Colored Lighting

Our nighttime-colored lights are an enhancement to the original white lights. The tower will feature random colored lights every Friday and Saturday. Additionally throughout the year, Holiday lighting will be displayed with appropriate colored lights.

2023 Mahanay Bell Tower Birthday Party

News Release: 

The dedication of the Mahanay Bell Tower took place 57 years ago on October 16, 1966, and each year it is a time to celebrate. This year, the Tower will be open from 10 am – 2 pm with free admission for all. 

The Foundation would like to particularly invite local employers to send their employees over the lunch break to experience the Tower.  More than 50% of the visitors are from out of town and many locals haven’t heard the story, listened to the bells, and seen the rooftop art and spectacular view from the Paul Nally Observation Deck. The Mahanay Bell Tower was named the 2021 Rural Iowa Attraction of the Year.   

A Tower Tunes Live Birthday Concert will be played on Monday, Oct. 16, from 12:15 – 12:30 pm. A local Mahanay Maestro will perform favorite music on the carillon for the community to enjoy.

Visitors and residents are asked to celebrate by posting pictures with the Tower in the background.  #HBD1966 and #experiencejefferson are two hashtags that could be used.

The Mahanay Bell Tower has transitioned to October 2023 regular hours of Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm.  In 2023, youth age 18 and younger can tour the Tower at no charge courtesy of the Victor Zike Trust and Rosalene (Kay) Zike Trust.  Adult admission is $5.  

Visitors may also schedule an appointment by calling the Jefferson Matters office at 515-386-2155.

Tower To Open Daily!

The Mahanay Memorial Carillon Tower will open daily to the public on Memorial Day  in May. The Tower staff welcomes visitors from 10 am – 4 pm daily through the end of October. It is open weekends in May. It is also available at other times by appointment by calling The Welcome Center at 515-386-2155.

Stay for the bells. The 47 bells (four octaves) plays the Westminster Chimes each quarter hour from 8 am – 8 pm daily. Two songs are also played about eight minutes after each hour. Tower Tunes Live Concerts are played live by Mahanay Maestros each Wednesday from 12:15 – 12:30 pm and other times as scheduled.

Come for the view. The tour includes information about the Mahanays and the Tower. An elevator takes visitors 120 ft. up to the glass enclosed Paul Nally Observation Deck. From there, the view is spectacular with rooftop art installations, alley projects and a view of downtown Jefferson and the surrounding countryside. Four new Ring Out for Art sculptures are located on the plaza.

The Mahanay Tower is free to youth 18 and under courtesy of our 2024 sponsor, the A & W Family Restaurant in Jefferson Cost for adults is $5. Individual season passes are available at the tower for $25.

Name That Tower Tunes Live

A Mahanay Maestro will play the carillon with songs of their choice.  Individuals or groups will write down the titles of the songs.  The Maestro will announce the titles at the end.  Prizes are awarded!

Name That Tower Tunes Live

A Mahanay Maestro will play the carillon with songs of their choice.  Individuals or groups will write down the titles of the songs.  The Maestro will announce the titles at the end.  Prizes are awarded!

Name That Tower Tunes Live

A Mahanay Maestro will play the carillon with songs of their choice.  Individuals or groups will write down the titles of the songs.  The Maestro will announce the titles at the end.  Prizes are awarded!

Name That Tower Tunes Live

A Mahanay Maestro will play the carillon with songs of their choice.  Individuals or groups will write down the titles of the songs.  The Maestro will announce the titles at the end.  Prizes are awarded!

Name That Tower Tune

Do you like trivia? Especially musical trivia? Then plan to play Name That Tower Tune during the Wednesday Tower Tunes Live concerts at the Mahanay Bell Tower. Mahanay Maestros will play the four octave carillon from 12:15 – 12:30 pm. with songs of their choice. The entirety of each song will be played, not just a few notes.

Participants will have an official sheet to write down the titles of the songs. No cell phones or song identification apps are allowed. At the end of the live concert, the Mahanay Maestro will announce the correct titles. Mahanay Music Committee members will assist the participants and determine a winner. Prizes will be awarded. Music Committee members include Nancy Teusch, Janet Durlam, Joann Rasmussen, Ces Brunow, Pat Richards, Don VanGilder, Peg Raney and Bill Monroe.

The Name That Tower Tune event will begin on Wednesday, May 31 with Mahanay Maestro Rick Morain and continue each Wednesday through the end of June. Participants are encouraged to arrive at the Mahanay Bell Tower soon after noon to receive a sheet and instructions prior to the 12:15 pm live concert.

The Bell Tower Foundation encourages people to pick up a to-go lunch at any of the local restaurants and enjoy it on the Bell Tower Plaza during these lunch time events.

The Jefferson Chimes

A musical contest has been announced by the Mahanay Music Committee of the Bell Tower Community Foundation.  An original, short, musical phrase that can be played on the carillon will be used to call people to special events in the community.  Musicians should consider how the Kentucky Derby bugle call, the Westminster Chimes, or the CBS tones are recognizable and serve as a brand.  This contest would create an identifiable musical phrase specific to the Mahanay Memorial Carillon Tower as a fanfare before special events.

Musicians are asked to submit entries in written notation by June 1 to mahanaybelltower@gmail.com.  A suggestion is to use the two octaves above and below middle C.  A committee will review all entries by listening to them played on the carillon and make a recommendation to the Greene County Board of Supervisors.  The winning fanfare will be officially named “The Jefferson Chimes” and debuted at the 2023 Bell Tower Festival calling people to the Opening Ceremonies.  This chime will continue to be used to call people to other special events in the community.

For more information or questions, please go to www.mahanaybelltower.org or contact music coordinator Peg Raney.