35th Annual Mint Hill Madness!

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The 35th annual Mint Hill Madness festival rocked the town for Memorial Day Weekend!

Despite predicted rain and storms, the three-day festival that celebrates the founding of the town of Mint Hill drew large crowds to Veterans Memorial Park.  

The Madness kicked off at 4:00 pm on Friday, May 25.  Many families came to the festival Friday to take advantage of $20.00 “All You Can Ride” wristbands for the family carnival rides.  “This year seemed to be a perfect age for my son to enjoy Mint Hill Madness,” said Erica Larter, mom to four-year-old Caleb. “We went on Friday to get the All You Can Ride Wristband. He loved the giant slides. He had fun on the tractor ride and train. His favorite was the caterpillar! This year he was old enough to enjoy the Meltdown and the arcade race game. Next year he’s excited to try the swings and maybe even laser tag!”

Caleb Larter rode the tractors again and again with his all-you-can-ride wristband Friday night.
Kids enjoyed photos with the Chick-Fil-A cows throughout the festival.

Families enjoyed dinner from a variety of food vendors while listening to the sounds of DJ T’Nice and Too Much Silvia on the Novant Health Main Stage.  A ceremony at 7:00 pm officially marked the opening of the festival with a welcome speech by Mayor Ted Biggers, the raising of the flag, and the singing of the National Anthem by Sophie Miller.

Saturday’s festivities began with the annual Mint Hill Madness Parade, which traveled a new route this year beginning at Bain Elementary school and concluding at Publix.  The parade, led by Grand Marshal Colonel Quincy Collins, featured over 50 local businesses, organizations, entertainers and music groups.

Mint Hill Madness parade

Saturday morning also saw the Publix-sponsored “Battle of Mint Hill” on Veterans Park’s tennis courts.  Two-person teams of athletes battled it out in three different workouts to determine who was the fittest.  At 1:00, boys and girls ages 6-15 punted, passed and kicked in the “Madness Football Skills Competition.”

Each day of the festival offered plenty of options for families to enjoy the unexpectedly sunny weather with carnival rides, knockerball bubble soccer, live entertainment, delicious fair food, and a wide variety of vendors featuring many local and small businesses.

Shoppers enjoyed a variety of goods from small businesses and local vendors.

Saturday featured the School of Rock Concert on the Main Stage.  Mint Hill residents may remember the School of Rock Show Team’s rocking performance of everything from Motown to today’s hits from last summer’s Family Nights.  As families began arriving for the much-anticipated fireworks display, The Entertainers took the stage performing traditional beach music.

Families enjoyed fair food like funnel cakes while listening to music from the main stage.
Saturday afternoon brought an unexpected, sudden downpour, but afterward, visitors were treated to a rainbow!

Saturday ended with always-popular Mint Hill Madness Fireworks Extravaganza.  “The fireworks were awesome,” said Kaitlyn Betts, who arrived almost two hours early to get a seat near the stage with her husband and four-year-old son Caleb.  “It was really cool to see.”

Mint Hill Madness Fireworks Extravaganza
“The finale was incredible!” said Miranda DeHart, whose son Connor found the fireworks “terrifyingly exciting!”
To avoid the park traffic, the Tallent family joined others to watch the fireworks from the Aldi parking lot.

Sunday brought the 35th annual Mint Hill Madness to a close with more opportunities to shop, play, ride, and dine.  Sunday’s visitors were treated to periodic performances by Captain Jim’s Magic Show and Skyler the Stilt Walker.

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Mary Beth Foster
Mary Beth Foster works part time as an essay specialist at Charlotte Latin School and full time as a mom to her five-year-old daughter Hannah and her two-year-old son Henry. Prior to having children, she worked as a high school English teacher for nine years. Most recently, she chaired the English department at Queen's Grant High School. She and her husband have lived in Mint Hill with their children and their cats since 2011. Email: marybeth@minthilltimes.com