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Ferris wheel highlights Heritage Days
July 10, 2014 · Dave Morris

Ferris wheels have been an attraction at festivals throughout history, and this year's Heritage Days is no exception.

The organizing committee didn't have to look far for the one at this year's festival, turning to a Cedar Rapids company called Round Concepts, said Wade Squiers, chair of the 27th annual Heritage Days, which is Thursday through Saturday, July 10-12 in Mount Vernon (see schedule on Page A10).

"We're excited to do that. We wanted to bring back some of the older rides," Squiers said, adding that it should help eliminate some of the wait lines for the zipline and Eurobungy, which were popular last year and are returning this year.

Rides are always a big attraction at the event, but with fewer carnival ride providers, there is a shift away from the traditional carnival rides, Squiers noted.

Like last year, all-day passes (wristbands) will be available for unlimited rides, with the hope that activity will spread throughout the day. New this year: Credit cards will be accepted for tickets and passes.

Also new is a family pass program, allowing purchase of an all-family daylong pass for families of four or more people. Cost is $100 for four or more members of the same family on Friday and $140 on Saturday. Family passes are only available at the Heritage Days ticket booth.

In an attempt to make the process simpler, Squiers said individual tickets are going from $1 per ticket to $2, but the number of tickets per ride is going down, he added.

The zipline appeals to a wide range of ages as those on it travel about 250 feet down a sloping elevated line. The Eurobungy involves a series of trampolines that bounce a harnessed participant high in the air. There also will be a few smaller rides, such as the "apple ride," kids' rollercoaster and inflatables, as well as bingo and other games.

The Mount Vernon/Lisbon Young Adult Theatre Company will be presenting a play at 7 p.m. on Wednesday (July 9), Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday, at First Presbyterian Church of Mount Vernon.


Heritage Days kicks off tonight (Thursday, July 10) with family events at Kernoustie Golf Club. The Rotary Club's Mini-Olympics start at 6 p.m. (registration at 5:30 p.m.), and activities (food, drink, music and children's entertainment) go from 6 to 9 p.m. The Lisbon-Mount Vernon Ambulance Service is having an open house from 7 to 9 p.m. at their station across Hwy. 30 from the golf course. At dark, there will be a fireworks display.


Kernoustie is also sponsoring a three-person best shot tourney at noon on Friday.

Food vendors will be set up on First Street West between noon and 10 p.m.

There will be a Kids Fun Run (ages 10 and under) at the Cornell football field. Registration is at 6 p.m., with race time at 6:30.

At 5 p.m., the Community Band performs in front of the main stage.

Main stage entertainment for Friday evening is: 6 p.m. Simpleton & City Folk, 9 p.m.: Large Midgets.


On Saturday, there is a two-person 8-inch cup best shot tourney at 10 a.m. at Kernoustie.

Food vendors will be set up between 10 a.m. and 11 p.m.

A 5K Run/Walk and kids' run start at 8 a.m. at Mount Vernon High School and wind through scenic Mount Vernon. Register at or onsite from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m.

At 9 a.m., a bike ride starts in uptown Mount Vernon in front of the Skillet Cafe. Riders will travel toward Sutliff, south to Solon and back.

The annual Heritage Days parade will be at 11 a.m. uptown. The theme is 1980s Teen Movies. Lineup begins at 10 a.m.

There will be a car show on First Street West from noon to 4 p.m.

The Old Time Family Fun Zone, organized by Seeds of Faith Lutheran Church, will be open from 3 to 6 p.m. in front of the First Street Community Center and features kids games and activities.

Saturday evening's main stage music: 6 p.m. Ducey Johnson Band, 9 p.m.: Three Musicians and a Drummer.

Alumni events

A large part of Heritage Days is geared toward Mount Vernon High School alumni.

From 4 to 9 p.m. Friday, alumni can visit the reception at the tent located on main street next to the bingo tent. The alumni tent is where they can hang out with classmates and meet fellow alums from many classes.

The alumni and community breakfast is Saturday morning from 8 to 10:30 at the high school commons. All alumni, families, friends and community members are welcome. Cost is a donation at the door. A tour of the high school begins at 9 a.m.

The Heritage Days organizing committee includes Squiers, Jackie Morrical, Greg West, Michele Grudzinski, Margaret Stevens, Ben Brannaman, Christapher Lawrence, Lenny Baker, Lori Winder, Mike Kragenbrink, Slaton Anthony, Joe Jennison, webmaster Bill Niemi and Lisa White.

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