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 in 2022, welcomed groups like ARTrageous and Little River Band, and are excited about 2023 with McGuffey Lane and Starship, featuring Mickey Thomas.
MVMAF continually seeks to create and develop a long-lasting cultural impact on our local community and surrounding areas including Central Ohio. In 2022, 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 2023 Festival Board:
Trina Trainor – Director
Joe Rinehart – Board Chair
Debbie Ruggles – Vice-Chair/Treasurer
Noelle Walton – Secretary
Mayor Matt Starr (ex-officio)
Welcome to Mount Vernon!