The community is gearing up for the 79 th Annual North Iowa Band Festival, which begins Thursday, May 25 in Mason City. Thursday evening’s entertainment begins at 6PM in the Downtown Plaza (weather permitting) and features the Mason City 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 properly.
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. Handicapaccessible 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.)
Former marching band musicians are invited to play in the Alumni Band. T-shirts are provided and participants are asked to wear white or light-colored shorts or pants. The band will assemble for rehearsal at 10:30AM on parade day at the corner of Third Street NE and Connecticut Ave. For more information call Nancy Wolf at 641.512.1634 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 cancelled, 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).
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 Mohawk Danzers will perform in front of the Main Stage at 5PM, with the MCHS Orchestra will performing on the Downtown Plaza at 5:15PM. The Thrillbillies will perform at 6PM, followed by Chris Hawkey at 8PM on the Main Stage.
On Saturday, the Newman High School Dance Team will dance in front of the Main Stage at 1PM with the MCHS Jazz Band performing on the Plaza downtown at 1:15PM prior to the 2PM Awards Ceremony. Saturday evening’s entertainment will be held on the Main Stage. Betty and the Gents will begin playing at 5PM. Following this performance, The Pork Tornadoes will take the stage at 7PM. The festival continues on Sunday with the Outdoor Worship Service at Trinity Lutheran Church. The carnival will open at noon on both Sunday and Monday.
Patrons attending the Entertainment events in Central Park/Downtown should refrain from smoking.
Finally, the carnival will open on Thursday evening at 6PM and run until 8PM. The carnival 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 North Iowa Band Festival website contains the most up-to-date information on all aspects of the celebration. Check it out at www.nibandfest.com.