Correction: Online registration for the Stu Nevermann Memorial Run closes at midnight on Friday and in-person registrations accepted at the Aquatic Center on Friday from 4 pm to 7 pm Race morning registrations accepted starting at 7 am until 7:45 am Also, the parade will feature 100 entries.
Trombones? Check. Marching uniforms? Check. Five days of fun at the largest marching band competition in the Midwest? Definitely check.
Beginning Thursday and running through Monday, the 83rd North Iowa Band Festival will celebrate composer Meredith Willson, a Mason City native who created “The Music Man.” Musicians around North Iowa will flock to the River City to carry on his legacy.
The theme this year is “Band Fest on Broadway,” which was meant to be used in 2020. The North Iowa Band Festival committee felt it should use the theme this year since “The Music Man” is currently on Broadway, according to Program Director and Festival Coordinator Noah Harris.
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“We want an entire family to be able to come to downtown Mason City during band fest and have fun all day,” said Harris. “That’s what we hope to accomplish every year. We hope that young kids get an interest sparked in music, and we hope that the adults there can enjoy the main stage entertainment.”
Saturday’s parade, which starts at 10 am, will feature 100 entries and 10 marching bands from the North Iowa area.
In addition to checking out the parade, make sure to march on over to other festivities. Here are some of the events so you can plan accordingly:
Carnival opens at Central Park – The carnival will open Thursday through Monday. It will run 6 pm to 8 pm Thursday, start at 4 pm Friday, open from noon to 8 pm Saturday, noon to 8 pm Sunday, and noon to 6 pm Monday. Try out all the rides by paying for a wristband pass, which can be utilized on Sunday and Monday.
Harris said all of the favorites will be making a return, but carnival goers should prepare for higher ticket prices this year. The carnival has to travel here, and the price of diesel has skyrocketed.
John Adams Middle School Band at Principal Pavilion – Students will be kicking performances off by taking center stage at 6 pm All of the entertainment for North Iowa Band Festival is free of charge.
Mason City Municipal Band at Principal Pavilion – Mason City Municipal Band will follow up at 6:45 pm Its performance will be the opener to the Municipal Band season. Municipal Band will be performing selections from “The Music Man,” patriotic selections, and other tunes.
Concessions and marketplace at Central Park – Make sure to check out the wide variety of vendors and food starting at 4 pm One vendor draws caricatured. Popular food favorites are coming back like Cedar Valley Express. Concessions and the marketplace will also open at noon Saturday. Additional times to get concession eats will from noon to 8 pm Sunday.
Mason City High School Jazz Band at Main Stage in Central Park – A big staple of the North Iowa Band Festival, the MCHS Jazz Band will begin its performance at 4 pm
Mason City High School Orchestra at Principal Pavilion – The strings will have the spotlight and will begin its lineup of music at 5 pm
Emma Butterworth at Main Stage in Central Park – Emma Butterworth grew up in the lap of rock and roll. At home, three generations of Butterworth living rooms have overflowed with music. Emma will be opening for her father’s band – The Nadas. Show starts at 6 p.m.
The street and grassy areas of the park provide ample space for first-come, first-serve park benches, bleacher seating, and bring-your-own-lawn chairs, according to a release.
The Nadas at Main Stage in Central Park – The Nadas are a folk rock quintet based in Des Moines. Formed in 1995 in Ames, the band earned early success on the local college scene, eventually becoming the house band for People’s Bar and Grill in Ames. They have opened for Bon Jovi and performed at SXSW in 2006. Show starts at 7:30 pm
Stu Nevermann Memorial Run at Aquatic Center – This 4-mile run starts at 8 am and costs $ 30 to sign up. There are 12 competitive age groups spanning ages 8 and younger to 70 and older. Nevermann, who ran North Iowa road races with his father, Le, died at 25 years old from a heart ailment. He was a 1982 Mason City High School graduate who lettered in cross country and track. Proceeds benefit MCHS Cross Country, SPIN Devo and local middle school running / reading programs. Packet pickup will be between 4 pm and 7 pm Friday at the Aquatic Center. The online registration closes at midnight on Friday and in-person registrations accepted at the Aquatic Center on Friday from 4 pm to 7 pm Race morning registrations accepted starting at 7 am until 7:45 am
83rd North Iowa Band Festival Parade – The North Iowa Band Festival parade starts at 10 am Saturday at North Pennsylvania Avenue and Third Street Northeast before traveling 1.5 miles south and then east on East State Street. If there is inclement weather, the parade will be delayed in 30-minute increments up until 11:30 am
The grand marshal this year is Richard “Dick” Leet, a founding director of the Charles H. MacNider Museum and a respected artist and educator. In 2002, as a member of the Mason City Sesquicentennial Committee, Leet designed and crafted giant puppets that performed at local parades and celebrations leading up to the community birthday bash. The puppets were debuted at the 2002 band festival parade.
The Performing Arts Pavilion Committee is this year’s recipient of the Klempnauer Award. The recipients were honored for their work to build a new performance venue for the festival and the Mason City Municipal Band.
An exciting part of this year’s parade for North Iowa kids is the return of candy. Harris said parade participants have been asked to throw candy into the crowd to keep kids off the streets. Parents and guardians have also been asked to keep their kids out of the street in a recent press release.
“We’re excited for the return of candy, but definitely try to keep children out of the street,” Harris said. “We’ve got tractors and trucks and cars and little streetcars that do a crazy routine. Try to keep children out of the street.”
At 1 pm, an awards ceremony will be held at the Principal Pavilion to recognize high school royalty candidates. Paige Ott and Kaidyn Paske were selected to represent Mason City High School. Madelyn Elwood and Matthew Henrich were elected as the Newman Catholic High School candidates. The students will promote North Iowa Band Festival activities and host royalty candidates from neighboring area schools.
Mason City Danzers at Principal Pavillion – Mason City High School’s dance team will be showing off its moves at 12:45 pm The team is bringing back past routines and revealing brand new ones as well.
NIACC Extreme Makeover Announcement Awards Ceremony at Principal Pavilion – NIACC will announce contest winners, who will receive free tuition and textbooks for the 2022-23 school year, at 1 pm Other finalists selected will receive half price tuition for one year.
Instrument petting zoo, balloons, and spin art at Central Park – Aspiring musicians can try out several different instruments from Rieman Music. Today’s Your Day will be creating balloon animals and spin art. Starts at 2 pm and ends at 4 pm
Juni West at Main Stage in Central Park – North Iowa songwriter Juni West has a unique sound that incorporates Americana, alternative, indie rock, and even a hint of old school country. West pours her soul into heartfelt lyrics and is one artist you will not want to miss. Show starts 5:30 pm
Betty and the Gents at Main Stage in Central Park – Festivalgoers can enjoy this North Iowa favorite at 7:30 pm The band is sure to have something for everyone, from modern hits to the ’80s. Enjoy this free fun.
Outdoor Worship Service at Trinity Lutheran Church – Join the congregation of Trinity Lutheran Church at 9 am for worship. Trinity’s worship team will lead service in its outdoor courtyard space. You can bring your own chair but folding chairs can be provided if needed. All are welcome to join and casual dress is encouraged.
Marketplace at Central Park – Another opportunity for people to stop at the marketplace and peruse the merchandise. A good chance to check it out and not miss other festivities. The marketplace will run from 11 am to 5 pm
Last day of the carnival – Before the carnival leaves town, make sure to go on your favorite rides for one final time. It will be open from 12 pm to 6 pm and it will be a wristband day.
For more information about the North Iowa Band Festival parade, schedule and entertainment, visit www.nibandfest.com.
Abby covers education and entertainment for the Globe Gazette. Follow her on Twitter at @MkayAbby. Email her at Abby.Koch@GlobeGazette.com