Magical Night

Mount Vernon’s Magical Night is Dec. 1

The Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Development Group (CDG), a Main Street Iowa organization, has announced that Mount Vernon’s 32nd annual Magical Night event will take place on Thursday, Dec. 1, from 5 to 8 p.m. in Uptown Mount Vernon.

Volunteers from the Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Development Group (CDG) have teamed with the City of Mount Vernon, City of Mount Vernon Parks & Rec, the First Street Community Center, local churches, and all Uptown businesses for this event that celebrates the beginning of the holiday shopping season.

“After a break from in-person activities due to the pandemic, the Magical Night Committee is pleased to announce the return to a live, in-person Magical Night event on the streets of Uptown Mount Vernon,” said Joe Jennison, Director of Main Street and Marketing for the Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Development Group (CDG).

Mount Vernon’s annual Magical Night event will begin on the lawn of the First Street Community Center (FSCC), 221 First St. NE. At 5 p.m. on Dec. 1, Santa himself will be on hand to throw the switch unveiling Mount Vernon’s holiday lights. Musical entertainment will be provided by The Spirit of Christmas Carolers.  Everyone is encouraged to take part in the sing along.

This will be followed by a “Holiday Showcase,” from Dance Arts Iowa at the FSCC Uptown Theatre at 6:30 and 7:15 p.m., as well as an art exhibit inside the FSCC featuring works by Mount Vernon Community Schools’ art students and music performances by students from Music Works Iowa and the Mount Vernon High School Concert Choir.

A wide range of events along Mount Vernon’s Historic First Street that night include visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus in the Mount Vernon Bank & Trust building, 206 1st St. SW, and a Holiday Craft Bazaar in the lower level of City Hall, 213 1st St. NW. Strolling carolers along 1st Street will be provided by the Mount Vernon United Methodist Church Praise Team Outreach.

Events scheduled to take place that night at First Presbyterian Church of Mount Vernon, 221 1st St. NE, include cookie-making in the lower level sponsored by Mount Vernon Parks & Rec, and a Multicultural Holidays Celebration sponsored by the Office of Intercultural Life, Cornell College. Across the street, a Soup Supper and Cookie Walk will take place inside the United Methodist Church of Mount Vernon, 304 1st St. SW.

The Marching Mustangs will be performing inside the Old Fire Station, 213 1st St. NW, from 5 to 6 p.m. And outside the Old Firestation, look for a meet-and-greet and candy cane giveaway with members of the Mount Vernon ambulance team.

The Magical Night Live Nativity at Memorial Park, 311 1st St. NW, will include a lighted stage, live animals, and a choir. The popular event created, built and sponsored by St. Paul Lutheran Church volunteers, will be offered twice that evening with shows at 6:15 and 7 p.m., and in between each show, there will be opportunities for children and others to meet the actors and animals, and enjoy cookies and hot chocolate inside the next-door Visitor Center.

New this year will be an outdoor winter scene in Hilltop Pocket Park 110 1st St. SW, Mount Vernon’s latest park in the middle of downtown. A former alley, Hilltop Pocket Park will be decorated with trees, a snow machine and will include a live photo opportunity with characters from the movie “Frozen.”

Also new this year is an “Animenagerie” exhibit inside the First Presbyterian Church of Mount Vernon, 301 1st St. NW. These robotic attractions were created by CDG volunteer and former Disney Imagineer Tim Kelley, and have been created and collected over several Magical Nights throughout the past several holiday seasons. This will be the first time in Magical Night history that all eight of these mechanical art pieces have been displayed together in one evening.

A complete list of events follows.

5 to 5:30 pm

Stop No. 1: Lighting Ceremony: Annual lighting of the First Street Community Center (FSCC), 221 First Street East. Join Santa and Mrs. Claus as Santa pulls the BIG Switch to light up the building. Musical entertainment provided by The Spirit of Christmas Carolers.  Everyone is encouraged to take part.

5 to 7 p.m.

Stop No. 8: Youth Group Soup Supper, Cookie Walk and Sale at the Mount Vernon United Methodist Church, 304 First Street West. All proceeds to benefit Southeast Linn Community Center.

5 to 8 p.m.

Business Open House, visit local businesses, enjoy live music, snacks and begin your holiday shopping all along historic 1st Street.

Luminaria light display throughout the entire length of the Magical Night festivities.

Stop No. 1: Art exhibit inside the FSCC featuring works by Mount Vernon Community Schools’ art students and music performances by students from Music Works Iowa and the Mount Vernon High School Concert Choir. Also: Hot cocoa served by the Mount Vernon Fine Arts Association on the lawn of the FSCC, 221 1st St. (NOTE: In case of bad weather, this activity will move to the 2nd Floor Library of the FSCC.)

Stop No. 3: Photo opportunity with characters from “Frozen.” Inside Hilltop Pocket Park (the alley between Scarlett Boutique and The Sweet Factory), 110 1st St. SW.

Stop No. 6: Meet-and-greet and candy cane giveaway with members of the Lisbon-Mt Vernon Ambulance team.

Stop No. 7: Make-and-Take cookie decorating workshop in the lower level of the First Presbyterian Church, 301 1st St. NW, sponsored by Mount Vernon Parks & Rec. Also on the west side of the same space will be a Multicultural Holidays Celebration sponsored by the Office of Intercultural Life, Cornell College.

Stop No. 7: “Animenagerie” exhibit inside the First Presbyterian Church administrative office, 301 1st St. NW. These robotic attractions were created by CDG volunteer and former Disney Imagineer Tim Kelley. This will be the first time in Magical Night history that all of these art pieces have been displayed together in one evening.

Stop No. 4: A Holiday Craft Bazaar and Bake Sale will take place in the basement of Mount Vernon City Hall, 213 1st St. NW. This event continues Friday, Dec. 2, from 1 to 7 p.m.; and Saturday, Dec. 3, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Stop No. 6: The Marching Mustangs will be performing inside the old fire station, 213 1st St. NW, from 5 to 6 p.m.

Stop No. 2: Living Window at the former Sing-A-Long, 100 1st St. SE. This Nutcracker living window display is sponsored by Dance Arts Iowa.

5:30 to 8 p.m.

Stop No. 5: Visit with Santa, and enjoy holiday window displays, at Mount Vernon Bank & Trust, 206 1st St. SW. While here, be sure to check out the Silent Basket Auction managed by the bank to help raise money for the night’s event.

6:15 and 7 p.m.

Stop No. 9: Live Nativity at the Gazebo in Memorial Park, 311 1st St. NW, with hot chocolate and cookies at the Visitor Center, sponsored by St. Paul Lutheran Church.

6:30 and 7:15 p.m.

Stop No. 1: “Holiday Showcase” from Dance Arts Iowa at the Uptown Theater at the First Street Community Theater, 221 1st St. NE. Also: Tickets will be sold onsite for Dance Arts Iowa’s full production of “The Nutcracker,” which will take place Dec. 11, at 2 p.m. at the Performing Art Center, 731 Palisades Road SW.

6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Stop No. 1: Members of the Mount Vernon High School’s Concert Choir will perform from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the gym of the First Street Community Center, 221 1st St. NE.

 

Information on these and other Mount Vernon-Lisbon events is available at www.visitmvl.com

 

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 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.