MOUNT VERNON – Hundreds of people came to Mount Vernon City Hall plaza Tuesday night to see performances by the UniverSoul Circus, Force MD’s and The Mount Vernon Performing and Visual Arts Magnet Program Choir as part of the debut Mount Vernon Rising, a promotional film celebrating Mount Vernon’s future.
The three-hour event was hosted by Mayor Richard Thomas, the Mount Vernon Industrial Development Agency and the Mount Vernon Department of Recreation.
“Last night’s event was a demonstration of what Mount Vernon is and can be, Mount Vernon’s promise’s kept and what is to come. Attendees experienced an amazing signature event that included inspiring performances by local youth—our future stars—and the public was informed about development, critical upgrades to the City’s communications network and our new HipHop 2.0 anti-stroke initiative that will debut next month,” said Mayor Thomas. “I’m grateful to our sponsors, including Eblens, MacQuesten Development, HollyWall, Unitex and Pyramid America for believing in Mount Vernon and its blossoming potential.”
“Great event last night!” said stylist Alexander Allen. “Mount Vernon is indeed rising!”
“Great event–through the cold rain!” said author Patrick Riley, who sold his books at the event and who is best known as a producer for the Oprah Winfrey and Wendy Williams shows.
“Thank you for the great event,” said Dan Urban of Corbel Communications, which is working with the City on its new communications upgrade initiative. “We are grateful to be the city’s partner.”
“What a wonderful day for the world to know Mount Vernon. Amazing. The Mayor is beautiful with a matching, caring heart,” said Jaime Foster Brown of Sister 2 Sister magazine. “It was incredible, educational, inclusive and warm even in freezing temperatures.”
The Mount Vernon Rising video shown Tuesday night can be viewed at this link: https://youtu.be/qCABseYl5sE
Celebrity attendees included rapper Melle Mel, best known for his vocals on the hits “The Message” and “White Lines,” and actor Chuck Zito, best known for his portrayal of the mobster Chucky Pancamo in the television series “Oz.” Zito spent the day in Mount Vernon because yesterday morning he attended the Mount Vernon Police Department’s Police Week awards program in support of his family friend, MVPD Officer Joseph Valente, who received three awards.
Hollywall Development Corporation (HWDC), Chairman and CEO, Darnell Sutton, unveiled a Hollywall microtrencher, called the Ditch Witch. The Ditch Witch is a state-of-the-art machine that provides utility contractors a cost-effective, safe way for installing fiber-optic cable. Mount Vernon will be one of the first municipalities in the United States to use microtrenching.
Dr. Olajide Williams of Hip Hop Public Health outlined the stroke awareness campaign that his organization will roll out in Mount Vernon in the coming month as part of Mayor Thomas’ Healthy Home Initiative. Hip Hop Stroke is a health education program that empowers children and adults with knowledge related to stroke, exciting them through catchy hip hop music and an interactive program.
One of the evening’s highlights was a performance by the UniverSoul Circus, whose residency in Mount Vernon begins today at Hutchinson Field and runs until May 27.