Planning underway for North Iowa Band Festival after Park Board gives approval
MASON CITY — After having the North Iowa Band Festival cancelled last year for the first time since World War II, organizers have been given the green light by the Mason City Park Board to hold this year’s event.
Mason City Chamber of Commerce president Robin Anderson is grateful that the Park Board held a special meeting late last week to approve the use of Central Park for many of the festivities, allowing the Chamber to move forward with planning the festival. “That was so nice of them to have a special meeting to consider our request because planning is well underway. On March 1st the parade entry form will be available, and we’re fielding tons of calls from people who want to be in the parade. So we’re fired up.”
Anderson says they needed to get the Park Board’s blessing since there’s a lot of things to organize for the yearly event. That includes what bands will be coming to Mason City for the annual parade. “While we don’t have firm commitments from many of the marching bands, especially the high school marching bands, we did get an inquiry from a school that is actually out of our market area. Their director called and said he was going to try to convince his school board and administration that we need to give these kids an opportunity to be in a parade.”
Anderson says if there’s a spike of COVID-19 cases in north-central Iowa in May, organizers will re-assess the situation. “We’ll be looking at a rolling average, because if only four people get tested in a day and one person is positive, that’s 25%, so we’re really going to look at the numbers and follow the guidelines and we totally respect that people have to do their jobs to keep us safe.”
Anderson says the theme for this year’s festival honors essential workers. “The theme is ‘Banding Together and Marching Forward’. We really like the sentiment of that as well as the play on words.”
This year’s North Iowa Band Festival is scheduled for May 27th through the 31st.