The Mahanay Bell Tower will continue daily hours through the end of September. Open from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., the Tower’s staff welcomes visitors to Jefferson sharing the story of Floyd and Dora Mahanay and their gift to Greene County. The 47 bell carillon plays the Westminster Chimes at each quarter hour and several songs play after each hour. An elevator ride to the Paul Nally Observation Deck gives a terrific overview of the community and surrounding landscape of rural Iowa. Five rooftop art installations can only be seen from this observation deck. Youth are free courtesy of the Rotary Club of Jefferson and adult admission is just $3.
On the plaza area near the tower, Ring Out for Art sculptures can be viewed. Many people enjoy their lunches as the Tower Tunes Live concerts will be played daily through Labor Day at 12:15 – 12:30 p.m. Sally’s Alley and Arch Alley are art-filled pedestrian alleys in the downtown. Historic plaques tell the story of Greene County’s interesting past. Locally owned shops areaopen and filled with unique merchandise. Local restaurants and coffee shop are available for meals and everything in-between. Download the free Jefferson, IA app for more info.
Mahanay Maestros continue to entertain residents and visitors with daily Tower Tunes Live concerts. Every day at 12:15 – 12:30 pm, a musician volunteers to play the four octave carillon. Their play list is their own preference of selections. This provides a wide variety of music.
Some of these musicians are local but several are from outside of Greene County. Each has been trained and approved as an official Mahanay Maestro. Mahanay Musicians who have played during the summer of 2021 so far include: Rick Morain, Sheryl Sloan, Danille Curtis, Bonnie Orris, Rhena Lane, Rita Rasmussen, Josey Weaver, David Howell, Janice Harbaugh, Lisa Rasmussen Ott, Jenny Wills, Bob Hauser, Tanner Taylor and Jana Taylor.
The Tower Tunes Live concerts will continue daily through Labor Day.
The Tower Tunes Live concert on Sunday, July 4th will be played by Jefferson-Scranton alum and professional musician Tanner Taylor and his wife Jana Taylor. This will be their first time playing the carillon here in Jefferson. This special concert will begin at 12:15 pm and the public is encouraged to arrive early in the downtown area to listen. Tower Tunes Live concerts were kicked off on Memorial Day. The concerts are played by local and visiting Mahanay Maestro musicians daily at 12:15 -12:30 pm.
The annual Bell Tower Festival is ready to roll this weekend, June 11 & 12. The theme is Mission Impossible 2.0 since last year’s Mission Impossible festival was not able to be held. Activities and entertainment is planned for families to enjoy. Class reunions love to return on this weekend to catch up with their classmates. Events are being shared on the Bell Tower Festival Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/BellTowerFestival
The Mahanay Bell Tower will be open during the Festival extended hours: Friday from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. Sunday hours will remain from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Youth are free courtesy of the Rotary Club of Jefferson and adults are $3. There may be limited numbers allowed in the lobby and observation deck at a time, but everyone will have a chance to take a tour!
The Tower Tunes Live Concerts are live concerts played on the carillon by local musicians known as Mahanay Maestros. The Maestros select their own music for the 15 minute concert presented daily from 12:15 – 12:30 pm. The genres range from hymns to Disney! Visitors never know what will be played. Some of the musicians select a theme that may give listeners a chance to “know their tunes” as they play from a certain composer or theme such as “love songs”. We encourage listeners to listen from a block away to hear the full effect of all of the bells. There is seating available on the Bell Tower Plaza too. We appreciate the Mahanay Maestro volunteers as they share their musical talents for the community to enjoy. These concerts will not be presented on Facebook Live because of copyright laws for music. Please plan to come in person to hear these special concerts.