Tower Opens for 2024

The Mahanay Memorial Carillon Tower will officially open weekends in May starting May 4-5.  Hours are Saturday and Sunday from 10 am – 4 pm.  Daily hours begin on Memorial Day weekend through the end of October with hours remaining at 10 am – 4 pm.  The daily hours in October are a new addition because of the number of visitors last season during that month.  The Mahanay Tower was selected as the #1 Rural Attraction in 2021 by Iowa Tourism.  

Appointments for special tours during the week in May or at other hours during the season can be made by calling the Welcome Center at 515-386-2155 during work hours.  Large group tours can be personalized if planned ahead of time.    

The four octaves of bells play the Westminster chimes at each quarter hour throughout the day.  A carillon concert of two songs is played after each hour from 9 am – 7 pm.  This year, the new “Jefferson Chimes” written by local musician Jennifer Powers will be played on the carillon after the 8 am Westminster Chimes and the 8 pm Westminster Chimes.  This new “Jefferson Chimes” melody will begin and end the day in Jefferson.  

Mahanay Maestros, local and area musicians, will continue to provide special Tower Tunes Live concerts each Wednesday of the season from May 29- August 28.  These will be played live from 12:15 -12:30 pm.  Name that Tower Tune is a Wednesday event that will continue from May 29 during the month of June during the Tower Tunes Live concerts. Participants on the plaza will try to name the tunes played on the carillon. 

A handicap accessible elevator takes visitors to the glass-enclosed Paul Nally Observation Deck up 128 feet for a view of the landscape of Greene County and the installations of rooftop art on buildings around the square.  Four new Ring Out for Art sculptures will be installed for the season on the Bell Tower Plaza in May.  The rooftop art and sculptures are a project of the Tower View Team of Jefferson Matters.

The Bell Tower Lobby offers souvenirs, an historical video, and special items telling the story of the tower and the Jefferson community. A display honors the many Bell Tower of Fame Award recipients. Visitors are asked to locate their home on the maps – both U.S. and the world.  The hospitality-trained tower tour guides are very knowledgeable about the history of the tower and Greene County. 

Tower admission is $5 for adults.  Youth 18-years and younger are admitted free, courtesy of annual sponsors.  The 2024 sponsor for youth is A & W Family Restaurant in Jefferson.  Individual season passes are available at the tower for $25. For more information about the tower and activities, follow the Mahanay Bell Tower Facebook page.