Magical Night 2022
Magical Night returns on Thursday, December 1, 2022 in Uptown Mount Vernon, Iowa.
“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).
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.
Mount Vernon’s annual Magical Night event will begin on the lawn of the First Street Community Center (FSCC), At 5 p.m. on Dec. 1, Santa will 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 and a Holiday Craft Bazaar in the lower level of City Hall. 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 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.
The Marching Mustangs will perform inside the Old Fire Station from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Outside the Old Fire Station members of the Mount Vernon ambulance team will host a meet-and-greet and candy cane giveaway.
The Magical Night Live Nativity at Memorial Park will include a lighted stage, live animals, and a choir. The popular event created, built, and sponsored by St. Paul Lutheran Church volunteers will begin at 6:15 and 7 p.m. Between performances children and others can meet the actors and animals. Cookies and hot chocolate will also be provided inside the nearby Visitor Center.
New this year will be an outdoor winter scene in Hilltop Pocket Park, Mount Vernon’s latest park in the middle of downtown. A former alley, Hilltop Pocket Park will be decorated with trees and a snow machine. Visit for 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. These robotic attractions were created by CDG volunteer and former Disney Imagineer Tim Kelley. They have been created and collected over several Magical Nights throughout the past several holiday seasons. For the first time in Magical Night history, all eight of these mechanical art pieces will be displayed together.
Schedule of Events
5 to 5:30 p.M.
- 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 5:30 to 6:30 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.
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.