MINT HILL, NC – Christmas will be in full swing in Mint Hill come Saturday, December 3, as the town kicks off the holiday season with the Jingle All the Way 5k and annual Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting Ceremony!
The holiday fun kicks off at 9:00 am at Veterans Park with the 6th annual Jingle All the Way 5K Run/Walk. The annual holiday race raises money for Mint Hill Police Department’s Volunteers in Police Service and the Police Explorers Post 545. Last year’s 5K drew 194 runners to Veterans Park and raised $12k. This year, they hope to have over 250 runners and raise $15k!
“The goal is to have everyone of all ages to come out to the event and have fun!” says Captain Marnee Moberg. “Dress up festive and visit with Santa. After the race there will be cookies for everyone to enjoy! There will be several raffle baskets to be raffled off. The goal is to bring the community together and have fun!”
Sign up for the Jingle All the Way 5k today for just $25 at https://runsignup.com/Race/NC/MintHill/MHJingleAlltheWay5K. Prices increase on December 2. Friendly pets are encouraged provided they are on a leash. Packet pick up will be Friday, December 2 at the Police Department from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, and you can also purchase raffle tickets as well that day!
The fun continues at dusk with Mint Hill’s third annual Christmas Parade. The first Christmas Parade in 2019 was one of former Mayor Biggers’ last acts as Mayor, and its immediate success cemented it as a Mint Hill tradition. After a year off in 2020 at the height of the pandemic, last year’s parade had over 1000 people riding floats, driving in vehicles, walking, marching, singing and dancing.
This year’s parade has 75 entries registered featuring 1200 people! “We are expecting several large groups including our sponsor, Atrium Health, several students from CMS schools, and church groups,” says Mint Hill Events Assistant Cassie Brooks. “Several of our Scarecrow Contest participants are bringing their creativity as well.”
The parade sets out from Bain Elementary at 5:30 pm and runs southwest down Matthews-Mint Hill Road to the library. It will be led by Grand Marshal June Hood, a former teacher at Bain Elementary and a lifelong member of the Mint Hill community.
If you’d like a guaranteed front row seat for the parade, consider volunteering! The Town needs volunteers to help marshal along the parade route and keep spectators out of the street. To view available positions and sign up, visit https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0f4aa4ad28a6f4c25-town.
After the parade, head to Town Hall for the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony! The tree will once again be situated in the basin of the fountain in front of Town Hall, a structure designed specifically to be used as a tree stand during the holidays. At sixteen feet tall and weighing 500 lbs, it takes about six guys and a crane to secure it there each Christmas.
The tree lighting ceremony will begin about 30 minutes after the parade ends (approximately 7:00 pm) – just enough time for Santa to move from his float in the parade to Town Hall! “We are excited to have JAMin, Jeff Andler Ministries performing,” says Brooks. “You may have seen them around Town performing. In addition, we have invited some of our favorite food vendors and a couple of new ones.”
Through December 9, Mint Hill Events, Inc, is having a food drive with Second Harvest to coincide with the Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting. Participants and spectators of the Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting are asked to bring a canned food item to donate. “The most needed food items are canned fish, canned meat, peanut butter, canned low-sodium soups or stews, canned or dry beans, canned fruits in juice, or canned low-sodium vegetables,” explains brooks. You’ll also be able to scan a QR code to make a monetary donation.
Mayor Simmons has once again arranged for a direct line to the North Pole outside Town Hall, where Santa’s mailbox will be stationed from December 1 – December 16. Be sure to include your return address so Santa can write you back, and bring a can of food for the food drive when you drop off your letter! Last year Santa personally responded to over 250 letters from Mint Hill’s children.
For more information on everything happening in Mint Hill for the holidays, make sure to follow the Town of Mint Hill and Mint Hill Events on social media!