MINT HILL – Commissioners in Mint Hill recently appointed four new members to the board of Mint Hill Madness to begin planning for next year’s festival in hopes the event can avoid losing money in 2014.
Although the planning phases just began, board members are soliciting sponsorships to help avoid the deficit seen by the Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce for previous Madness events. Town leaders decided to take the festival off the hands of the chamber earlier this year after Madness saw a deficit of more than $8,000 in 2011.
Mint Hill currently has $20,000 added into the annual budget to help get Mint Hill Madness running in time for Memorial Day 2014, but organizers aren’t sure how long it will take to make the festival a self-sustaining event.
“This year, the town is going to kind of be behind us in getting it off the ground; we are trying to get more corporate support and nonprofit inclusion into it so that it will be self-sustaining so the town won’t have to have it on a budget line item,” board member Scott Harris said.
The upcoming festival, which was canceled in 2013, will set the tone for how much the town will need to put in moving forward, according to Town Manager Brian Welch. The Mint Hill chamber did receive $2,100 from the 2012 festival before the town took over Madness.
“Hopefully, the event will become self-sustaining, so it is impossible to state how long or how much the town will need to fund going forward,” Welch said.
Board members and organizers are hopeful – saying moving the festival back to the Park on Fairview will bring more people out to celebrate the annual, two-day event, Harris said. But Commissioner Tina Ross has previously expressed doubts about the festival being successful during Memorial Day weekend when many families have a lot of other commitments. Ross voted against moving the festival to Memorial Day weekend in March of this year.
Although there has been some doubts, the town is now on board and ready to move forward with the festival. With more corporate and nonprofit involvement, Harris hopes to see Mint Hill Madness become as successful as Matthews Alive.
“The town has always backed it and the chamber has done a great job with it over the years, but we are trying to get more corporate sponsors and nonprofits involved like with Matthews Alive … but making it more Mint Hill-focused,” he said.
The board is looking for people to volunteer to be on the committee or to help with the festival later down the road. Anyone interested in volunteering should contact Welch at email@example.com.
In addition to Harris, Dalton Taylor, Tony Long and Julian Venable also were appointed to the board for Mint Hill Madness. They could not be reached for comment by Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly press deadline.