Mount Vernon Magical Night Nov. 29

Mount Vernon’s 28th annual Magical Night event will take place Thursday, Nov. 29, from 5 to 8 p.m. at several locations throughout Uptown Mount Vernon.

Thursday, Nov. 29, marks Mount Vernon’s annual Magical Night a celebration of holiday magic that begins on the lawn of the First Street Community Center, 221 First St. NE. Volunteers from the Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Development Group (CDG) have teamed with the City of Mount Vernon to celebrate the holiday season. At 5 p.m. on Nov. 29, Santa himself will be throwing the switch unveiling Mount Vernon’s holiday lights.

This will be followed by a wide range of events along Mount Vernon’s historic First Street that will include visits and photos with Santa in the Mount Vernon Bank & Trust building, a Holiday Craft Bazaar in the basement of City Hall, a Live Nativity at Memorial Park and live music and activities in almost every Uptown building.

For the first time in the history of Magical Night, volunteers and City representatives have decided to close 1st Street to traffic so as to create a Holiday-inspired Ped Mall for the entire festival from 5 to 8 p.m.

“Closing the streets down for this event is something that the City of Mount Vernon and the volunteer committee has been discussing for a few years,” said Matt Siders, Director of Parks and Rec and Chair of the Magical Night Committee. “The decision was made for safety reasons, and we are working to find alternative parking to address the anticipated 5,000 guests we expect to see on Magical Night.”

New this year will be a shuttle that will be going back and forth along 5th Avenue, taking guests from the parking lots at the Mount Vernon Community School District to Memorial Park and back. The shuttle will run continuously from 5 to 8 p.m.

Also new this year will be one-way, horse-drawn carriage rides sponsored by Meridith Hoffman, with just two stops: 1) at the East End of 1st Street at Mount Vernon Pharmacy, 113 1st St. NE; and 2) at the West End of 1st Street at Memorial Park, 401 1st St. NW. The only traffic allowed on 1st Street will be the horse-drawn carriages. Carriage riders will be asked to vacate the carriage at each location so as to make room for riders hoping to make the trip back down the street.

Returning this year will be the International and Multicultural Holiday Celebration at Cornell College’s Stoner House, sponsored by the Office of Intercultural Life, and the growing series of animatronic window displays on display in several area businesses titled “Animenagerie.” Also returning is a trackless train that will be running throughout the evening in the parking lot of Iowa Physical Therapy, 108 1st St. SE.

“Magical Night is one of our most anticipated events of 2018,” said Joe Jennison, Director of the Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Development Group (CDG). “With lights and reindeer, trolley cars, and Santa Claus himself, there is something for everyone this holiday season in Mount Vernon and Lisbon. The holiday season is a great time to discover the small-town magic of these two great communities.”

Below is a complete list of upcoming holiday events in Mount Vernon and Lisbon.


Shop Small Saturday
November 24th
9am –4pm
Live music @ First Street Community Center
Drawings and giveaways at Shop Small Saturday HQ located at 100 1st Street SW
Holiday Shopping with special discounts & treats at individual merchants.
Early Bird Bonus Prize, 1st 25 Shoppers at “HQ” will be eligible for an “Early Bird”
$100 bonus prize sponsored by Kae Apothecary
Crafters Market and Home Business Expo @ the First Street Gym

Nov 6th-Dec 1st
during Business Hours
Hometown Holidays’ Basket Silent Auction

Nov 25th-Dec 26th
during Business Hours
“Animenagerie,” animatronic window displays in several 1st Street buildings

Tuesday, Nov 27th
WMT’s Stuff the Bus, Bring new toys, games, canned food, or cash to Bauman’s. Items
to be donated to SE Linn Community Center

Thursday, Nov 29th
5pm: Help Santa light up the First Street Community Center
5-7 p.m. Soup Supper and a cookie walk at Mount Vernon United Methodist Church
5-7:30 pm: Praise Team Outreach carolers stroll through town
5 – 8pm: Business Open House, visit local businesses, enjoy live music, snacks and begin your
holiday shopping
Trolley and Train Rides-sponsored by Meridith Hoffman, Iowa Realty
Luminary Light Display
Decorate a dog bone ornament at Zoe’s Pet Deli
Get your magic reindeer food and visit with live reindeer on the lawn of the First Street
Community Center sponsored by Hills Bank
International Life presents Multicultural Holidays Celebration at Cornell College’s
Stoner House, sponsored by the Office of Intercultural Life, Cornell College
Visit with the Lisbon Mount Vernon Ambulance Service at the old fire station
5-8pm at the First Street Community Center (221 1st St. SE: Cookie Decorating, sponsored by
Mount Vernon Parks and Recreation
Arts Fest, “Dance on a Starry Night” presented by Mount Vernon elementary and high
school art students at the First Street Community Center gym
5:30-6:30pm: Living Window at Palisades Café, sponsored by Dance Arts Iowa
5:30-8pm: Pictures with Santa, treats, window displays and MVHS Carolers @ Mount Vernon
Bank, sponsored by Mount Vernon Bank
6pm: Holiday Music by Heart Consort Music Students at MV Presbyterian Church – Reception to
6:15 pm & 7pm: Live Nativity at the Gazebo in Memorial Park, with hot chocolate and cookies at
the Visitor Center, sponsored by St Paul Lutheran Church
6:30 & 7:15 pm at the First Street Community Center (221 1st St. NE): “Holiday Tidings” from
Dance Arts Iowa @ Uptown Theatre
Thursday-Saturday, Nov 29th—Dec 1st
Holiday Craft Bazaar and Bake Sale at MV City Hall Thursday 5-8pm, Friday 1-8pm, Saturday 9-3pm

Friday, Nov. 30
4:30 to 6 p.m. Santa at Bridge Community Bank
7 p.m. “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” performed by Odyssey Theatre at Mount
Vernon District Auditorium, 525 Palisades Road SW

Saturday, Dec 1st
2 pm “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” Performance by Odyssey Theatre at Mount Vernon
District Auditorium

Sunday, Dec 2nd
7:30 pm: Cornell College Choir, college organist, and Professor Lisa Hearne lead the singing of
seasonal carols.

Tuesday, Dec 4th
6:30-7:30 pm: Advent and Christmas lessons, carols, and prayers and a holiday message by
Cornell’s Chaplain on hope and Divine love in difficult times

Thursday, Dec 6th
11am-1pm: Project 60 Senior Dinner (60 years old or better) at Lisbon Community School

Lisbon Holiday Jubilee
Saturday Dec. 9th:
9am – Noon: Breakfast with Mrs. Claus at the Lisbon History Center
9am – Noon (while supplies last): Christmas Cookies for Christ – United Methodist Church of
Lisbon will be selling cookies by the plate full outside the Lisbon History Center
9 a.m. to 1 pm: – Ornament Making Workshop at the Lisbon Library
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Open House and Cookie Decorating at SE Linn Community Center

Information on these 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.

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