MVL Community Development Newsletters

Mount Vernon-Lisbon events, features and information

CDG July Newsletter

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Main Street Iowa gives us yet another reason to be cool

This month Main Street Iowa (MSI) representatives Jo F. Berry and Terry Poe Buschkamp visited Mount Vernon to conduct an annual two-day site visit. Meetings were held with several volunteer board, committee and project leaders, including Mount Vernon Mayor Scott Peterson and Lisbon Mayor Beryl O’Connor.

The MSI representatives concluded that the Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Development Group (CDG) met the 11 criteria as required by the National Main Street Center to measure performance in the program’s economic revitalization efforts, and, as such has asked CDG to continue with the program for another two years. Go us!

Get ready for the Antiques

The 4th Annual Lincoln Highway Antiques Extravaganza will take place Wednesday, July 4, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine. The open-air market is expected to draw 50-plus regional antique vendors and 5,000-plus visitors for the one-day-only outdoor sale. Mount Vernon’s historic First Street will be closed to traffic for the day, creating a Pedestrian Mall with booths up and down three blocks of Mount Vernon’s Uptown Business District.

“This will be our biggest antique show to date,” says event organizer Kim Wolfe. “This year’s show will be enlarged from two to three blocks with more than 50 confirmed booths. Please plan to join us July 4 to find those unusual, unique and 100 per cent authentic antique items.”

Heritage Days returns

The 25th Annual Heritage Days Festival will take place Thursday, Friday and Saturday, July 12, 13 and 14, in Uptown Mount Vernon.

The festivities begin Thursday, July 12, at 5:30 p.m., at the Kernoustie Country Club, 203 Country Club Drive, Mount Vernon, with a “mini-Olympics for kids” sponsored by the Mount Vernon-Lisbon Rotary. That will be followed by food and family activities at Kernoustie, and then the annual Fireworks Display at dark.
A mini-carnival will be set up on First Street East, and will include rides and inflatable’s, and will be open Friday, July 13, from 1 to 9 p.m., and Saturday, July 14, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. The Mount Vernon/Lisbon Young Adult Theatre will be presenting Les Miserables in the First Street Community Center. Shows will be Wednesday, July 11, at 7 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, July 14 and 15 at 1 p.m.; and Tuesday and Wednesday, July 17 and 18, at 7 p.m.

The Main Street Stage on Mount Vernon’s First Street West will feature live entertainment from noon to midnight on both Friday and Saturday. See Lonesome Road Friday, July 13, at 9 p.m.; and Simpleton and City Folk Saturday, July 14, at 9 p.m. Food vendors will be set up Friday and Saturday, July 13 and 14, on First Street West.

The Heritage Days Parade will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 14. With a theme of “Where Were You in 1987?,” the parade’s route will start at the Cornell Sports Center and wind down First Street West to 5th Avenue North and end on 7th Street.

New this year is the “All-American Lumberjack Show” that will take place on First Street East from 2 to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 14. The show will include a chainsaw carving demonstration, a log-rolling competition and a professional lumberjack tree-climbing exhibition. Afterwards, children can sign up to learn some of the stunts in a safe “Lumberjack Work Camp.”

A complete listing of events is available at

RAGBRAI coming through July 27

More than 20,000 bicyclists are expected to peddle through Mount Vernon on Friday, July 27, as part of the Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa. The route has bicyclists coming in on First Street and out on Mount Vernon’s 8th Avenue. The ride through will include an in-town route by Cornell College, the historic Methodist and Presbyterian Churches, City Hall and Mount Vernon’s Uptown area.

Mount Vernon will set up festival grounds to accommodate those that want to hang out on the West side of Mount Vernon’s First Street. Look for examples of Chalk the Walk, one of Mount Vernon’s favorite small-town festivals, a display of work by local metal sculptor Dale Merrill, an outdoor beer, live stage and an – yes, it’s true — Elvis sighting.

“We are thrilled with this opportunity,” says festival co-chair Brenda Langenberg. “Mount Vernon is ready to open its doors to the RAGBRAI community and show them all the very best we have to offer. We invite everyone to come out and see why we were voted one of the ‘Coolest Small Towns in America.”

Sauerkraut Days returns in August

Lisbon Sauerkraut Days will take place Thursday, August 9, through Saturday, August 11. The annual event takes place throughout the week and the City, with the downtown streets acting as the “hub” of all the activity. Expect live music, a parade, carnival rides, food vendors, bathtub races, biggest cabbage weigh-off and more. A complete list of events is available at

Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Development Group going to State Fair

The Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Development Group will be managing a booth again this year at the Iowa State Fair on Saturday and Sunday, August 18 and 19. If you and your family are taking in the Fair on those days be sure to stop into the Varied Industries Building and say hello.

Upcoming Art Projects in Mount Vernon

There are two upcoming art projects in the area… forward this info to your favorite artist.

Art Gallery & Supplies, 122 First St. SW, Mount Vernon has issued a “Call to Artists” for its 1st 1st Annual Artist Portrayal of Mount Vernon, taking place Saturday and Sunday, July 28 and 29. All artists are welcome to create pieces in their chosen medium, i.e. Painting, Drawing, Sculpture, Photography, Collage, Metal, etc. This event will bring together surrounding area artists as well as onlookers to explore Mount Vernon. Details are available at

The Lisbon Public Library, 101 East Main Street, Lisbon, is seeking ideas from local artists for a commissioned project to be installed in, on, or next to the library building.  The library board of trustees invites artists to submit a sketch and written description to them for consideration.  Artists may drop by the library and look at the space during open hours:  Monday, 9 – 1 and 2 – 5; Tuesday, 2 – 5; Wednesday, 2 – 8:30; Thursday, 10 – 5; Friday, 12 – 5; and Saturday, 9 – 1.  The deadline for submissions is September 1.  Please call Amy White, library director, at 319-455-2800 or email with questions.

Festivals for 2012 – Have you written these dates down in your calendar?

Lincoln Highway Antique Extravaganza, July 4
Heritage Days, July 12 through 14
RAGBRAI Day, July 27
Citywide Garage Sales, August 4
Sauerkraut Days, August 9 through August 11
Lincoln Highway Art Festival, Sept. 22
Chili Cookoff, Oct. 13
Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre, Oct 26 and 27
HalloweenTown, Oct. 31
Mount Vernon After Dark, Nov. 9
Magical Night, Nov. 29

Hey! Want to join a Committee?

Business Improvement Committee- Meets third Wednesday at 7:15 a.m.
Organization Committee- Meets second Thursday at 8 a.m.
Promotion Committee- Fourth Tuesday of the month at 7:30 a.m.
Design Committee- This committee always meets at 6 p.m. on the last Thursday of the month.

New committees forming now: Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre Committee, Volunteer Recognition Event Committee, Mount Vernon After Dark Committee. Also, “Butt Brigade”rs always needed Sunday morning to sweep up cigarette butts… Contact Joe Jennison if interested.

Joe Jennison
Main Street and Marketing Director
Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Development Group
PO Box 31
Mount Vernon, IA 52314
319-895-8214, office
319-210-9935, cell – Your Source for Events, Features and Information


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