by Derek Lacey / Staff Writer

Gold panning, double-decker bus tours, and Wilgrove steaks come back to Mint Hill this weekend for Discover Mint Hill, the annual celebration of the town’s history and culture.

This Saturday, April 20, marks the sixth year for Discover Mint Hill, and Historical Society Executive Director Sue McDonald says nearly everything is ready for the day of activities, fun, and learning about Mint Hill at “Discovery Square.”

The event runs from 9 am to 3 pm at the intersection of Bain School Road and Matthews-Mint Hill Road, in front of the Historical Society’s Carl J. McEwen Historic Village.

Civic and cultural organizations from Mint Hill will host booths, where attendees can learn about those groups, participate in activities and win prizes.

Sixteen community organizations will be represented, including the Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis Club, Police and Fire Departments, library, Mint Hill Arts, and the Mint Hill Women’s Club, all with booths showcasing their involvement in the community.

Some of the main attractions will be the gold panning station, set up at the Historical Society, genealogy researches ready to help anyone begin their research into their family history, and the historic bus tours from one end of town to the other.

A ticket for the bus costs $3, and it will take participants through Mint Hill, pointing out historical locations like where downtown Mint hill was originally, and the original site of the Mint Hill Library.

There will also be music, performed by the folk group Doc’s Front Porch, food, including hot dogs, barbecue, and the famous Wilgrove steaks, fried bologna sandwiches with a bit of a backstory.

Discover Mint Hill will feature demonstrations on a ham radio, washer women demonstrating techniques of washing clothes prior to the advent of the washing machine, live leeches in the doctor’s museum, biscuit making, loom weaving, and plenty of herbs for sale from the Herb Guild.

“Bring themselves and be prepared to find out what goes on in Mint Hill and the historic and cultural programs in the community,” said McDonald, when asked what advice she had for people planning to attend.

A rain date is set for Sunday, April 21, from 1 to 4 pm, in case inclement weather keeps the event from happening Saturday.

McDonald said that the event is an opportunity for the citizens of Mint Hill to have a good time and learn about the history of the town, and the historical society itself.

“For me, it’s exciting that al these people come to see our history in this area and so many people don’t even realize that we’re preserving history at the Carl J. McEwen Historic Village,” McDonald said.