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The Mount Vernon Music and Arts Festival exists to present a celebration of the arts; creating experiences that entertain, educate and inspire; uniting artists and audiences within the historic backdrop of Mount Vernon, Ohio.


The Mount Vernon Music and Arts Festival seeks to create a long-lasting cultural impact by growing broad and deep community roots around experiences in the arts; funded in health by grassroots giving and community partnerships.



The Mount Vernon Music and Arts Festival traditionally begins the 2nd Thursday or Friday in August, runs through Sunday, and is located in downtown Mount Vernon (Knox County), Ohio.


The Festival was originally part of an event called ‘Dixie Days,’ which included sidewalk sales, a softball tournament, music and food. Eventually the weekend was named the ‘Dan Emmett Music and Arts Festival’ and became more focused on the artistic elements of the event. Some of the featured nationally-known acts included Jan and Dean, Peter Noone, The Fifth Dimension, Lee Greenwood, Crystal Gayle, The Osmonds, Sha-Na-Na, Paul Revere and the Raiders, Larry Gatlin, and Lorrie Morgan. Central Ohio mainstays Phil Dirt and the Dozers have also been a Festival favorite, along with a car show/cruise-in on Sunday.  Local and regional artists, including youth performances, have always been a mainstay of our event.


In 2019, long time co-directors Pat and Sandy Crow announced their plans to retire. Existing board members, supported by Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Mavis and Mayor-elect Matthew Starr, worked to hold a 2019 Festival and re-brand the event for 2020. Despite being cancelled during the COVID-19 pandemic, MVMAF leaders organized several artistic activities around town in conjunction with Mount Vernon’s ‘Summer in the City’ effort.


We returned in 2021 and have continued to feature excellent bands like Little River Band in 2022, then McGuffey Lane and Starship: featuring Mickey Thomas last year. We are excited about 2024 with the return of Phil Dirt & the Dozers, Six Miles to Nellie and Lonestar.


MVMAF continually seeks to create and develop a long-lasting cultural impact on our local community and surrounding areas including Central Ohio. In 2023, we welcomed over 50 different performances and over 15,000 people attended the MVMAF.


As we look ahead, the Festival will seek to represent the core values of excellence, diversity, and relevance. Over the next five years, MVMAF seeks to increase the positive artistic and musical impact on audiences and the community while building a financially stable and adaptable organization. The goals are: (1) deepen audience and community engagement (2) strengthen key partnerships and develop new mutually beneficial relationships (3) further enhance and extend reputation of the festival (4) continuously improve leadership and administration.


We believe our vibrant downtown, anchored by commerce, dining, retail, education and artistic venues, plus the recent addition of dozens of new parking spaces, is a wonderful backdrop for you and your family. 


Our 2024 Festival Board:

Trina Trainor – Director

Joe Rinehart – Board Chair

Debbie Ruggles – Vice-Chair/Treasurer

Noelle Walton – Secretary

Jacob Francis

Melissa Francis

Adam Landon

Noella Nzishura

Ashley Smith

Tia Vicars

Chris Walton

Mayor Matt Starr (ex-officio)

As a festival organizer, our commitment to diversity is at the core of everything we do. We strive to create an inclusive and welcoming space where people from all backgrounds, cultures, and identities can come together to celebrate and appreciate diversity in all its forms. We actively seek out diverse performers, artists, and vendors to showcase the richness of our community. We believe that by embracing diversity, we not only enrich the festival experience but also contribute to building a more equitable and harmonious society.

Welcome to Mount Vernon!

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