a great start for their 2012 goal of $50,000.
The group said in a statement, “We realize that these are challenging financial times for many. This is also true for Mint Hill Arts. Although we have no salaried staff and rely exclusively on volunteers, there are ongoing operating expenses such as rent, utilities and supplies that we simply must cover to remain viable and provide the services and programs enjoyed by members.”
MH Arts said they have plans for significant improvements to their facility, but annual operating funds are their first priority. That’s why this challenge grant is so important to them.
You can donate at the gallery where cash, personal checks and credit cards are accepted on Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 3 pm. You can also send a check to Mint Hill Arts, 7714 Matthews-Mint Hill Road, Mint Hill, NC 28227. Make checks payable to Mint Hill Arts and indicate “Matching 10K Donation” on the Notes line. Also online with Paypal or credit card.
For more information, contact the gallery at 980-226-5532.”



Indy defeats Hough 38-33 to open the season

Independence’s varsity football team defeated Hough 38-33 Friday night in front of a hostile crowd in Cornelius.

The Patriots’ defense was solid early, shutting out the Huskies in the first half.  Kahlil Gonzales and Jack Tocho both had interceptions for Indy.

After rushing touchdowns by RJ Baker and Evan Guest, the Patriots took an early 14-0 lead.

Hough made some amazing halftime adjustments and put 31 points on the board in the last 24 minutes, scoring 21 in the fourth quarter.

The hot, humid weather looked to take its toll on both teams’ defenses.  The Indy unit looked exhausted at the end of the game, having spent the majority of time on the field.

Brandon Jackson’s two sacks and Austin Duke’s late interception sealed the win for the Patriots.  The result was a pleasant contrast from the first game Indy played last season.

“We were in the first game last season and we just wore out,” said Head Coach Bill Geiler.  “This year we wore out a little bit, but our seniors just refused to lose.  They had to make the plays at the end and they did.”

Quarterback Evan Guest threw for 237 yards and one touchdown.  Baker rushed for two scores, and Duke went 95 yards receiving with a touchdown and a kickoff return for a score.

“The coaches asked me to step up, so I have to make some plays to help the team win,” said Duke.  “It’s not about me, it’s about the team.  We’ve gotta keep working hard right now.  This wasn’t a satisfying win, but we got the win.”

Even with Duke’s versatility on the field, he was not considered as valuable as the new kicker by Coach Geiler.  Morgan Boyle is a junior on Indy’s soccer team who played his first football game on Friday.

“I can’t say enough about my kicker,” said Geiler.  “I’ve never had a soccer player before.  Kicking in the end zone on kickoffs, and that field goal was huge.  He was awesome today.  I think the MVP was the kicker.”

As the weather cools and the players develop more stamina, look for the Patriots’ defense to play more effectively at the end of games this season.  This Friday at North Meck will be the perfect litmus test for Indy’s defensive unit.