Staff training

Two of our Mahanay Bell Tower staff members participated in the Travel Iowa Tour Guide Training Workshop offered at Camp Dodge in Johnston. Michele Harding and Shelly Berger have been on the Bell Tower tour staff for a number of years. All of our tour guides are terrific ambassadors for the community as many times they are the first impression for our visitors.

Open for 2022 Season!

The Mahanay Memorial Carillon Tower will open for the 2022 season on Sunday, May 1 from 10 am – 4 pm. The Bell Tower Staff is ready to tell the story about the Mahanays and this unique bell tower. An elevator ride takes visitors to the Paul Nally Observation deck which is all glass enclosed. From there, a clear view of the surrounding countryside and the beautiful downtown always brings a lot of discussion of what can be seen.

Rooftop art has been installed on five rooftops, each with a story of their own. Another installation will begin this summer on Peony Chinese Restaurant by artist Dana Hamilton.

Of course, the 47 bells chime the Westminster Chimes throughout the day and several songs are played digitally on the bells after each hour. Visitors enjoy hearing the bells in the Tower but they can also be heard all over the community.

This unique attraction was named the 2021 Rural Tourism Attraction by Iowa Tourism. Admission is just $3 for adults and free to youth 18 and under in 2022 through a sponsorship by the Lois & Dean McAtee Trust.

Hours for the month of May are Saturday and Sunday from 10 am -4 pm. and then daily beginning Memorial Day weekend from 10 am – 4 pm. Appointments for other times can be made by calling The Welcome Center at 515-386-2155.

Christmas Tower Tunes Live concerts

The Mahanay Bell Tower will be celebrating the upcoming Christmas season with carillon music played throughout the day. A variety of tunes will continue after each hour from 8 am – 8 pm coordinated by Bill Monroe.

Christmas Tower Tunes Live concerts will be played by local Mahanay Maestros each Sunday from 12:15 – 12:30 pm and Thursday from 5:15 – 5:30 pm from Nov. 28 – Dec. 23. Each Maestro will select their favorites to serenade the community. These concerts are coordinated by Peg Raney and the music committee of the Bell Tower Community Foundation.

A special concert will be held surrounding the Community Christmas Tree Lighting on Sunday, Dec. 5 in the early evening by Janice Harbaugh. The Tree Lighting will be held at the Thomas Jefferson Gardens.

All concerts with the Maestros who will be playing will be noted on the website at as musicians choose their dates.

The Mahanay Bell Tower is closed for the season but is available for tours by appointment only by calling the Jefferson Matters office at 515-386-2155.

Veteran’s Day Tower Tunes Live Concert on Nov. 11

On Veteran’s Day, November 11, a special Tower Tunes Live concert will be performed by Mahanay Maestro Rick Morain. From 12:15 – 12:30 pm, the public is invited to listen to the four octave carillon concert. Rick’s playlist will certainly be amazing selections to honor our veterans. The Veteran’s Day concert is part of the regular Tower Tunes Live concert series set up by the Board of Supervisors and coordinated through the Bell Tower Community Foundation.

Veteran’s Day Concert

A Tower Tunes Live Concert will be performed by Mahanay Maestro Rick Morain on Veteran’s Day from 12:15 – 12:30 pm.

Goal of 6,000 Visitors!

10/19/21: We need only 98 visitors to the Mahanay Memorial Carillon Tower to reach our attendance goal of 6,000 for this year. The Tower is open on weekends (Sat. & Sun.) from 10 am-4 pm the rest of October before our season ends. Help us reach this stretch goal of the most visitors in a year. Bring your family and friends to visit the Tower.   See beautiful fall colors and roof top art. Bells play every quarter hour and several musical selections after each hour.  Our friendly tour guides are waiting to greet you. Rotary Club of Jefferson sponsors free admission for all youth 18 and younger.  

55th Birthday Concert on Oct. 16

The dedication of the Mahanay Bell Tower took place 55 years ago in 1966, and each year it is a time to celebrate. A Tower Tunes Live Birthday Concert will be played Saturday, Oct. 16, from 12:15 – 12:30 pm. Local Mahanay Maestro Sheryl Sloan will perform her favorite music on the carillon for the community to enjoy. 

Bell Tower Foundation board members will hand out special birthday treats to the first 55 in-person listeners.  Ding-Dongs and a penny for the penny souvenir press will be distributed on the plaza or to those listening from their vehicles. The penny press is located in the lobby area of the Tower.

The Mahanay Bell Tower has moved to October regular hours of Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm.  Youth age 18 and younger can ride the elevator to the top at no charge courtesy of Rotary Club of Jefferson.  Adults pay $3 to ride to the observation deck. 

Covid precautions are in still in place with masks optional for the comfort level of the visitors and staff. Limited numbers allow for social distancing in the elevator and observation deck.  

Visitors may also call for an appointment for during the week by calling the Jefferson Matters: A Main Street & Chamber Community office at 515-386-2155.