Board makes big Madness change official

Dalton Taylor updates the Mint Hill Board of Commissioners on the status of Mint Hill Madness. PHOTO BY DEREK LACEY

Dalton Taylor updates the Mint Hill Board of Commissioners on the status of Mint Hill Madness. PHOTO BY DEREK LACEY

The future of Mint Hill Madness took center stage again at the Mint Hill Town Board of Commissioners meeting Thursday, March 14. It is official, there will be no Mint Hill Madness in 2013.

Dalton Taylor, a member of the organization formed to head Mint Hill Madness after the Chamber of Commerce gave up management of the annual festival, presented the latest updates on Madness, and asked the Board to approve a landmark date change.

The Board voted to approve the date change, from the regular date in September, to Memorial Day 2014.

Time was the driving factor to move Madness from September 2013 to May 26, 2014. The change in leadership took up critical money-raising and planning time, and to keep the September date, the town would have had to cover the cost itself.

“I realize this year, we are behind the power curve so to speak, in getting things done in a timely fashion to make the festival a success this fall. I wish it was different,” said Mayor Ted Biggers.

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Mint Hill weighs future of Madness at January meeting

Mint Hill Madness, the yearly festival that has been presented by the Chamber of Commerce for the last three decades, took center stage at last Thursday’s Board of Commissioners’ meeting. 
The Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce is relinquishing their management of the event turning that responsibility over to a nonprofit organization that will be created solely to manage Mint Hill Madness.
Nancy Bradley and Marty Cocking of RelyLocal,  presented the board with information and plans for the future of the festival, citing the mission of the new Madness, “to bring back vitality to Mint Hill Madness by repurposing the festival to support local 501(c)3 charitable organizations to foster community and help rebuild economic growth in Mint Hill.”
The proposition is to create a board of directors that will manage the nonprofit, Mint Hill Madness, which will make all executive decisions regarding the festival. 
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2012: The Year in Review

JANUARY

 

Stinson-Wesley takes District 6 school board seat

 

At the beginning of 2012, Rev. Amelia Stinson-Wesley filled the District 6 seat left open by Tim Morgan. Stinson-Wesley was one of 12 candidates vying for the position, and was sworn in on January 10. She serves as director of World Connections for Women, a foundation she established in 1998.

 

New year, new laws

 

The beginning of 2012 saw changes to laws concerning everything from healthcare systems to gun laws. New laws provide incentives for physicians to organize Accountable Care organizations, North Carolina adopted standard deductions and personal exemptions, new energy conservation codes, new gun laws, and laws requiring employers to report new hires.

 

Independence senior wins writing prize

 

Erin Mullins, then a senior at Independence, won first prize in the eighteenth Martin Luther King Jr. Writing and Art Awards, part of a number of awards presented by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and the MLK Jr. Citywide Committee. The theme was “Defending the Dream,” and students competed first at the school level, then district level.

 

New CMS starting times

 

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools estimated that they will save more than $600,000 for the 2012-2013 school year by changing their bell schedule, at 10 schools. The effort was to use a tiered method of scheduling, in order to offer the same transportation services, but with 15 fewer buses.

 

Mint Hill resident named recruiter of the year

 

Aviation Structural Mechanic First Class Robert Orzescu, who lives in Mint Hill, was named the Raleigh Navy ROTC Enlisted Recruiter of the Year. Orzescu became a recruiter in 2009, and since has won the NRD Raleigh NROTC Enlisted Recruiter of the Year two years in a row, and also claimed the 2011 Warrior Challenge Recruiter of the Year.

 

Judges rule on redistricting

 

A three-judge panel decided that the May 8, 2012 primary votes stood as scheduled, despite a lawsuit challenging new legislative and congressional voting districts. Challengers were hoping that primaries be moved to July 9, in order to further discuss the new districts, which support Republicans. The districts were upheld, and served through primaries and the general election.

 

FEBRUARY

 

Local author signs books

 

Mint Hill author Ed Galloway, writer of Incident in Mint Hill, sold and signed the book at The Hill Restaurant in Mint Hill, February 8. The audiobook, which Galloway produced himself, is a story about “a strange object that falls from the sky and causes an entire golfing community to go into a 24-hour blackout. No cable TV. No phone coverage. And all while being surrounded by military and government personnel,” said Galloway.

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Madness brings out crowd

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.”

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Board presented with public arts ideas

The Board of Commissioners was approached by two organizations last Thursday about displaying public art in and around the new town hall building.  On the agenda at the last board meeting, Nicole Bartlett of the Arts and Science Council and Tony Billotto, Laura Sussman-Randall, Marta Brown, and Romie Mizell of Mint Hill Arts asked the board to consider representing Mint Hill through art.

Bartlett explained that many cities and towns install permanent pieces of public art for their communities.  Charlotte has numerous pieces, including the typewriter keys at Imaginon.  The Writer’s Desk, as it is called, is a monument to local writer Rolfe Neill.  She also offered examples from Rock Hill, Davidson, and other Charlotte locations, as well as types of art, including statues, plazas, photography, and tapestries.

Bartlett said one of the most important aspects of public art is the connection to the community; it is very local.

She outlined a basic plan for the creation of public art for Mint Hill.  Funding would come from the county, the Arts and Science Council would manage the project, and the design would come from a volunteer board of citizens from the town.

Mint Hill Arts representatives asked the board to consider letting them display art in the two gallery hallways in the new town hall building.  They offered some details as to how the town could partner with the organization for professional displaying and no extra work for the town.  The arts group currently displays work in the old town hall building.  Mizell presented professional hanging devices that would eliminate the need to put nails in the walls.  Billotto explained the intake process for their monthly art shows, demonstrating the professionalism and detail-oriented organization of Mint Hill Arts.  The all-volunteer group is made of dedicated artists who would jump at the opportunity to display local work in the new space.

“I got an the opportunity to go into the new town hall, and wow, was I blown away.  We have been looking for a new facility that was larger where we could really exhibit art the way it needed to be exhibited, where people could come in from the community and see it.  And here it was, two beautiful galleries built one above the other that had great lighting, a beautiful place to hang it,” said Mizell.  “That’s why we are requesting the opportunity to do this for you and for the community in this facility.”

They also presented the board with the idea of a permanent piece of artwork with the working title theme of Life in Mint Hill.  Mint Hill Arts and the town would ask artists to come forward in a juried show where the board was the panel.  The winner would receive the prestigious award of having artwork forever displayed in the town hall.  Billotto suggested the area around the grand stairway as a good location for such a display.

“Public art is the expression of the spirit of the community in which it takes place,” said Sussman-Randall.

The mayor thanked the arts representatives for their presentations and ideas, and said they will continue the conversation in the future.

The public is invited to get involved with this month’s Mint Hill Arts show during Mint Hill Madness.  Last Friday was the opening reception of the new show, but winners were not announced.  That’s because the public has not yet voted.  It’s a people’s choice show, and everyone is invited to cast a vote.  Visitors can see the gallery, located at 11205 Lawyers Road, Suite A, to gain an understanding of what Mint Hill Arts is, what local artists are doing, and how they can get involved.

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Madness Beauty Pageant looking for applicants

Heather Helmendach was crowned Miss Mint Hill Madness last year. After a year of service she will hand off her crown to the next winner at the September 22 pageant. Photo courtesy of Lenn Long/PageantPics.com

The Mint Hill Madness Beauty Pageant is calling for applications.  The pageant will take place at Philadelphia Presbyterian Church September 22, a week before Mint Hill Madness.  Applications, found online at minthillchamberofcommerce.com, and the $50 entry fee are due September 1 and can be turned in at the Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce, Todd Younker State Farm Insurance, Abbey Rose Florist, Big Guy’s Pizza, First Citizens Bank, or Bob Lucas Allstate Insurance.

This year prizes include a $500 scholarship for Miss Mint Hill, a trophy, crown, sash, bouquet courtesy of Abbey Rose, and a cash prize for queens in each group, a trophy for Robinson Orthodontics’ Smile Winners in each group, a trophy and $50 off a portrait session with PageantPics.com for the photogenic winners in each group, a free portrait session for the overall photogenic winner, and a trophy for each runner up in each age group.  Queens from the eight age groups will also ride in the Mint Hill Madness Parade September 29.

Age groups are divided into Baby Miss for three to 12 months, Toddler Miss for 13-24 months, Tiny Miss for two to three years, Little Miss for four to six years, Young Miss for seven to nine years, Junior Miss for 10-12, Teen Miss for 13-15, and Miss Mint Hill for 16-18.  Contestants six years of age and younger will compete in the 10 am pageant, and the older contestants will compete at 4 pm.

Competitions include Smile Wear, requiring a Robinson Orthodontics/Mint Hill Madness t-shirt and denim bottoms of choice; Beauty Attire, requiring Sunday dress for ages 12 and younger and pageant or prom style dress for ages 13-18; Photogenic, requiring an 8×10 photo at registration; and the Miss Private Interview for the Miss Mint Hill group, requiring a five minute interview starting at 1 pm September 22.

This is the first year the Mint Hill Madness Beauty Pageant is providing a scholarship, sponsored by Robinson Orthodontics.  Scholarship money is awarded after one year of completed service as Miss Mint Hill.  Community service includes attending Mint Hill’s tree lighting ceremony, helping with the senior lunch at Christmastime, and assisting with the Lions Club pancake breakfast.

Last year’s winner, Heather Helmendach, will attend the pageant.  She is throwing the first pitch at the August 12 Knights game in Fort Mill.

For more information visit the Mint Hill Madness Beauty Pageant Facebook page, or contact pageant director Julie Shillingburg at minthillmadnessbeautypageant@gmail.com.

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