Cabarrus

Town of Midland turns 10 this year

If you think of Cabarrus County as a family of towns, then Midland is the youngest child. It turns 10 years old as an incorporated town this year.

But Midland as a community has a rich history, and next weekend's annual Celebrate Midland Magic Festival will celebrate that history.

The first Celebrate Midland Magic Festival took place when the town was just a year old. Phyllis Crump was among the hardworking volunteers who helped plan that first festival and is still on the organizing committee.

Crump said the goal is to showcase Midland and provide an opportunity to renew friendships and make new ones.

Crump estimates 500-600 people attended the first festival in 2001, a better turnout than the committee had hoped. Over the years it has grown; organizers anticipate 7,000 to 10,000 people will come to Midland next weekend to enjoy the entertainment, rides, food, contests and vendors.

The two days of the festival - Saturday and next Sunday - are packed with activities. There will be a wide range of music, from Central Cabarrus' marching band to the Hatley Family and Chuck Ayers, an Elvis impersonator. Other highlights will include cowboy events and Marvin's Pooch Pageant, in which dogs compete in such categories as Best Tail Wagger, Best Singer and Best Costume.

There are some new events this year: a Kids' Pedal Tractor Pull and the Magic Cook-off, a barbecue competition for local chefs . To participate or for the full schedule, visit www.celebratemidlandmagic.com.

While the chief purpose of the festival is to celebrate Midland, Crump said, it also raises money for town projects. In the past, donations have been used to purchase flags, buy lights for ball fields and help with the fire department and community safety. In the future, organizers would like to work toward a park and a library.

Midland represents a rural way of life and a place where people come together. When the town incorporated, it adopted a seal that blends the things the area is known for: gold mining, agriculture, mills and open spaces.

It should be quite a party at the festival: At 5:15 p.m. Saturday, a ceremony will recognize the town's 10th anniversary. Past mayors and town council members will be on hand. The town is sponsoring a fireworks show, to begin at 9:15 p.m.

Mayor Kathy Kitts said the town's role at the festival is to celebrate, enjoy and preserve Midland's long and storied past, but also to look toward the future of this young town, and to work together to ensure that it remains a great place to live.

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