Smithsonian Sports Exhibit Opens in Mt. Vernon

MOUNT VERNON, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- A traveling sports exhibit from the Smithsonian Museum is setting up now in Mt. Vernon. And visitors beginning this weekend can not only see a national look at “Hometown Teams” but also see the best of sports in eastern Iowa.

Volunteers unpack the displays for an upcoming Hometown Heroes sports exhibit in Mount Vernon on Monday, March 12, 2018. (Dave Franzman/KCRG-TV9)

The idea behind the traveling Smithsonian display, entitled “Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America” is to how the role of sports and local sports heroes evolve in communities.

Volunteers began setting up displays for the show that opens officials Sunday afternoon at the First Street Community Center in downtown Mt. Vernon.

Former Iowa wrestling coach Dan Gable will be the featured statewide sports hero at six Iowa stops.

Joe Jennison, director of Visit Mt. Vernon-Lisbon, says visitors will see lots of local sports displays at every stop as well as the national collection from the Smithsonian.

“We’ve got a wonderful football and volleyball story in Mt. Vernon, the wrestling story in Lisbon right next door. Those will be represented here as well,” Jennison said.

The Hometown Heroes show in Mt. Vernon will run from March 18th until April 29th. Admission is free.

The show then moves on to Ottumwa, Guthrie Center, Jefferson, Ames and Conrad wrapped up this fall.

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