MASON CITY — The community is gearing up for the 79th annual North Iowa Band Festival, which begins at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 25, in the Downtown Plaza with performances by the Mason City Middle School Band and the Mason City Municipal Band.

Parade Safety

Several entries will distribute candy or other items. The parade begins on Pennsylvania Avenue at Third Street N.E. The area north and east of this corner is a “staging area” for parade entries. Spectators should not sit on Third Street N.E. or Pennsylvania Avenue north of Third Street.

Parade entrants have been told not to hand out items until their unit passes KIMT-TV. The “No Candy Zone” is the first two blocks of the parade; all other areas will have candy available. This marks the end of the marching band and float competition area, enabling the bands to be judged without this distraction. Parents should not allow children to sit in the street or run into the street. There are several large marching bands that require the full width of the street for their performance.

Pets

Dogs and other animals, with or without a leash, are not allowed along the parade route on Saturday morning, or in any festival areas downtown from Friday morning through Monday evening.

Trash

Festival-goers are encouraged to use trash receptacles located along the parade route and in Central Park. Dispose of all trash properly.

Bathroom facilities

Portable toilets will be located along the parade route, at the start of the Stu Nevermann Memorial Run, and in Central Park. Handicap-accessible portable toilets will be available downtown. For the parade, an accessible portable toilet will be in the parking lot across from the former YMCA building (the area designated for handicap-parking/parade viewing).

Alumni band

Former marching band musicians are invited to play in the Alumni Band. T-shirts are provided and participants are asked to wear white or light-colored shorts or pants. The band will assemble for rehearsal at 10:30 a.m. on parade day at the corner of Third Street N.E. and Connecticut Avenue. For information, call Nancy Wolf, 641-512-1634 or e-mail her at halfpintclown79@msn.com.

Rain

Saturday morning’s parade will be rain-delayed in half-hour increments, and is subject to cancellation at 11:30 a.m. In the event of heavy rain or lightning, downtown entertainment will be cancelled. Decisions will be made prior to each segment (Friday night, Saturday afternoon, Saturday evening) if the weather clears.

The Stu Nevermann Memorial Run will begin as scheduled in the event of rain, but will be delayed 30 minutes for lightning.

Severe weather

Festival officials and the Mason City Police Department will work with the Cerro Gordo Emergency Management team, which will monitor the weather and potential threat of severe weather, and rely on the National Weather Service to use the early warning system, if possible. In the event of severe weather, the Mason City Police Department will exercise its authority to ensure public safety. This may include directing patrons to evacuate Central Park and move to nearby shelter (NI Regional Commerce Center, City Hall, Praise Community Church).

Entertainment

The main stage will be located on North Federal Avenue in front of the Commerce Center, 9 N. Federal Ave. The street and grassy areas of the park will provide space for first-come, first-served park benches, bleacher seating, and bring-your-own lawn chairs. All concerts are free.

There will be an Outdoor Worship Service at Trinity Lutheran Church Sunday.

Smoking

Those attending entertainment events in Central Park/downtown should refrain from smoking.

Carnival

The carnival will be open 6-8 p.m. Thursday. It will open again at 5 p.m. Friday, noon Saturday, noon to 8 p.m. Sunday, and noon to 6 p.m. Monday.

Sunday and Monday will be “Wrist Band Days.”

Website

The North Iowa Band Festival website contains up-to-date information; visit www.nibandfest.com.

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