Magical Night 2023



Magical Night returns on Thursday, November 30, 2023
A wide range of events will occur along Mount Vernon’s Historic First Street.  The following events will be taking place at the First Street Community Center:

5:00 – 8:00pm
Hot Cocoa will be served by volunteers from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints inside the First Street Community Center in the lobby on the main floor.

5:00 – 8:00pm
Jackee Austerman Photography Studio will be offering “Fun Christmas Photos” inside the First Street Community Center for families throughout the evening.

5:00 – 5:30pm
The annual lighting of the First Street Community Center building. Join Santa and Mrs. Claus as Santa pulls the BIG Switch to light up the building. Music teacher Sophie Walker from the elementary school will lead local children in song as part of the ceremony.

6:00 – 6:45pm
Elliott McNulty takes on the character of “Elfiott” to share music in the Uptown Theatre as a fundraiser for the Mount Vernon Elementary School Library.

6:45 – 7:15pm
Holiday Magic from Dance Arts Iowa at the Uptown Theater. Also, tickets will be sold onsite throughout the evening for Dance Arts Iowa’s full production of “The Nutcracker,” which will take place Dec. 3, at 2 p.m. at the Mount Vernon Community School District Performing Art Center.


Hometown Teams – More Than Just a Game: African American Athletes in Iowa


More Than Just a Game: African American Athletes in Iowa is part of a series of Hometown Teams events.  Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street traveling exhibit “Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America” will be in Mount Vernon, Iowa from March 18 to April 28, 2018.  It is one of ten related events that is scheduled while the exhibit is in Mount Vernon.

Since the late nineteenth century, African Americans have participated in a variety of sports and contributed in profound ways to Iowa’s sporting culture. African Americans experienced severe discrimination in sports as in other activities, but fought long and hard to overcome racism. In Iowa, they frequently used achievement in sports as a way to come together as a community. These countless narratives both on and off the court, field, and ring, remind us of the broader struggle for civil rights in America.

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  • This event is presented by the African American Museum of Iowa.
  • Attendance is free and open to the public.

Complete Schedule of Hometown Teams Events:


Small Business Workshop: Preparing for Smithsonian Audiences


The Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Development Group (CDG), a Main Street Iowa organization, has announced a new workshop to prepare Mount Vernon and Lisbon retailers for the upcoming Smithsonian Museum on Main Street exhibit. The workshop “Preparing for Smithsonian Audiences” was created specifically for Mount Vernon and Lisbon businesses.

For this workshop, CDG will be bringing in Main Street Iowa Promotions expert Terry Poe-Buschkamp and Business specialist Robin Bostrom, who plan a program devoted to making the most of this retail business opportunity.

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Hearty appetizers, wine, and soft drinks will be provided. The event is free, but all attendees must RSVP to Joe Jennison.

Program Agenda:

  • 5:00 p.m.         Food, drink and networking
  • 5:30 p.m.         Program starts
  • 6:15 p.m.         Q&A
  • 6:30 p.m.         Adjourn

Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America

(CDG) in partnership with the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s Main Street Iowa program will bring“Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America,” to Mount Vernon from March 18 to April 28, 2018.

Hours for the Mount Vernon exhibit will be as follows:

  • Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Fridays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Sundays, noon to 4 p.m.

“Hometown Teams,” which will be complemented by exhibits featuring local legacies, examines how and why hometown sports are more than just games. A short video about the exhibition can be viewed at here.

“The Smithsonian has not been to Iowa with this program for years and their first journey back to Iowa will start with this Iowa premiere exhibit here in Mount Vernon,” said Joe Jennison, director of the Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Development Group. “It’s going to be huge for Mount Vernon. And both Main Street Iowa and CDG wants retailers to be ready for the estimated 8,000 attendees who are expected to be visiting.”

NOTE: Hometown Teams is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and Iowa Economic Development Authority’s Main Street Iowa program.

About the Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Development Group

The Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Development Group exists to improve the social and economic well-being of Mount Vernon and Lisbon by capitalizing on their unique identity, assets and character. Mount Vernon was selected as a Main Street community in 2008, and practices economic development within the context of historic preservation.

About Main Street

The Main Street Approach is a copyrighted process of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  The Program has been used in Iowa since 1986.  Mount Vernon was selected as a Main Street community on March 4, 2008 by the State of Iowa, after submitting a comprehensive application and presenting to a select board of reviewers. 


Mount Vernon After Dark


The First Street Community Center is the starting point for this Friday’s “Mount Vernon After Dark”

The Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Development Group (CDG), will host an Historic Uptown residence tour/fundraiser this Friday, Nov. 13, from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Mount Vernon After DarkMount Vernon After Dark, offers Historic District property tours.  These tours feature the food of eight local restaurants and the creative work of several local artists and musicians.  Four Uptown residences, not included on the last tour, will be featured as well as four properties from previous years’ tours.

Cost of the tour is $20 per person in advance, or $25/person on the night of the tour.  Tickets can be purchased in advance by cash or check through the Mount Vernon Visitor Center, 311 First St. NW, or through Mount Vernon Bank & Trust, 206 First St. SW, Mount Vernon.

Tickets are limited. If you are interested in purchasing pre-sale tickets, please contact Joe Jennison at (319) 210-9935 at the Mount Vernon Visitor Center, or Sonia Redmond at (319) 895-8835 at Mount Vernon Bank and Trust Co.

* As early as 5 p.m. on Friday tickets can be exchanged for wristbands at the First Street Community Center, 221 First St. NE. Mount Vernon.

Stops on the tour include:

  • 210 First St. SE (across from the First Street Community Center)
  • 108 First St. SW (Above the Mount Vernon-Lisbon Sun building)
  • 110 First St. SW (above Scarlett Boutique)
  • 118 First St. SW, No. A (above Video Village)
  • 118 First St. SW, No. B (above Video Village)
  • 119 First St. NW (above Chameleon’s)
  • 124 First St. SW (above Bauman’s)
  • 304 First St. SW (next to the historic United Methodist Church)

Final list of venues, restaurants, artists and musicians is subject to change.

Please Note: The tour is not handicapped accessible and visitors will need to be aware of several staircases along the route.

This wonderful event is brought to you by:

Logo for the Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Development Group

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