May 20--On Friday, Mount Vernon will mark a very unusual holiday -- ZIP Code Day.
It's the day when the calendar date corresponds with the city's ZIP Code -- 52314.
A block party with a children's parade, live music and a Seek 'n Find run/walk scavenger hunt in uptown Mount Vernon from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday will mark the occasion.
After the parade, gather for a photo to be taken at precisely 5:23 and 14 seconds p.m.
The event will culminate with the filling of a time capsule set to be opened 100 years from now at the next ZIP code Day, May 23, 2114. The capsule will be kept in a sealed vessel at the Mount Vernon Visitor's Center.
Residents submitted items for the capsule including church directories, a high school yearbook and seven postcards made specially for the event by Mount Vernon artists and children.
The postcards are on sale at stores around Mount Vernon and will be for sale at the block party to raise money for the event.
Performers will include the Eastern Iowa Brass Quintet, James Kennedy and Friends and Johnny Krob. Cake will be served to celebrate the birthdays of everyone born on May 23.
The event was the brainchild of resident Richard Kohl, who was living in Illinois in 1993 when the town he lived in at the time celebrated their ZIP code Day. When he realized Mount Vernon's ZIP code Day was approaching, he contacted others, and soon a committee was formed.
Ten volunteers organized the event in partnership with the City of Mount Vernon, the Mount Vernon Post Office, the Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Development Group and the Mount Vernon-Lisbon Sun.
"This is what we do best in Mount Vernon -- community celebrations," said Joe Jennison, Main Street and Marketing Director for the Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Development Group. "People should come celebrate with us, because who knows if in 100 years we'll even have ZIP codes."
The U.S. Postal Service is also joining in the celebration.
Through July 22, residents can order a special Mount Vernon "ZIP code Day" postmark by sending self-addressed, stamped envelopes, placed in a larger envelope, to: ZIP code Day Postmark, Postmaster, 142 Second St. SW, Mount Vernon, IA 52314-9998.
The Postal Service will return the specially postmarked envelopes to customers. There is no charge for up to 50 envelopes. Postmarks are five cents after the first 50.
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