Smithsonian’s ‘Hometown Teams’

Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Development Group (CDG) in partnership with the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s Main Street Iowa program will celebrate the many roles athletics play in towns, cities, and states across the country when it brings the traveling Smithsonian exhibit “Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America,”  to Mount Vernon from March 18 to April 29, 2018.

“Hometown Teams” examines how and why hometown sports are more than just games.  Sports shape and unite us. From pick-up games to organized leagues, millions of Americans of all ages play sports. And, if we’re not playing sports, we’re sitting in the stands or gathered on the sidelines cheering as young athletes take their first swing or score their first goal. Let’s not forget, either, the tireless souvenir sales people and those slinging hamburgers and popcorn at concession stands.

The traveling Smithsonian exhibit will be enhanced and complemented by exhibits featuring local legacies.

A short video about the exhibition can be viewed at here.

“Hometown Teams” as well as the local exhibits featuring memorabilia from Eastern Iowa communities will be on display in the First Street Community Center’s Gymnasium, with occasional special events held in the Uptown Theatre.  Entrance to the exhibit will be FREE.

The exhibit will be on view from March 18 to April 29, 2018.

The open hours for the exhibit will be:

Wednesdays: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Thursdays: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Fridays: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturdays: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sundays: Noon – 4 p.m.

Trivia Night Fundraiser for the Smithsonian Museum on Main Street Exhibit

The Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Development Group (CDG), a Main Street Iowa organization, will be hosting game night with their Trivia Night fundraiser.  The event will take place Thursday, Jan. 18, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the First Street Community Center, and will be held inside the gymnasium.

The fundraiser has been created to raise the final $3,000 needed for the upcoming 2018 Smithsonian Museum on Main Street exhibit, set to tour to Mount Vernon from March 18, 2018, to April 30, 2018.

Mount Vernon will be one of six Iowa communities chosen to host the Smithsonian’s “Home Town Teams: How Sports Shaped America,” and will be the first community in Iowa to host this particular Smithsonian exhibit.

The Trivia Night fundraiser event will include a wine and hors d’oeuvres reception, silent auction and trivia game with prizes. The event will take place at the First Street Community Center gym from 6:30 to 9:30.

We are very close to reaching our goal to bring the Smithsonian’s Home Town Teams: How Sports Shape America exhibit to Mount Vernon, said board president Kate Rose.

This final fundraiser will take place inside the remodeled First Street Community Center gym, the site of the spring exhibit. Come take part and help us raise the final few dollars needed to bring this exhibit to Mount Vernon.

At 6:30 pm will be the reception, followed by the Trivia game at 7 pm, we will close the evening out with a silent auction at 9:30 pm.

Tickets to the fundraising event are $20 per person, and individuals can sign up with or without a team, although teams of 5 to 8 people are encouraged. Food and Silent Auction donations are being solicited by the board and staff of the CDG. More information including a registration form is available through www.visitmvl.com/trivianight.

Happy Thanksgiving!

There’s always something going on at the First Street Community Center in Mount Vernon, Iowa!

We hope that your family and friends enjoy a relaxing time together this Thanksgiving.  After Thanksgiving, if you want to stretch your legs and work off some of that turkey dinner, we invite you to come to the First Street Community Center for “Small Business Saturday“.

We will have FREE live music inside the building performed by James Kennedy and Friends.  They will be playing an eclectic blend of jazz, blues, rock in the hallway in front of the Uptown Theatre with two sessions: 10:30-noon and 1:30 – 3pm.

In addition, we will be hosting the Home Business Expo.  This group of innovative home businesses will be on display in the First Street Community Center’s gymnasium from 9am – 4pm.

Of course, throughout the day all of your favorite “Old School Shops” will be open, some may even have special treats or deals!

So, if you like live music, a warm building to walk in during a cold Fall day, and lots of interesting shopping opportunities, or maybe you want to learn something about starting a home based business, come on out to the First Street Community Center this Saturday.

Mount Vernon Farmer’s Market – Winter Season Begins Saturday

photo of fall vegetables on display

After a well deserved “vacation” the Mount Vernon Farmer’s Market is re-opening this Saturday inside the Gymnasium of the First Street Community Center.

Most every Saturday 10am – 12pm in the First Street Community Center Gymnasium.  They will take time off for holidays and we will try to have this information in our events calendar.

From their Facebook page:

Bring your kids, your friends, and a stray neighbor or two! We have a variety of vendors and a plethora of delicious items from which to choose. Stock the cupboards and fill the pantry, it is time for the Mt. Vernon Winter Farmers Market!

Farm eggs, fresh roasted coffee and coffee beans, apples, wines, pork and lamb, and an abundance of delicious, seasonal produce! Everything at our market is produced and raised here in Iowa, by the vendor selling directly to you! We are proud to be local!

If you have any questions, please contact Mount Vernon Farmers’ Market Managers: Danielle Martin or Laura Strabala at (319) 310-4145 or mtvernonfm@yahoo.com.

Be sure to stop inside the First Street Community Center to check out all the fantastic shops as well!

Mount Vernon Farmer’s Market is OPEN Saturday, December 31st, 2017

picture of one of the stalls at the winter farmer's market

We all hope that you have been having a relaxing and enjoyable holiday!  Just a quick note to remind you that the Mount Vernon Farmer’s Market will resume its normal schedule on the 31st.

So come on out of hibernation long enough to stop by the gymnasium this Saturday the 31st of December, 2017 from 10am – 12pm!

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For info about all of the events at the First Street Community Center check out our Events page.

Concert and Dance – The Stompers Play After Homecoming

Friday evening, September 30 beginning at 9 pm, come listen and dance to ‘The Stompers’ performing in the Gym of the First Street Community Center.

The Stompers band are Iowa’s Rock and Roll Music Hall of Fame recipients and the 2016 Alumni Association’s Community Impact Hall of Fame winners. Playing 60s music that all ages will enjoy!  After the Homecoming Game, come have some fun and listen or dance to some of The Stompers members playing right here in First Street Community Center’s gym where they will be playing.

Open to all, no charge.

picture of The Stompers from the 1960's


The Stompers band, with members Bill Bauman’66, Steve Edwards’65, Brian Harman’69, Greg Harman’65, and Randy Harman’68, are this year’s Community Impact recipients.

Jo Clark’64 says in her nomination “Before there was a Mount Vernon High School Alumni Association, there were the Stompers. This group of MVHS graduates is more than a senior citizen high school rock ‘n’ roll band. The Stompers have served as a bond between Mustangs since 1963. The Stompers returned to Mount Vernon every fall for over twenty years, bringing people from all over the United States for their performances. Classmates who hardly knew each other in high school often become friends at a Stompers Reunion Concert. The music is important, but not the most important thing in these gatherings. The spirit and camaraderie of the room trumps all. The Stompers will tell you they don’t sound like they did in the 60s, but you never hear anyone complain. To many of us, it’s almost like a fall evening at Manny’s Corner on Main Street in 1963.”

From 1963 to 1965, the Stompers stomped. These boys from Mount Vernon toured Eastern Iowa ballrooms, Danceland in Cedar Rapids, DanceMor in Swisher, and more. It all started at Manny’s Corner, an little pizza parlor, just down Mount Vernon’s Main Street from Cornell College. Friends grew to crowds, grew to lines on the sidewalk. As the British invaded, The Stompers grew their hair long. They wore tight pants, ankle boots, and turtleneck sweaters. They sang and screamed and duck-walked across the stage like animals.

Their performances at Manny’s Corner put them on the Eastern Iowa map. Before long, The Stompers had gigs every weekend and on many week nights. They earned $100 to $150 per performance. Their original song ‘I Know’ made it to the local airwaves. Girls screamed at every venue. The Stompers fronted the likes of The Animals, the Everly Brothers, and Chuck Berry.

“I Know” gained a notoriety long outliving the band. “I Know” made it as high as #19 on a number of regional charts. In recent years, “I Know” has surfaced on garage-band-loving stations and is considered by many a collector’s item and has been featured on EBay and on-line garage-band forums such as GaragePunk.com.

The summer of ‘65 brought the release of a second record “You’re Gone” by Greg that peaked at #24 on regional charts

In ‘69, Steve, Greg and Randy along and with young brother Brian Harman joining the band, opened a show for The Paul Butterfield Blues Band at Vet’s Coliseum in Cedar Rapids. This turned out to be the precursor to a series of annual reunions.

In 2006 The Stompers band was inducted in the Iowa Music Hall of Fame.

Here’s some YouTube “videos” with their music:

This event is brought to you by:

Logo for the Mount Vernon Community School District Alumni Association

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Farmer’s Market – Summer Season Ends

Sadly, all good things must come to an end.  The 2015 Summer Season for the Farmer’s Market has come to a close.

But, don’t worry, they’ll be back after a short break for their indoor Winter Season!

How short of a break you ask? Our calendar shows that the Farmers’ Market will return inside the First Street Community Center’s Gymnasium starting November 7th, with vendors open to the public from 10am – 12 noon.

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For info about all of the events at the First Street Community Center check out our Events page.

Jugglefest Jugglers Practice

Photo by Larry1732

Our Gymnasium is going to host Jugglefest Jugglers Practice sessions from 4pm – 11pm Friday and Saturday (June 5th and 6th).

Come on out to watch or hone your own juggling skills!

Check out the Junction Jugglefest Facebook page for more info about the actual event.

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For info about all of the events at the First Street Community Center check out our Events page.