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MOUNT VERNON, OHIO—Get ready to break out the neon colors and leg warmers because Experience Mount Vernon is turning back the clock to the 1980s for June First Friday, sponsored by Sara Mankins. On June 7th, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., the historic streets of Downtown Mount Vernon will be transformed into a nostalgic playground, celebrating the iconic decade of the 1980s. 

Experience Mount Vernon, notable for its vibrant community events that showcase the rich heritage of Downtown Mount Vernon, is excited to partner with Sara Mankins to bring this fun experience to locals and visitors alike. “We’re thrilled to team up with Sara Mankins to bring the spirit of the ‘80s to Downtown,” said Lacey Filkins, Executive Director of Experience Mount Vernon, “we can’t wait to see the energy and creativity the attendees and exhibitors will bring to First Friday!”

Indulge in a variety of culinary delights from the ten food trucks around Public Square at the Knox Foodies Food Truck Trail, sponsored by Ariel Corporation and Dumbaugh Insurance. Then, make your way to the Burrata Woodfired Main Stage, where Fat Dog Vinyl will be hosting an electrifying Battle of the Bands. Talented musicians will compete for the title of best band, playing both covers and original music. The winning group/artist will not only be granted bragging rights but will also be the headlining musical entertainment at August First Friday on August 2nd. 

Public Square will be alive with activity all evening with the Back to the ‘80s classic car cruise-in sponsored by A+ Autobrokers. Anyone wishing to bring a classic car to the cruise-in may do so by pre-registering at by June 5th. Pre-registration is FREE. Cruise-in check-in will begin at 4:30 p.m. on June 7th. 

Remember to check out the Community Corner Stage on East Gambier Street, where the MTVarts cast of FOOTLOOSE will cut loose and perform pieces from their upcoming July show. The crew of the Mount Vernon Music and Arts Consortium will also be on-site at the Community Corner, with their box office open and hosting fun’ 80s-themed game shows for all to enjoy!

The MVNU Athletics Activity Zone, sponsored by the New Directions Teen Advisory Council, will be on West Gambier Street hosting totally tubular activities for the whole family alongside the Sweet Treats food truck.  Also featured in the Activity Zone will be the Pak United Touch-A-Truck sponsored by CES Credit Union!  Be sure to stop by to get a picture with a local first responder and their vehicles.

Don’t fuss with finding parking; ride your bicycle! Experience Mount Vernon has partnered with Knox Public Health to host a FREE Bike Valet station in the Blue Ash Parking Lot on the corner of East Ohio Avenue and South Main Street.  As part of the Active Transportation Plan, both Experience Mount Vernon and Knox Public Health encourage those who can bike to take advantage of this FREE service! Special thanks to Martha Edelblute for the use of the lot.

Starting at 3:30 p.m., parking will close on Main Street from Chestnut Street to Ohio Avenue, including one block east and west, and around Public Square. All parked vehicles should be removed from said streets by 3:30 p.m. Streets will close to all driving traffic at 4:00 p.m. If you have questions, please contact Executive Director Lacey Filkins at 740-393-1481 (call or text) or email Parking can be found at Public Lots on South Gay and Mulberry Streets as well as any open street parking.

“We are inviting everyone to dust off their fanny packs, shoulder pads, and Aqua Net hairspray and join us for a journey back in time,” added Filkins. “It’s going to be an evening filled with nostalgia, laughter, and plenty of rad memories!”

Save the Dates for the Experience Mount Vernon event season:

  • July 5thSummer Camp July First Friday presented by Griffin Insurance (Featuring summer camp on the Square)
  • August 2nd: Dog Days of Summer August First Friday presented by Freedom Fire Protection (Featuring the WNZR annual Dog Parade)
  • September 6th: Back to School September First Friday presented by The Freedom Center (Featuring the educational institutions’ department fair)
  • October 4th: The 4th Annual Johnny Appleseed Apple Festival presented by The Peoples Bank of Gambier 
  • November 30th: Kick-off Winter in Downtown presented by Park National Bank with Shop Small Saturday
  • December 1st:
    • The Annual Holiday Parade presented by Burrata Woodfired (Rain date 12/8)
    • Lighting of Public Square presented by Ariel Corporation
    • Pictures with Santa presented by the Mount Vernon Grand Hotel
  • December 14th:
    • Pictures with Santa presented by the Mount Vernon Grand Hotel
    • Festival of Lights Holiday Lighting Competition presented by Knox Community Hospital


Experience Mount Vernon is a 501c3 non-profit organization that aims to energize and strengthen an authentic and uniquely downtown experience through community-wide events, beautification projects, and small business support. Visit for more information.

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