MINT HILL, NC – Mark your calendars for the Annual Tina Ross Afternoon in the Park!
Although technically the third event of its name, the Annual Tina Ross Afternoon in the Park has a long history in Mint Hill. For twelve years, the event, simply called Sunday Afternoon in the Park after Alfred Stevens’ famous painting “Afternoon in the Park,” was held on a Sunday in August at Wilgrove Park. It was the brainchild of the late Tina Ross, who served on Mint Hill’s Board of Commissioners from 2003 until her passing in 2018.
“It was initially organized to provide artists in Mint Hill with an opportunity to show their work,” said then-Mayor Pro Tem Ross in 2017, who noted the festival existed even before Mint Hill Arts secured a location in town. “It has grown, and over the years, artists from outside the area as well as outside North Carolina have participated.”
While the Town supported Ross’ efforts, the event was her baby, and she handled everything from soliciting vendors to laying out the park. Plans were well underway for the thirteenth iteration of Sunday Afternoon in the Park when Ross passed away in the summer of 2018.
But Ross’ passing didn’t mean the end for her beloved Sunday Afternoon in the Park, far from it. The event returned in 2019 as the Annual Tina Ross Afternoon in the Park, a tribute to Ross’ love for the arts and her tenure as a public servant for the Town of Mint Hill.
In addition to a change in name, 2019 brought a change in both date and location. Inspired by the success of 2018’s Pop Up Christmas Market in front of Town Hall, it was decided that the then-new fountain was the perfect place to hold the event. In hopes of beating the summer heat, the event was also moved to the fall.
The change in date would unexpectedly backfire in 2022 when Hurricane Ian made landfall in South Florida on September 28. Although it weakened to a tropical depression before hitting the Carolinas over the weekend, a forecasted washout necessitated the cancellation of many outdoor events, including the Annual Tina Ross Afternoon in the Park.
Now, six months down the line, the Annual Tina Ross Afternoon in the Park is finally set to happen! According to Mint Hill Events Assistant Kristi Flitcraft, the event was postponed until April to take both the weather and other holiday events into consideration. Moving forward, the Town plans to keep the event in the spring. “Tina Ross Afternoon in the Park is a great way to kick off a fantastic year of events!” says Flitcraft.
On Saturday, April 29, from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, over thirty local artists will display, demonstrate and sell their handmade items in front of Town Hall. Expect to see handmade goods of all kinds, including oil paintings, pottery, textiles and jewelry. Additionally, there will be performances by Butler High School’s A Capella and Choir groups, the Independence Jazz Band, and Legacy Theater and Music Company. Food will be available from A Little Taste of Chicago, The Boba Tea Bar, and Sprinkles.
For more information, please visit www.minthillevents.org.