By Jessi Healey
MINT HILL – Lifelong resident Jerry Flowe will serve as the grand marshal for the Mint Hill Madness parade.
The parade starts at 9 a.m. May 25 down Matthews-Mint Hill Road. It’s part of a three-day festival, May 24 to 26, that will include rides, vendors, food, entertainment and fireworks at Mint Hill Veterans Memorial Park.
“I don’t want anyone to think I’m promoting myself, I don’t even know what a grand marshal is, I’m not grand and I’m not a marshal, but I sure love this town,” Flowe said. “Mint Hill is a wonderful town, I’ve traveled most of my life and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.”
This will be the 36th year for the festival. Flowe has been here for all of them.
“It’s really come a long way and is now widely attended,” he said. “It’s not only great for the Town of Mint Hill, but also for the surrounding areas. It helps bring some attention to us and brings some people in to see our beautiful Veterans Park.”
The Purple Heart recipient is excited to be part of paying homage to the military.
“I’ve always been patriotic, I appreciate the freedoms that we have,” he said. “It wasn’t even a question when my country asked me to serve (in Vietnam), I give the glory to God that I came home, He’s the reason I’m here.”
He added that he feels the town has done a great job honoring the veterans who live here with things like Veterans Park and the Korean War Memorial, and that it continues to do so.
He gives credit to Mayor Ted Biggers for making sure the town’s veterans are never forgotten.
Flowe has been married for 50 years and has 10 grandchildren.
His family has lived in the area since they first settled in America around 1770. They found land near Clear Creek and have been there ever since.
“I’ve seen Mint Hill change over the years, and it has always kept its small-town feel,” Flowe said. “The people here are genuine.”
Flowe said he has loved watching Mint Hill Madness grow over the years, and it’s a great event for families and neighbors to get together and enjoy fellowship.