Magical Night at First Street Community Center

The 28th annual Magical Night event will take place Thursday, Nov. 29, from 5 to 8 p.m. at several locations throughout Uptown Mount Vernon, Iowa.

Magical Night in Mount Vernon, Iowa is a celebration of holiday magic that begins on the lawn of the First Street Community Center, at 5 pm, Santa himself will be throwing the switch unveiling Mount Vernon’s holiday lights on the Fist Street Community Center’s historic one-of-a-kind building.

For the first time in the history of Magical Night, volunteers and City representatives have decided to close 1st Street to traffic to create a Holiday-inspired Ped Mall for the entire festival from 5 to 8 p.m

– From VisitMVL.com

There are dozens of special events throughout the area during this evening, you can check out the full list of activities here.

Activities We Are Hosting

@ 5pm – Help Santa light up the First Street Community Center

@ 6:30 & 7:15 pm at the First Street Community Center (221 1st St. NE): “Holiday Tidings” from Dance Arts Iowa @ Uptown Theatre

From 5pm – 8pm

  • Business Open House, visit local businesses, enjoy live music, snacks and begin your holiday shopping.
  • Get your magic reindeer food and visit with live reindeer on the lawn of the First Street Community Center sponsored by Hills Bank.
  • Cookie Decorating, sponsored by Mount Vernon Parks and Recreation, inside the Library at the First Street Community Center.
  • Arts Fest, “Dance on a Starry Night” presented by Mount Vernon elementary and high school art students inside the First Street Community Center gym.
  • Jackee Austerman Photography – Stop over for some fun Christmas photos!  Images are free and will be available on their Facebook page after the event!  She is also offering $5 light-up necklaces for you to wear as you stroll through town on Magical Night! You are sure to be feeling FESTIVE!! 🙂

Click on Jackee Austerman’s cool video short below:  (shared with Jackee’s permission)

Shop Small Saturday

Support your favorite small businesses this Saturday and come out to the First Street Community Center to browse in our warm, one-of-a-kind unique building.

This quote from the VisitMVL.com (Visit Mount Vernon – Lisbon) website says it all:

“Small businesses, like small Iowa towns, are the back-bone of our nation and our economy,” said Catherine Kennedy, Chair of the Mount Vernon-Lisbon project.

“Support for small businesses and small towns is support for the growth of our families, our friends, and our country. Please plan on joining us on Saturday, Nov. 24, to Shop Small!”

Room 222 – Antiques, Collectibles & “Wants”

Room 222 has a mix of antique, vintage, retro and more — covering just about anything someone may choose to collect. Walking around Room 222 will take every visitor back to remembering Grandma’s house and Grandpa’s barn viewing many things that they grew up bringing back wonderful memories of their childhood.

Room 222 is owned by Kevin Smith who has lived in Mount Vernon all of his life. Way back in the ’70’s he studied at Kirkwood Community College.  Kevin also worked 27 years in a factory in Cedar Rapids.  He’s retired now and doing what he loves, buying and selling antiques and collectibles.

The Twig & Fairy Room and a Few Antiques

Artwork Inspired by Nature & Fairies for the Whimsical of All Ages.  The Twig and Fairy Room is a combination of 3 businesses; Ruth Ipsan-Brown dba Ruth’s Twig Art, Kim Wolfe dba Fairy Under A Full Moon and Glenn Wolfe dba Wolfe’s Antiques.

Ruth Ipsan-Brown, the goddess of all things twig, has been inspired by nature since childhood and uses natural materials to create nature art pieces including figures, chairs and altars.

Kim Wolfe, the Fairy Grandmother, makes flower fairies, fairy related items as well as hand painted stones.

Glenn Wolfe has been restoring and selling antiques since 1989 and enjoys having his foot back in the antique biz again after recently retiring. Restored electric lighting and quality antique furniture are his specialties.

School House Antiques

History you will be proud to put on display.  Schoolhouse Antiques specializes in American Indian artifacts and framed pictures, primitives, Asian artwork, statues, and dishes, linens, silver trays, serving pieces and silverware and numerous collectibles. She also deals in small furniture.

Schoolhouse Antiques owner Carolyn Wellso has been in the antique business for over 28 years in Mount Vernon.

Helios Stitches n Stuff

A fabric studio and shop like no other.  Yes Virginia, there IS a fabric shop in Mount Vernon!

Serving Quilters, Crafters, Seamstresses and offering handmade gifts. They have a beautiful selection of high quality fabrics created by Iowa designers and use locally-sourced materials for many of our products. Helios is dedicated to finding bright, sunny fabrics that you will not find in other quilt shops. They also stock a wide selection of quilt backs.

The Green Door

Logo for The Green Door thrift boutique

A Unique & Affordable Thrift Boutique.  The Green Door is first and foremost a place for folks to come looking for deals on good used clothing. It’s also a place to find STUFF you won’t find anywhere else. They carry like new women’s and men’s clothing, jewelry, shoes, antiques, Asianware, vintage, functional hand-thrown pottery, contemporary housewares, and one of a kind items.

From the store owners:

We are offering 75% off everything in Green Door Too. Most of our display fixtures will also be on sale Price as Marked.

Many have been asking if we are closing both stores and the answer is NO. We are just doing a bit of down-sizing. Stop by to get the best deals.

Final days of Green Door Too will be just before the Christmas Holidays.

East End Art & Tea

A notable & diverse selection of Iowa art & craft & Organic tea, too!


My Studio

(Made by You Studio) is a cozy little space stocked with an extensive variety of art supplies and materials just for you!

MY Studio has hosts birthday parties, ladies nights, creative friend gatherings, couple’s art dates, and has partnered with Cornell College as part of their new student orientation activities. MY Studio has walk in open studio hours on Tuesdays Wednesdays and Saturdays, and can be reserved any other time for private events.

This is a cozy little place where the possibilities are endless! Come in with an idea–they provide the space, materials and tools.

Blooming Acres Florist and Gifts

Blooming Acres Florist and Gifts is a full service flower shop specializing in custom floral arrangements for birthdays, anniversaries, funerals, and everyday.

They provide balloon bouquets, candy bouquets, gift baskets, green and blooming plants.  They also carry a wide variety of local and Iowa made gifts.

Small Business Saturday – Crafters Market & Home Business Expo

New this year, we are proud to be hosting The Crafters Market together with the Annual Home Business Expo on Small Business Saturday, November 24th, from 9am – 4pm inside the First Street Community Center’s Gymnasium.

The Crafters Market specializes in well created, handmade items for the discerning customer.

The Annual Home Business Expo will feature numerous home based businesses in the local area including:

  • Mettes Doll Fashions
  • Becky Danielson
  • Grannie’s Ruffles
  • Amy Bishop Fine Art
  • Dog Bandanas Creations
  • Kelli Wolfe Quilting
  • Lindenbolt Serigraphy
  • Mary Beth’s Articulture
  • The Crafty Needle
  • Stine Designs
  • Poets Garden
  • Lisa Kenyon
  • Rodan+Fields
  • LuLaRoe
  • Scentsy
  • ItWorks
  • doTERRA Essential Oils

Displays from other local shops may also be on hand, including: Fairy Under a Full Moon and Twig Creations by Ruth.

There is FREE ADMISSION and as always the First Street Community Center has FREE Parking.

* Don’t forget while you are here to check on the other wonderful shops that call this building home throughout the year!

The Green Door – HUGEGANTIC Downsizing Sale

When: Sale Begins Thursday, September 13 @Noon

Logo for The Green Door thrift boutique

Who: The Green Door

What: Enormous Downsizing SALE!
Antiques, home decor, small furniture and display pieces, pottery, pictures and paintings, AND men’s and women’s End of Season clothing (J Jill, Converse, Eddie Bauer, Nike, Abercrombie, Cabbi, Banana Republic, J Crew, True Religion, Ralph Lauren, Carhart, Coach, Land’s End, Free People, Brooks Brothers, Rag and Bone, etc)

Where: First Street Community Center, Mt. Vernon, on 2nd Floor, around the corner.
Note:  We have devoted one entire room to 50% markdowns

Why: We are DOWNSIZING!!!!!!!

Go to the Chili Cook-off and Stop by the East End Art Gallery this Saturday

We hope everyone gets out and enjoys the Chili Cookoff this weekend in Mount Vernon, Iowa!

The East End Art Gallery isn’t participating in the Chili Cookoff this weekend, but, we welcome anyone to come over and browse some of our “hot” artwork on display.  🙂

As a seasonal treat, we will be offering Hot Apple Cider & Gingersnaps to anyone who comes across the street to check out our newest artworks on display. East End Art proudly displays juried local and regional artists, selling works in a colorful array of media including oil, acrylic, watercolor, glass, wood, pottery, paper, assemblage, collage, photography, and textiles.

We are open this Saturday, October 24th from 11am – 5pm.

We hope to see you soon at the Old School Shops in the First Street Community Center (221 First Street NE, Mount Vernon, Iowa).

Get the Latest News!

Get the First Street Community Center News in your Inbox.

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

East End Art – September Event


Another great activity will be happening at the First Street Community Center, Saturday, September 19th.

  • Wine Tasting from 1-3pm
    Sample wines from the Winery at Kirkwood
  • Chocolate Sampling from 1-3pm
    Sample chocolates from Mt. Vernon Confections
  • Henna Tattoos from Stephanie Abresch from 11-4pm

Sign up to win a $20 token to spend at the 10th Annual Lincoln Highway Arts Festival on September 19th.  Sign up starts September 9th, with drawing on September 18th.

For more information contact East End Art at (319) 535-0828, or via email at EastEndArtOnMain@gmail.com.  You can also see their directory listing for more information about them.

Get the Latest News!

Get the First Street Community Center News in your Inbox.

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

Welcome Blooming Acres to the First Street Community Center

Blooming Acres Florist and Gifts has opened in the First Street Community Center!  They are one more great reason to come stop by the Old School Shops whenever you can.

They are a full service flower shop specializing in custom floral arrangements for birthdays, anniversaries, funerals, and everyday. Blooming Acres also provide balloon bouquets, candy bouquets, gift baskets, green and blooming plants.

They even deliver! Deliveries are Monday – Friday throughout the Mt Vernon and Lisbon area.

Their gift shop carries a wide selection of candles, soaps, bath and body, gourmet food, wind-chimes, silk flowers, and memorial gifts. Blooming Acres specialize in gifts made in Iowa. They also carry handmade items including quilts, baskets, and photography cards from Mt Vernon residents.

Blooming Acres is also a dealer for Old Town Chalk Paint and Supplies for customers that enjoy repainting furniture and other fun treasures.

They are open Monday 10-3, Tuesday – Friday 9-5, and Saturday 9-2.  They are conveniently located on the ground floor at our East entrance, just off the main parking lot.

For more information please contact Rebecca at (319) 895-6077.

Get the Latest News!

Get the First Street Community Center News in your Inbox.

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

New Business – Zoe’s Pet Deli

First Street Community Center in Mount Vernon, Iowa would like to welcome our latest business – Zoe’s Pet Deli.  Zoe’s Deli is located in our lower level under the Gymnasium.  You can access it from indoors via the Gymnasium’s North-West stairs or outdoors via the North parking lot’s West entrance.

Learn more about them from our business directory listing for Zoe’s Pet Deli.

[jetpack_subscription_form title=”Get the Latest News!” subscribe_text=”Enter your E-mail address to receive News articles automatically.” subscribe_button=”Sign Me Up!”]

For more information about events coming up at the First Street Community Center check out our Events page.