The community is gearing up for the 81st Annual North Iowa Band Festival, which begins Thursday, May 23 in Mason City. Thursday evening’s entertainment begins at 6PM in the Downtown Plaza (weather permitting) and features the John Adams Middle School Band and the season-opening performance of the Mason City Municipal Band.
Several of the parade entries will distribute candy or other items to spectators. The parade begins on Pennsylvania Avenue at Third Street NE. The area north and east of this corner are used for “staging areas” for the parade entries. Spectators should NOT sit on Third Street NE or on Pennsylvania Ave. north of Third Street. Parade entrants have been instructed to refrain from handing out candy and giveaway items until their unit passes KIMT. The “No Candy Zone” will be the first two blocks of the parade ONLY, all other areas of the parade will still have candy available. This point marks the end of the marching band and float competition area and will enable our marching bands to be judged without this distraction and the potential for stepping on candy, etc. during the marching performance. In addition, parents should not allow children to sit in the street or run into the street. We are fortunate to have several large marching bands that will require the full width of the street for their performance.
Dogs and other animals—with or without a leash--are NOT allowed along the parade route on Saturday morning, or in any festival areas Downtown from Friday morning through Monday evening.
Festival-goers are encouraged to use the trash receptacles that will be located along the parade route and in Central Park. Private citizens along the parade route are extremely generous in allowing their North Iowa
neighbors a great vantage point to enjoy the parade, and the Mason City Park Department has worked very hard to have Central Park looking its best for guests. Please heed this gentle reminder to dispose of all trash
Porta-potties will be located along the parade route, at the start of the Stu Nevermann Memorial Run, and in Central Park for the comfort of festival patrons. Please use these conveniently-located facilities and refrain from requesting entrance to private homes or businesses along the parade route or Downtown. Handicap accessible porta-potties are available Downtown. For the parade, an accessible porta-potty will be placed in the parking lot across from the former YMCA building (the area designated for handicap-parking/parade viewing.)
Saturday morning’s parade will be rain-delayed in half-hour increments, and is subject to cancellation at 11:30AM. In the event of heavy rain or lightning, entertainment in Downtown will be canceled, but decisions
will be made prior to each entertainment segment (Friday night, Saturday afternoon, Saturday evening) if the weather clears.
The Annual Stu Nevermann Memorial Run will begin as-scheduled in the event of rain, but will be delayed 30 minutes for lightning.
Festival officials and the Mason City Police Department will work closely with the Cerro Gordo Emergency Management team, which will be monitoring the weather and the potential threat of severe weather. They
will rely upon the National Weather Service to utilize the early warning system, if possible. In the event of severe weather, the Mason City Police Department will exercise its authority to ensure public safety. This may
include directing patrons to evacuate Central Park and move to nearby shelter (NI Regional Commerce Center, City Hall, Praise Community Church).
Patrons attending the Entertainment events in Central Park/Downtown should refrain from smoking.
The main stage will be located on North Federal Avenue in front of the Commerce Center (9 N Federal Avenue). The street and grassy areas of the park will provide ample space for first-come, first-served park benches, bleacher seating, and bring-your-own lawn chairs. All concerts are free of charge.
On Friday, the MCHS Orchestra will perform on the Downtown Plaza at 5PM. The MCHS Jazz Band will perform at 6PM, followed by The Dueling Pianos of Andy and Mike at 7:30PM on the Main Stage.
On Saturday, the Mohawk Danzers will perform in front of the main stage prior to the 2PM Awards Ceremony downtown. An Instrument Petting Zoo hosted by Rieman Music will be open from 3-5PM on the plaza for children of all ages to try different instruments. Saturday evening’s entertainment will be held on the Main Stage. Paul Weitzel and The Hatz will begin playing at 5PM. Following this performance, Brat Pack Radio will take the stage at 7:30PM. The festival continues on Sunday with the Outdoor Worship Service at Trinity Lutheran Church.
Carnival / Concession / Marketplace
Finally, the carnival with concessions will open on Thursday evening at 6PM and run until 8PM. The carnival and concessions will then be open on Friday evening at 5PM, Noon on Saturday, Noon to 8PM on Sunday, and
Noon to 6PM on Monday. Sunday and Monday will be “Wrist Band Days”.
The Marketplace will be open Friday at 5PM, Noon Saturday and 11AM-4PM on Sunday.
The North Iowa Band Festival website contains the most up-to-date information on all aspects of the celebration.