North Iowa Band Festival Reminders

MASON CITY, IA—The community is gearing up for the 83rd North Iowa Band Festival, which begins  Thursday, May 26 in Mason City. The Thursday evening entertainment begins at 6PM at the Principal  Pavilion on the Downtown Plaza with the John Adams Middle School Band, followed by the season opening performance of the Mason City Municipal Band at 6:45PM.  

Honorees and Parade 

In addition to the marching band competition, the parade will honor Richard E. Leet, founding director  of the Charles H. MacNider Art Museum with the Grand Marshal Award.  

The Performing Arts Pavilion Committee will be honored as the Klempnauer Awardees. Current Pavilion  Committee members include 

– Robin Anderson 

– Scott Bell 

– Bob Fisher 

– Dr. Darrell Fisher 

– Dennis Higgins 

– John Klemas 

– Russ Kramer

Unfortunately, committee members Al Zook, Gil Lettow, Rich Dean, and Vance Baird passed away before  the project was completed.  

Saturday morning’s parade begins at 10AM on Pennsylvania Ave. and Third Street NE. The parade starts at Pennsylvania Avenue and Third Street NE; the area north and east of this corner is used for “staging”  the parade entries, and spectators should not sit in this area. Parade entries will be allowed to distribute  candy and other hand-outs. However, the first three blocks of the parade are the judging area which is a  designated “NO CANDY” zone. Parents should not allow children to sit in the street or run into the  street. Several of the marching bands 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 Thursday evening through Monday evening. 


Festival-goers are encouraged to use the trash receptacles 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 Parks 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. 

Bathroom Facilities 

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. 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, which is the area designated for  ADA-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, festival entertainment will be moved to the indoor  pavilion or cancelled. These 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 in 30-minute increments for lightning. 

Severe Weather 

Festival officials and the Mason City Police Department will work closely with the Cerro Gordo  Emergency Management team to monitor 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. Entertainment 

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 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 Jazz Band will perform Downtown at 4PM on the main stage, followed by the  MCHS Orchestra at 5PM on the Principal Pavilion. Friday’s headline entertainment includes Emma  Butterworth at 6PM, followed by The Nadas at 7:30PM. This Des Moines-based folk rock quintet earned  early success on the local college scene, opening for Bon Jovi and playing SXSW, to name a couple of  their boasts.  

On Saturday, the Mohawk Danzers will perform at the Principal Pavilion prior to the 1PM Awards  Ceremony on the plaza. An Instrument Petting Zoo hosted by Rieman Music will be open from 2-4PM in  Central Park for children of all ages to try different instruments. Today’s Your Day will also be in Central  Park to delight children with balloon creations and spin art. Saturday evening’s entertainment will be  held on the Main Stage. Juni West will begin playing at 5:30PM. Following this performance, local  favorite Betty and the Gents will take the stage at 7:30PM.  

The festival continues on Sunday with the Outdoor Worship Service at Trinity Lutheran Church. 

Carnival / Concession / Marketplace 

The carnival and concessions will open on Thursday evening at 6PM and run until 8PM. The carnival and  concession open at 4PM on Friday, noon on Saturday, noon to 8PM on Sunday, and noon to close on  Monday. Sunday and Monday will be “Wrist Band Days”. The Marketplace will be open Friday at 4PM,  Noon on Saturday, and 11AM-5PM on Sunday.  

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