Live Music – Freebo, Maxwell & Howe – Presented by Lilfest

This Saturday, February 10th, starting at 7:30 pm the Uptown Theatre will host the astonishingly talented Freebo (Bonnie Raitt’s bass player and sideman/recording artist for many LA greats like like John Mayall; Dr. John; Crosby, Stills & Nash; Maria Muldaur; and Ringo Starr) has assembled a Super-Tour Trio, Freebo, Maxwell & Howe. As a recording producer, he brought two great talents into his studio, Kristen Maxwell and Alice Howe. The blends, humor, and comraderie set fire, and off they went on tour together! A road experienced singer-songwriter in his own right for many years now, Freebo recognized something really special.

A 2016 Kerrville New Folk Finalist and 2017 Most Wanted Artist at Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, Kirsten Maxwell’s rise in the music scene has been one to watch, Based out of Long Island, NY, this singer/songwriter has been making a name for herself in the Northeast and beyond. Described as “making love to the audience”, Kirsten’s stage presence is undeniably endearing and she has since opened for Melissa Etheridge, Bill Staines, Michael Johnson, Slaid Cleaves, and Vance Gilbert.

Timeless and original, Boston singer-songwriter Alice Howe joins a soulful, impeccably tuned voice with crafted poetry. A lifelong songwriter, Alice’s musical sensibility lies in ’60s folk and ’70s Southern California songwriters, with comparisons drawn to the pure, distilled sounds of Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell. As a performer, Alice is sure-footed and captivating, familiar to her audience from the very first song. A born New Englander and Smith graduate, her career launched in Seattle and now she hails from Boston again. Her original song “Homeland Blues,” debuted at #1 on the April Folk DJ chart and she is a 2017 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Emerging Artist.

TICKETS: $5 for students with student ID, $15 for general admission, $50 for patron reserved seats. Can be purchased in-person at the concert or online.

DON’T FORGET: BRING YOUR OWN BEVERAGES. Buy the Sippy Cup and you can bring the beverage in the Theatre. Popcorn provided.


The LilFest Series regularly presents folk and international concerts in intimate settings in the Eastern Iowa region. Past performers include Jim Post, Ellis Paul, Dave Moore, James Lee Stanley, Eric Taylor, Claudia Nygaard, Radoslav Lorkovic, and Nathan Bell. LilFest (http://www.LilFest.org/ ) was originally developed in the Chicago area by Nancy Emrich Freeman, the now-resident of Mount Vernon continues a grand tradition of bringing the finest musicians to play in the places that are best for both the person onstage and the fan in the nearby seat.

Auditions for – And Then There Were None

image for auditions for "And Then There Were None"

The Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Theatre will be presenting Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None” in March.

Be a Part of the Show!

This weekend they are holding auditions for parts in this iconic murder-mystery Sunday, January 21 at 7 pm and Monday, January 22 at 7 pm  in the Uptown Theatre.

There are roles for adults: 8 males, 3 females

Here’s a summary of the play from the MVLCT website

Agatha Christie’s dramatization of one of her darkest and most successful mystery novels is set in a house on a remote island off the coast of Devon, England in the 1940s.

The plot revolves around ten strangers who are summoned there because they have a secret past in common. Each visitor has been marked for murder and, one by one, they are killed in the order dictated by a sinister nursery rhyme about ten little soldiers.

As a storm rages outside, there is no escape. This is a classic murder mystery drama by one of the masters of the genre!

Got to the MVLCT website to learn more about this and other performances put on by this great local group.

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.

Small Business Spotlight – Elliott’s Uptown Fitness

Photo of a Yoga class
Relieve stress and improve your health

Need Yoga?

Starting January 2018 Elliott’s Uptown Fitness Center is offering six (6) different kinds of Yoga Classes each week.   Pick the one that’s right for you to help you with your New Year’s resolution to get healthy and reduce stress in 2018!

Elliott’s Uptown Fitness Center has been joined by four amazing teachers:

  • Carol Daly
  • Ann Fleckenstein
  • Jen Zimmerman Bronder
  • Devon Olberding

These awesome instructors will encourage you to begin to make a healthier and less stressful lifestyle and introduce the practice of yoga as a part of your life.

Let us help you fulfill your New Year’s Resolution and join us for a mind-body workout.

Check out Elliott’s Uptown Fitness website for specific class information, sign up to check out an “Intro to Yoga” class and learn more about each teacher.

Magical Night 2017 is Almost Here!

Mount Vernon’s First Street Community Center Offers Holiday Fun

The holidays are quickly approaching, and the First Street Community Center with the Old School Shops in Mount Vernon are already decking the halls for the city’s Magical Night celebration Thursday, November 30th, 2017.

Magical Night festivities will begin at the First Street Community Center, at 5:00 pm you can help Santa “flip the switch” to light up the historic building.

The First Street Community Center was originally the town’s high school, then later became its middle school. Now it is home to more than 12 local businesses and the First Street Community Center amenities which include a gymnasium, theater and meeting spaces, are available for the public to rent.

Schedule of Activities at the First Street Community Center:

5:00 pm
Help Santa light up the First Street Community Center building

5:00 to 8:00 pm
Cookie Decorating, sponsored by Mount Vernon Parks and Recreation

5:00 to 8:00 pm
Business Open House, visit local businesses, enjoy live music, snacks and begin your holiday shopping

5:00 to 8:00 pm
Arts Fest – “Holiday Shadow Play” presented by Stan Crocker & Mount Vernon Schools

5:30 to 6:30 pm
“Living Window” live display at Palisades Cafe, sponsored by Dance Arts Iowa

6:30 and 7:00 pm
“Holiday Tidings” from Dance Arts Iowa @ Uptown Theatre

Picture of Young Ballerinas excited about their performance in Nutcracker -Magical Night - 2012

For more information:
Contact Trude Elliott about Magical Night activities at the First Street Community Center via phone at: (319) 558-9202 or email at: trudejoelliott@aol.com

Did you know this?

Magical Night activities will take place throughout uptown Mount Vernon.
Go to www.VisitMVL.com for a complete list of events.

You can also go to Magic Night’s Facebook page for more information.

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.

Live Music – Dave Moore – Americana and Folk

Eastern Iowa’s Dave Moore will be performing in the Uptown Theatre in the First Street Community Center in Mount Vernon, Iowa this Saturday, November 18, @7:30pm (doors open at 7:15pm).

He is a 2017 recipient of the Folk Tradition Midwest Lifetime Achievement Award, one of the great songwriters to come out of the state of Iowa and is a Red House recording artist.

Known for his elegant songwriting and instrumental prowess on blues guitar, button accordion and harmonica, he has become somewhat of a legend.

Local songwriter Greg Brown and Dave Moore both developed a national reputation in the early years of both Prairie Home Companion and the legendary Red House Records.

Greg Brown and Dave worked together on recording projects and extensive tours. Dave made many appearances on Garrison Keillor’s popular A Prairie Home Companion on NPR, including time as the show’s band leader.

In Iowa, Dave has been an Iowa Arts Council artist in residence in the schools. He has appeared on recordings by Garrison Keillor, Greg Brown, and many others.

His songs have been recorded by Lowen & Navarro, Larry Penn, Greg Brown, and even more others.

While Dave grew up in Cedar Rapids, lives now in Iowa City, his father lived in Mount Vernon.

$15 General admission, $50 Patrons, $5 Students, available at the event or before via http://davemoore.bpt.me.

Questions?  Call: 518-576-9513.

Dave Moore on Facebook.  Dave Moore on Red House Records.

LilFest is a presenter of deeply rooted songs and stories of passion and power.

Live Music – Meet Me In New Orleans – Eddie Piccard Jazz

Eddie Piccard and the Busch Brothers take to the Uptown Theatre stage on Friday, November 10th @ 7:30pm with their show “Meet Me In New Orleans”.

Jazz has been called “the truly American art form.” Growing out of the rhythms and cultures of New Orleans it has spread over the world, bringing joy to listeners on many continents, in many cities. And here in eastern Iowa we have our own jazz legend—Eddie Piccard. Eddie and his band will be performing in Mount Vernon on November 10 at 7:30 p.m. at the Uptown Theater in the First Street Community Center. The program—Meet Me in New Orleans— will include many Dixieland favorites. Eddie has always loved Dixieland music. He started out on the trombone and became familiar with New Orleans jazz early in his career.

Eddie Piccard grew up in eastern Iowa, and began playing music on his grandmother’s piano. He left for larger venues in Chicago, Florida and on the west coast. But he came back to Iowa in the 1980s and has become a jazz icon in eastern Iowa since returning to his home state. Iowans remember fondly the jazz club Eddie and his wife Dallis opened on Mount Vernon Road in the 1990s. But Iowans weren’t the only ones to frequent Eddie’s place. Travelers from other states came to this club for the chic décor and the unforgettable nights of music. Jazz musicians stopped by, too, after finishing up a gig in the area. The club was forced to close because of road widening. Eddie now plays regularly all over eastern Iowa, as well as in the Chicago area and the Twin Cities.

Eddie and the musicians play hot traditional favorites, classic Dixieland, and cool Latin tunes. The group features Eddie on piano and vocals, Tim Crumley on drums, Rich Martin on vibes, and Dave Richter on bass. This year the group will be joined by the Busch Brothers, popular Dixieland instrumentalists from Wisconsin. “We all love playing in Mount Vernon,” Eddie says. “And this group always brings full energy to the stage.”

More Info

Rich Martin’s career began in college where he was a drummer and a vibist. He took an extended break from performing to teach at Cornell College. But the music called him back and he began sitting in with Eddie’s trio fifteen years ago, while still teaching. He is now a full-time member of the group.

Dave Richter comes from Dubuque to perform in Meet Me in New Orleans. He is well-known in northeast Iowa as an accomplished guitarist, bassist, and banjo player. He performs in Iowa, Wisconsin, and the Chicago area.

Tim Crumley performs frequently with the Eddie Piccard Jazz Quartet, as well as a number of regional ensembles, including Ashanti, The Rusty Johnson Group, and the John Shultz Trio. Tim is a lyrical and sensitive drummer who is always engaged and engaging.

TICKETS:  $15 and can be purchased at Bauman’s Clothing Store.

Patrons are welcome to bring a favorite beverage and purchase a Community Center cup.