Mount Vernon, Washington
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Mount Vernon, Washington

Jasper Gates and Joseph Dwelley first settled on the banks of the Skagit River, where the City of Mount Vernon now lies, in 1870. Later on, Harrison Clothier came to the community to teach school and got into business with a former student, E.G. English. They were later recoginized at the city's founders. Mount Vernon was officially incorporated on July 5, 1893.

Today Mount Vernon has much to be proud of. With an excellent school system, a vibrant downtown shopping district and a prosperous retail district, Mount Vernon can be considered a hub for all of Skagit County. In addition, Skagit Valley Hospital, in conjuction with Affiliated Health Services, makes Mount Vernon a center for medical services in Northwest Washington.

A new middle school and elementary school were built recently, which feed into Mount Vernon High school. MVHS is home to the famous high school boys' basketball team which has the highest winning percentage of almost any team in the state over the last 20 years.

Another recent development in the city is the boardwalk along the Skagit River. This area was originally a trading post in 1877, but was destroyed by a fire in 1891. Front Street was washed away by the Skagit River in the ensuing years, and so was part of Main Street until the erosion was stopped by building a revetment. Now the boardwalk offers a pleasant space to enjoy Mount Vernon's beauty and small-town charm.

Mount Vernon's most famous event is the Annual Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. Running the first two weeks of April, the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival has attracted countless tourists, flower enthusiasts, or just the curious since it began in 1982.

Another exciting event is the Highland Games and Celtic Festival which takes place on the first weekend in July. Visitors can enjoy live Scottish music and dancing, traditional competitions, shopping, and more.

The Lincoln Theatre is a historical landmark and serves as a center for performing and cinematic arts throught the year. It is a non-profit organization that boasts 4,000 members. It offers three films a month, featuring independent, foreign, and other films not readily available locally, as well as a once a month Classic from the 1930's, 1940's, or 1950's. Live concerts are presented by such artists as David Grisman, John Renbourn, and The Flying Karamazov Brothers. Community groups that regularly use the Lincoln include the Skagit Valley Children's Theatre, Skagit Symphony Chamber Players, Kiwanis Club Comedy Night Series, and Theatre Arts Guild Annual Children's Musical.

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