The Mahanay Memorial Carillon Tower, recently ranked as the #1 rural tourist attraction in Iowa, officially is open weekends in May. Hours are Saturday and Sunday from 10 am – 4 pm. The tower will be open daily from Memorial Day weekend through the end of September. The hours remain at 10 am – 4 pm. Appointments for special tours during the week in May or at other hours during the season when the tower is not open to the public can be made by calling the Welcome Center at 515-386-2155.
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 8 am – 8 pm. Mahanay Maestros, local and area musicians, provide special Tower Tunes Live concerts during the season. For a schedule go to www.mahanaybelltower.org
An elevator, handicap accessible, takes visitors to the glass-enclosed Nally Observation Deck up 128 feet for a view of the landscape of five counties and the five installations of rooftop art on buildings around the square. Local artist Dana Harrison is currently working on another rooftop art creation, a project of the Tower View Team of Jefferson Matters. Four new Ring Out for Art sculptures have been installed for the season on the Bell Tower Plaza.
The lobby has souvenirs and a video and historical items telling the story of the tower and the Jefferson community. A display honors the many Bell Tower of Fame Award recipients. 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 old and younger are admitted free, courtesy of annual sponsors. The 2023 sponsors are the Victor Zike Trust and the Rosalene (Kay) Zike Trust, in memory of the parents of Bell Tower Foundation President Carole Custer. Season passes are available at the tower for $25.
For more information about the tower and its activities, follow the Mahanay Bell Tower Facebook page and check out its website www.mahanaybelltower.org