On Thursday, November 30, Mint Hill officially ushered in the Christmas season with its annual Tree Lighting Celebration.
Mayor Biggers acted as Master of Ceremonies and kicked off the evening by introducing Mayor Pro Tem Tina Ross, Commissioners Mickey Ellington, Richard Newton and Dale Dalton, and Commissioner Elect Mike Cochrane. After recognizing the town’s elected officials, Biggers welcomed Philadelphia Presbyterian Church’s Reverend Rusty Benton to deliver the invocation.
A fixture in the Mint Hill community since 1984, the tree lighting ceremony featured one new element this year: a giant electrical switch use to light the tree. In honor of his 19 years of service to the town of Mint Hill, Commissioner Mickey Ellington was asked to do the honor of flipping the switch.
With the tree lit, the Queen’s Grant Community School choir, led by Mr. Becker, took the stage. They performed Christmas classics like “O Christmas Tree,” “Frosty the Snowman,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.” Their performance brought laughter and applause when they ended their rendition of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” with “You’ll go down in history . . . Like Mayor Biggers!”
As the choir sung “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” Santa Claus himself arrived in a horse-drawn carriage! Santa made his way through the eager crowd to Town Hall where children were able to visit him and deliver their Christmas wish lists. After Santa’s arrival, guests were treated to cookies and hot chocolate courtesy of Daphne’s Bakery.
The tree lighting featured several other special guests. The 2017 Miss Mint Hill Court circulated through the crowd taking photos and passing out candy canes. The Chick-Fil-A cows were also popular visitors, handing out candy canes and giving high fives. Also in attendance were the Olde Towne Carolers of Lincolnton, a quartet of professional singers who strolled through the crowds singing carols and taking photos in their old-fashioned attire.
Several local businesses got in on the celebration. Vintner’s Hill and Pour 64, both located in the business complex adjacent to Town Hall, offered food and drink deals all night. The much-anticipated Mint Hill Roasting Company located across from Town Hall opened for the evening, serving coffee, tea, hot chocolate and sweet treats. Representatives from Hawthorne’s Pizza roamed through the crowds giving out candy canes and kids menus bundled with the unique wax sticks they give children to play with while waiting for dinner.
Attendants at the tree lighting were encouraged to bring a $10.00 – $20.00 gender neutral toy for the Mint Hill Police Department’s Toy Drive. This is the Police Department’s third year collecting toys for Pat’s Place, the only child advocacy center in Charlotte. Last year, Pat’s Place helped close to 700 children who had suffered abuse or witnessed a violent crime. The Mint Hill Police Department will continue collecting toys for Pat’s Place through December 11.