MINT HILL – Planning for Mint Hill Madness is under way, and organizers say they are moving closer to meeting their funding goals for the upcoming festival after last year’s hiatus.
The three-day festival, scheduled for May 23 to 25, was taken over by the town last year after the Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce saw a deficit of more than $8,000 in 2011, although the chamber did make $2,100 through the 2012 event. Town leaders designated $20,000 in this year’s budget for Mint Hill Madness but could put more in if organizers don’t meet their goals through sponsorships or donations.
There currently isn’t a timeline as to when the festival will no longer receive funding from the town. The 2013 festival was canceled to help give the town more time to set up a new board and develop a plan to make the festival more self-sustaining. Madness organizers said they don’t have a specific goal in terms of sponsorships or money raised, but feel they are well on the way to meeting financial goals.
Event board member Scott Harris said in an interview last year with Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly that gaining corporate support and nonprofit inclusion will be key to sustaining the event and moving it off the town’s books. As the event moves closer, town officials say they are happy with the direction things are heading.
“I don’t know exactly what (the board’s) plan is (for fundraising). I don’t know what their specific goal was, but we are well on our way. We don’t anticipate that the town is going to have to put in any more money,” Sheryl Smith, the assistant to the Mint Hill town manager,
But financial independence isn’t the only change Mint Hill residents should expect for the festival. Mint Hill Madness will be moved from the town hall to Mint Hill Veterans Memorial Park, at 8850 Fairview Road and previously named the Park on Fairview, and will include three days of activities, a parade, dog show, live entertainment and more. The festival will take place on May 23, a Friday, from 4 to 10 p.m.; May 24, a Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and May 25, a Sunday, from noon to 5 p.m. The parade will take place May 24 at 10 a.m.
“Hopefully it’s going to be better,” Smith said. “It’s going to be different in the sense that it’s not going to be at the town hall. It’s going to be out in the park. We have a lot more space out at the park so we are going to be able to accommodate more people.”
Organizers also are still looking for sponsors, vendors and people to participate in the parade. People can find more information, or register to participate, at www.minthillmadnessfest ival.org. Volunteers also are needed to assist with the festival. Anyone interested in volunteering should go to the website or call town hall at 704-545-9726.
Although there has been some concerns from commissioners on moving the festival to Memorial Day weekend, the town is on board and ready to move forward, leaders said. The festival was previously held in the fall. Madness board members hope to see enough sponsors to help make the Mint Hill festival as successful as Matthews Alive, Harris said.