MASON CITY — The 12th annual Cannonball Day will be 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. June 24 at East Park.

A fun-filled day for children and adults is planned with the Cannonball Kids Fun Run, followed by the championship kids pedal tractor pull and Iowa State Fair Bill Riley Talent search.

Last year, several youth performers from the talent search went on to compete at the Iowa State Fair.  Each of the competitors receive a winner's ribbon, and top winners receive cash prizes to help further their talent. 

The Cannonball Kids Fun Run is an annual event held on Cannonball Day. Kids ages 5 to 6 run .5 mile, ages 7 to 8 run 0.75-mile, ages 9 to 10 run 1-mile and 11 to 13 run 1.5 miles.  Free water and healthy snacks are offered to the runners at the end of the courses.

Pre-registration is encouraged so that each runner will have a free T-shirt available to them, however, last minute entries will be accepted for running.  All pre-registered participants who cross the Finish Line will receive a unique Winners Medal designed by the Friends of the 457 and sponsored by Hy-Vee Stores in Mason City.

More than 100 runners typically enter.  Those who participate receive free tickets to the activities at Cannonball Day that begin immediately after the runs about 10:30 a.m.

The Kids Fun Run is jointly organized by the Friends of the 457 and the Mason City YMCA and sponsored by local supporters.

Also available will be inflatables, Smoky the Train rides, tours of the Rotary Cannonball, and operating model train displays. On display will be the North Iowa Vintage Car Club’s cars.

Mason City Evening Lions will serve barbecue chicken 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. with drive-ups or eat in the park available. Entertainment will be provided through the day.

The Friends of the 457 are volunteers dedicated to restoring and preserving the M&StL 457, better known as the Rotary Cannonball.

Cannonball Day raises funds to continue the preservation and maintenance of the 1912 railroad steam engine at East Park.

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