MOUNT VERNON, Ohio – The holiday season is swiftly approaching, and Downtown Mount Vernon is gearing up for a bustling winter season! Experience Mount Vernon has been crafting an exciting lineup of events to infuse the downtown area with festive cheer. Open Road Renewables, the overall event sponsor, extends a warm invitation to the Mount Vernon community and beyond to partake in the joyous celebrations.
Beginning on Saturday, November 25 with Shop Small Saturday, Experience Mount Vernon encourages you to stop at all of the retail, restaurants and craft artisan shops downtown to help kick off the holiday shopping season. The merchants will be hosting a Shop Small Saturday Shop Hop to celebrate the national holiday. For each purchase made at a participating establishment, shoppers will be entered into a drawing for a Gift Card Tree, adorned with various gift cards donated by downtown merchants and topped with a $50 Downtown Gift Card.
Experience Mount Vernon invites you back downtown on Sunday, November 26 for a day full of Holiday fun! You can start the fun at 1:00pm by catching a production of It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Show, presented by the Mount Vernon Arts Consortium at the Knox Memorial Theater. Afterwards, head down to the Public Square to grab a bite to eat at a food truck and visit some of the many open businesses before getting a spot to watch the parade.
Sponsored by Park National Bank, the parade will begin its route at 3:45pm on Sunday, November 26. The parade will start at Sugar Street, run down North Main and around the west side of Public Square. The route will pass by the square and continue down South Main Street to Howard Street where the parade will end. Businesses, organizations and other community groups are invited to sign up for the parade through a registration link located on the “Winter in Downtown” page of ExperienceMV.org. The deadline to register for the parade or sponsor one of the award categories is Sunday, November 12 at 11:59pm.
After the parade, downtown will be bustling with activities for families. Children can write letters to Santa in the lower level of the Mount Vernon Grand Hotel, then head around to all of the shops and establishments to collect unique ornaments during the Ornament Hop, which will take place throughout all of the festivities from 12:00pm-7:00pm. Each business will have their own ornament available for a donation of any amount, which will go directly to the Winter Sanctuary Homeless Shelter, so be sure to stop by as many as possible to collect them all!
Head back to the Square to get dinner at a food truck while you listen to the Dogwood Blossoms sing some holiday carols, before the lighting of Public Square at 5:00pm. Presented by Ariel Corporation, gather on Public Square to help us create that hallmark moment when all of the lights turn on for the first time! Mayor Matt Starr will lead the ceremony to flip the switch and light up the night!
To finish off the weekend’s festivities, Santa will be available for pictures from 5:30-7:00pm in the downstairs lobby of The Mount Vernon Grand Hotel. Don’t worry, if you are unable to see Santa on the 26th, he will be back at the Mount Vernon Grand Hotel on Saturday, December 16 from 4:00pm-6:00pm!
Wrapping up the holiday events from the office of Experience Mount Vernon, is the Festival of Lights! This year, we are inviting both residential houses and businesses in a lighting competition! It challenges participants within the city limits of Mount Vernon to see who has the best lighting display. Registration for the event is on the Experience Mount Vernon website, ExperienceMV.org under “Winter in Downtown” and will close Monday, December 11 at 5:00pm.
Once approved, participating houses and businesses will be photographed and logged. A map of the locations will be made available prior to the event. The event will take place Saturday, December 16 through Monday December 18, and those who have been approved must have their displays on for viewing from 6:00pm-9:00pm each night. The voting form will open at 8:00pm on Saturday, December 16 and remain open until 11:59pm on Monday, December 18. One vote per email address per category – extra votes in the same category will be deleted. Winners will be announced on the Experience Mount Vernon Facebook page on Tuesday, December 19 by 5:00pm.
To learn more about the Downtown Mount Vernon Winter in Downtown, Shop Small Saturday Shop Hop, Annual Holiday Parade, Square Lighting Ceremony, Festival of Lights or to join the downtown movement, head to www.experiencemv.org.