Lincoln Highway Arts Festival 2023
The Lincoln Highway Arts Festival is back! A section of Mount Vernon’s main street will be closed Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023 so artists from around the Midwest can display and sell their jewelry, paintings, pottery, sculptures, and other creations.
This event is presented by the Mount Vernon Area Arts Council.
“Folks—patrons and artists alike—said thy missed the annual festival which was cancelled last fall because we had other events the MVAAC board wanted to try out.”Marie DeVries, president of the Mount Vernon Area Arts Council (MVAAC)
The festival will feature 40+ skilled artists as well as a variety of activities. Some of the activities spill over onto the front lawn at the First Street Community Center, the former Mount Vernon High School and Middle School that now houses shops; art, dance and music studios; second-hand stores; a bakery; hair salon; and a theatre.
“We’ve always had beautiful weather — knock on wood. We’re counting on our luck holding in 2023. For the first time in the Festival’s history, there will be artist awards including Best in Show.”Marie DeVries, president of the Mount Vernon Area Arts Council (MVAAC)
The Lincoln Highway Arts Festival will include
- Artist booths
- Artist demonstrations
- A variety of art activities for kids
- Live music
- And more!
The artists’ tents will line 1st street east of highway 1 and all activities will take place on the lawn of the First Street Community Center. Traffic to 1st street will be blocked between Hwy 1 and B Ave. from approximately 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The event is free and attendees will be able to enjoy the art while listening to live music and performances, participating in free children’s activities, and partaking in a variety of food offerings.
Art on display and for sale will include ceramics, jewelry, paintings, drawings, printmaking, photography, basket weaving, and more. A new addition to the 2023 Lincoln Highway Arts Festival is artists’ awards which will be independently juried and presented during the festival.
The festival will open with a live poetry reading from Mount Vernon’s Poet Laureate, Amelia Kibbie. There will be music performances throughout the day featuring The Abbe Creek Collective Band, The All Natural Band, The Laid Back Band, as well as strolling violinist Mira Gibbons. Dance Arts Iowa will have a performance. The Iowa Ceramic Center will be showcasing potter’s wheel demonstrations.
A variety of free children’s art activities sponsored by MVAAC will be offered throughout the day including sun prints with Christine Flavin, origami with Sara Lenhart, wand-making with Kim Wolfe, and face painting from Funny Face Designs.
This year’s art festival will also have a variety of food offerings from That’s So Cheesy and Floats food trucks, and Bigs BBQ, along with the ever-present uptown eateries.
Mount Vernon, Iowa is a designated Iowa Cultural and Entertainment District and the Lincoln Highway Arts Festival is one of many ways that the community supports local artists.
“We have something for everyone at this year’s Lincoln Highway Arts Festival from the amazing art and live music and performances to the free children’s activities and food trucks. Make sure to mark your calendar for Sept. 23 to come show your support of our vibrant arts community.”Dr. Tiffany Carr, Lincoln Highway Arts Festival Chair
About the Mount Vernon Area Arts Council
The mission of the Mount Vernon Area Arts Council is to increase the knowledge, understanding, appreciation and practice of the arts in the Mount Vernon area.
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.
About Mount Vernon
Historic Mount Vernon, Iowa, is 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, commercial art galleries, and three National Historic Districts.