Magical Night 2018

Lights and Luminaries during Magical Night 2015 at the First Street Community Center

Magical Night 2018

Magical Night will be on Thursday, November 29, 2018 in Uptown Mount Vernon, Iowa.

The event will include a lighting ceremony, thousands of luminarias, horse drawn wagon rides along First Street, strolling carolers, pictures with Santa, a live nativity including a live camel, music and dance concerts, a Holiday Bazaar and open houses along Mount Vernon’s historic Main Street District.

At 5 p.m. at the First Street Community Center, Santa 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,  and live music and activities in almost every Uptown building.

fi-magical-night-angel-2The event will include the 25th annual production of the Living Nativity, provided by St. Paul Lutheran Church. This performance will include music, actors, and live animals.  The performance is at the Memorial Park Gazebo in Uptown Mount Vernon at 6:15pm and 7:00pm.  Hot chocolate and cookies will be provided at the Visitors Center after each program.  Children are encouraged to see the live animals after each performance, including a camel.

First Street will be closed to traffic from A Avenue to Fourth Avenue West, staring in the afternoon.  Most activities will take place in the 5 block area from the First Street Community Center to the Memorial Park Gazebo.

Shuttle buses will pick up attendees at the Mt Vernon Middle School parking lot, take them to uptown Mt Vernon during the festival, and provide return shuttle rides.  This shuttle along 5th Avenue 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.”

Schedule of Events:

  • 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
    • Holiday Craft Bazaar and Bake Sale at MV City Hall
  • 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 follow
  • 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

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Nov 29 2018


5:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Uptown Mount Vernon, Iowa
1st Street and Iowa 1


Joe Jennison
(319) 210-9935
[email protected]