As families and friends gather for the holidays, the Mahanay Bell Tower may be one of those memorable places to experience. The Tower is closed for the season but tours can be arranged by appointment by calling The Welcome Center at 515-386-2155. The Bell Tower staff will be happy to meet you at the Tower and give a special tour.
The Christmas bells have been hung in the Paul Nally Observation Deck and are a beacon to those coming into the community. The bells continue to play the Westminster Chimes at each quarter hour and two songs after each hour from 8 am – 8 pm.
The Mahanay Bell Tower is now open daily from 10 am – 4 pm. Our friendly staff will share the story of Floyd and Dora Mahanay in our lovely lobby area. An elevator will take you to the Paul Nally Observation deck which is all enclosed with glass and air-conditioned, so easy for visitors to see the magnificent view. The Iowa countryside, Jefferson downtown, and installations of rooftop art are enjoyed by all ages. The 47 bell carillon plays throughout the day. The Westminster chimes are played each quarter hour and two songs are played after each hour from 8 am – 8 pm. Jefferson’s downtown is full of art and very pedestrian-friendly, so plan to spend the day!
Adults are just $3 and all youth age 18 and younger are free courtesy of our sponsor for 2022, the Dean & Lois McAtee Trust.
The 2022 Bell Tower Festival that also celebrated Jefferson’s 150th birthday was an outstanding success. The attendance at the Mahanay Bell Tower over the three days was close to 1,000 visitors. So many comments of all ages on the bells ringing, rooftop art, view from the observation deck and friendly staff members were heard throughout the weekend.
The Bell Tower Festival was coordinated through The Jefferson Matters: Main Street & Chamber’s Events Team with Dr. Philip Heisterkamp serving as the chairperson for the third year. The attendance at the festival as a whole was greater than those of recent years. Other than a few showers, the weather cooperated with mild temps and no wind! The downtown was showcased in all of its beauty to class reunions, families and friends who gathered for the annual festival.
The Bell Tower Festival is ready to kick into gear for this weekend. The theme coincides with the 150th Sesquicentennial of Jefferson. Activities begin on the square on Thursday night with a fundraiser Dinner Party and continue throughout the weekend.