Concord High student wins Cheerwine Festival T-shirt contest

Published 1:03 pm Tuesday, April 12, 2022

SALISBURY — The official T-shirt for the upcoming Cheerwine Festival has been unveiled.

Meredith Mills, a senior at Concord High School, was selected as the winner of this year’s shirt design contest. Her design prominently features two Cheerwine bottles reflected in a pair of shades. The shirt design was one of 10 selected by a panel of judges and then voted on by the public. Mills’ design received 2,800 of the 7,000 votes cast in the online contest, beating out three Rowan County students who were in the running as well.

Tatum James, a junior from East Rowan High School, and Jaira Pyrant, a freshman from South Iredell High School, were runners-up and will each receive a Cheerwine Festival gift basket and plaque from Salisbury Mayor Karen Alexander.

“We were amazed by the number of incredible entries, and thank every teacher who participated and all the students who created artwork,” Joy Ritchie Harper, vice-president of marketing for Cheerwine and fifth-generation founding family member, said in a news release. “Meredith’s design perfectly captures North Carolina pride and is a wonderful example of the talent and creativity of all our young artists across the state.”

In a social media post announcing the winner, Cheerwine said Mills shared this message about her design, which is called Reflections of the South: “Since the Cheerwine Festival is in the spring, it gives off that type of summertime festival and carnival vibe. My artwork captures the essence of summertime and southern fun. The future of the Carolinas is so bright, you’ll need your shades.”

In addition to having her design worn by hundreds if not thousands of people, Mills will receive a $500 gift card, a plaque from Alexander and more. The winning student’s teacher, Taylor Strode, will receive a $1,000 check to use toward new art supplies.

The Cheerwine Festival will be held in downtown Salisbury on May 21. Spin Doctors and Blues Traveler are the headlining musical performers and vendors will be selling all sorts of Cheerwine-inspired products. For more information about the festival, visit

For more information about the winning design, including how to pre-order the shirt, visit

About Ben Stansell

Ben Stansell covers business, county government and more for the Salisbury Post. He joined the staff in August 2020 after graduating from the University of Alabama. Email him at

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