Magical Night

Magical Night to be “Drive-Through” Event

The Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Development Group (CDG) has announced that Mount Vernon’s 30th annual Magical Night event will take place Wednesday, Dec. 2, from 5 to 7 p.m., as a drive-through celebration due to concerns about public safety during COVID-19.

The CDG Magical Night Committee is working very closely with the Mount Vernon Police Department to create a safe drive-through route with plenty of signage and four reserve police officers in place to help direct traffic. The route will go from the First Street Community Center at the East End of 1st Street up to the Cornell campus on the west end with a turnaround at Commons Circle to allow families in cars to see both sides of the street.

The streets will be lined with luminaries as in previous years, as well as window decorations and the community’s growing list of animatronics set up in the storefront windows of individual business. Merchants will decorate their windows for the event, and along the way there will be several “tableaux vivants,” or living pictures with live performers, who will recreate scenes such as the live nativity, Whoville and the Grinch, the Nutcracker and other holiday favorites.

Children are encouraged to write a letter to Santa and deliver it to Santa and Mrs. Claus direct from the window of the family car into a special mailbox created especially for the event. The live cookie decorating workshop that has long been a fixture at the First Street Community Center will change to a take-and-make stop with representatives from the Mount Vernon Parks & Rec department handing out kits on the street for families to take home and make the same cookies in their own kitchens.

The event will not include indoor activities this year due to safety concerns, and parking will not be allowed along the 1st Street route.

“Magical Night is one of our most anticipated events of any year,” said Joe Jennison, Director of the Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Development Group (CDG). “With lights and live animals and Santa Claus himself, there is something for everyone. This year has been a challenge for all of us who plan small-town events. And this committee has worked hard to retain most of what we love about Magical Night to share with the rest of the community. Please drive through from the safety of your own car this year and allow us to share Magical Night with you and your family.”

Information on this and other Mount Vernon-Lisbon events is available at

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.

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

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 with a total of 56 communities having participated.  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.