Heritage Days 2018 goes Country-Western

The 31st Annual Heritage Days Festival, Mount Vernon’s biggest summer festival, will take place Thursday, Friday and Saturday, July 12, 13 and 14, in and around Uptown Mount Vernon.

With a parade theme of “Country-Western,” this year’s festivities will include fireworks, old-fashioned carnival games, as well as live performances, bingo, a beer tent and a “mini-Olympics for kids.”

New this year will be a kid’s Tractor Pedal Pull open to kids ages 4 to 11 on Saturday, July 14, behind Mount Vernon Bank & Trust Co., 206 1st St. SW, sign up is at 12:30 p.m. The first and second place winners in each age division at this event will advance to the state competition in September.

Returning this year is Art in the Park, an art show that includes kid’s activities in Memorial Park, 311 1st St. NW, Mount Vernon, on Saturday, July 14, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and a car show that will take place on the street in front of Memorial Park, on Saturday, July 14, from 10:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.; and a three-day softball tournament in the Elliott Athletic complex, Highway 1 NE.

Heritage Days Weekend begins on Thursday, July 12, at 6 p.m., at the Kernoustie Country Club, 203 Country Club Drive, Mount Vernon, with a “mini-Olympics for kids” (registration begins at 5:30 p.m.). It will be followed by food and family activities at Kernoustie, with the annual Fireworks Display at dark. Also at the Thursday event will be a balloon glow starting at 8:30 p.m.

Food vendors will be set up on First Street West, and will be open Friday, July 13, from noon to midnight, and Saturday, July 14, from noon to midnight. A beer tent will be open from 4 p.m. to midnight on Friday, July 13, and from noon to midnight on Saturday, July 14.

On Saturday, July 14, The Heritage Days 5K Walk/Run will take place starting at the Mount Vernon Elementary School, 615 5th Ave. SW. Register in advance at www.visitmvl.com or in person from 6:30 to 7:45 a.m.

The Main Street Stage on Mount Vernon’s First Street West will feature live entertainment from 6:30 p.m. to midnight on Friday, July 13; and from 12:30 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, July 14. Mainstage performers include Crazy Delicious on Friday, July 13, beginning at 9 p.m.; and Lonesome Road on Saturday, July 14, beginning at 9 p.m.

The Heritage Days Parade will start at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 14. With a theme of “Country-Western,” the parade’s lineup will be at the Small Multi-Sport Center parking lot, 835 1st St. NW. The parade will start on First Street West, and then winds down 5th Avenue North and will end at 7th Street. Line up begins at 10 a.m.

There will be a series of Old-Fashioned Carnival Games set up on 1st Street, each managed by a different community group that offer family fun at an affordable price. Included this year will be a virtual reality trailer and other activities for kids.

Also returning this year will be a live community talent show, “Mount Vernon’s Got Talent,” Friday, July 13, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Main Stage.

“Join us as we kick up our heels and celebrate everything country-western this July in Mount Vernon,” says Jenny Hampton, Chair of the Heritage Days Committee. “We are a town that loves a good festival so grab your cowboy boots and hats and plan on spending July 12, 13 and 14 with us. Yeeha!”

A complete schedule of events is available at here:

About Mount Vernon

Historic Mount Vernon, Iowa, is the home to 4500 residents, including 1200 college students enrolled at Cornell College. Located in Eastern Iowa at the intersection of Highways 30 and 1, 20 miles north of Iowa City and 15 miles east of Cedar Rapids, it boasts a vibrant uptown business community with numerous antique and specialty stores, restaurants, coffee houses, art galleries, and three National Historic Districts. Mount Vernon was named one of America’s “10 Coolest Small Towns” by Budget Travel magazine in October of 2009. More information is available at www.visitmvl.com