Chews Jefferson

Chews Jeffersonis the catchy title of a new event of the Promotion Committee in coordination of the Mahanay Bell Tower’s Tower Tunes Liveconcerts.  This is the third year of the daily live concerts from 12:15 – 12:30 pm with local musicians sharing their talents by playing the carillon.  An idea emerged to draw people to eat their lunch while listening to the concerts near the Tower.  It is like Java & Juice, only bring your own lunch and it is on Wednesdays!

The Promotion committee contacted local eateries to offer a take-out special on Wednesdays in June.  One restaurant each Wednesday would be the featured spot for people to stop in and get a $5 take-out lunch. Call ahead to have it ready for you.  Then head to the Bell Tower Plaza, Thomas Jefferson Gardens, or Sally’s Alley to enjoy the concert during lunch.  Everyone is invited to “Chews Jefferson” on Wednesdays.

Lynda Cochran and Angie Reese-Heuser are chairing this event for the month of June working with restaurants in the Main Street District. Debra McGinn is helping with publicity.   The Promotion committee plans to work with the Chamber of Commerce to see if other restaurants around Jefferson would be willing to offer a $5 take-out meal on a specific Wednesday during the rest of the summer.

Mahanay Maestros

The Mahanay Memorial Carillon Tower is now a full four octave 47 bell instrument with the additional bells installed before the 2017 Bell Tower Festival.  A truly unique experience for musicians with at least two years of piano experience is to play the digital keyboard located just one floor up from the lobby.  In the past two years, 40+ local and visiting musicians have shared their music at the “Tower Tunes Live” daily concerts from 12:15 – 12:30 p.m. These concerts are played live each day from Memorial Day to Labor Day.  Since the musicians choose their own music, many people eat their lunch near the square and try to name the tunes played by the musicians.  

Throughout the entire year, three songs are played on the bells digitally after each hour so visitors always have a chance to hear the Carillon Tower.  The Westminster Chimes chime on each quarter hour with each hour sounded as well.  

A music committee from the Bell Tower Community Foundation have been organizing these concerts through an online calendar.  Musicians who would like to be contacted should email or contact Becky Greiner, Pat Richards or Peg Raney with contact information.  Check out the schedule on the Mahanay Bell Tower Facebook page or at the website  See the Image Gallery of our Mahanay Maestros!

Certified Tour Guides

Two of our Bell Tower staff have become certified tour guides.   Joyce Kurth, newest member of the Tower staff, and Pat Richards, Tower staff coordinator, attended a day-long session on tour guide training put on by Iowa State Extension in early April.   They  worked through the guide book they were given to fine-tune their tour-giving skills. In early May,  each gave a sample tour to Diane Van Wyngarden, ISU Extension Specialist in Tour Guide Training and Certification at the Mahanay Bell Tower.  Diane commented that she thoroughly enjoyed the tours, learned more about what we have to offer tourists in Greene County, and thought we were far and above many other towns in Iowa!  And….Joyce and Pat are now officially certified and working on a list of tips for our staff. Congratulations to both of the ambassadors to the community!


Mahanay Tower Staff

We are so pleased to introduce our Mahanay Bell Tower staff for 2019 with many returning for multiple years. These ambassadors for the community are often the first people visitors meet and feel so welcomed.

From left to right,
Kevin Richards, Jane Rowland, Pam Thomsen, John Rowland, Joyce Kurth, Lynn Gunderson, Pat Richards, Alan Robinson, Shelly Berger. Also staff member Michele Hardin was not present for the picture.
Pat Richards serves as the Bell Tower staff coordinator.

Mahanay Bell Tower opens this weekend.

The Mahanay Memorial Carillon Tower will open officially for the 2019 season on Saturday, May 4th.  Hours will be 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. each weekend in May and then daily beginning Memorial Day weekend.  With the increased visitors during the month of September, the Bell Tower Foundation Board decided to remain open daily for the month of September and weekends in October.  The Tower is also available by appointment by calling the Greene County Chamber & Tourism office at 515-386-2155.  Pat Richards continues as the Tower Staff coordinator with an experienced group of staff returning for the 2019 season.

The Mahanay Memorial Carillon expanded to 47 bells on Memorial Day weekend in 2017.  The Mahanay Music committee has a list of musicians with at least 2 years of piano experience to volunteer to play the bells for the daily Tower Tunes Live concerts from 12:15 – 12:30 p.m.  These concerts will begin on Memorial Day weekend and continue through Labor Day weekend.  Musicians can choose their own music.  The bells are played on a digital keyboard connected to the bells.  The musicians who played last year enjoyed the experience of playing such a large instrument.  Becky Greiner, Peg Raney and Pat Richards are collecting names and contact information for anyone wanting to be added to the list.  Musicians can also email  An electronic calendar will be sent out for musicians to choose when they would like to play.   

2019 Season Passes will again be available at the Mahanay Tower for $15.  This allows the individual to visit the Tower for the entire year. 

The website and Facebook page are also kept up-to-date with information and pictures about the Mahanay Bell Tower.  The Bell Tower Community Foundation  encourages people to check these out and share with visitors.