The parade, concerts, food, and rides are packed away, and downtown Mint Hill is back to normal, but last weekend, Madness was in full swing, flooding the streets with parade floats, vendors, food, and patrons.
This year’s Madness saw a notable increase in attendance, with record numbers for the Lions Club 5k run and an especially long parade.
“We had a real good event this year, it seemed like there was more thorough planning,” said Bob Lucas, member of the Camber of Commerce Board of Directors. “Certainly the people that visited expressed their appreciation for everything that went on, our vendors developed a lot of contacts in the community, and fireworks came off without a hitch.”
The chamber won’t know their monetary return on the event for a few weeks, when invoices are reported and the Chamber can evaluate the money generated, but so far, reviews from people involved have been positive.
“I was talking to some of my partners in the chamber and we have heard nothing but good reviews—our ride partner had a terrific event, our food vendors had a terrific event,” Lucas said.
Saturday morning, the parade made it all the way through the mile-long route rain-free and with more marchers than usual.
“It’s the first time that anybody can remember there were that many people lined on the street on either side of 51,” Ferretti said. “I think it’s the most we’ve had out there.”
Lucas also noted this year’s larger parade.
“It was really interesting to stand out on Hwy. 51 and look from the intersection of Lawyers Road and look both ways and see the parade lined up as far as you can see,” said Lucas.
Prior to the parade, the Lions Club 5k race drew plenty of attention on its own, with record number of runners.
“The Lions’ 5k race, they were over the top,” Ferretti said. “There was something like 369 registered runners for the race, the most that we’ve ever had.”
The only problem this year was a short rain shower that lasted about an hour, which hardly put a dent in the festivities.
“The only thing is we had that little shower in the middle of the afternoon, but that was out of our control,” Lucas said, “But seemed like everyone hung in there with us and once we looked off to the west, we were able to see some blue sky and wound up, we had a terrific evening.”
Looking to 2013, the Chamber has to rethink the general layout of the event, because the old town hall will be converted to the police station, presenting a
new set of logistical challenges.
“The Chamber’s going to sit down with the mayor and the chief of police and the fire department and everybody that was involved,” Ferretti said.
That conversation should happen by February or March of 2013, with the main concerns being where to put the events and rides that, next year, won’t be able to be located in the same area.
Overall, the event was considered a huge success by the Chamber, Ferretti and Lucas saying that everyone they spoke to gave positive feedback and showed intentions to be back for 2013.
“I think it was fantastic, actually,” Ferretti said. “I’m getting tons of positive feedback, whether it be email, text, or phone calls, I think that it was great this year.”