Bell Tower Festival 2023

The 2023 Bell Tower Festival will be held on June 9-10 in downtown Jefferson. A fundraising downtown dinner will be held the evening of June 8. The festival theme is Live Your Legacy with the year of ’23 being a Legacy year. Activities and entertainment are planned for families to enjoy along with the famous parade. Class reunions traditionally return to the community during the festival weekend so it is a great weekend to catch up with family and friends.

The Bell Tower Festival website at and the Facebook page of Bell Tower Festival share all of the updates, links for registrations, entertainment and activities. A new website that highlights all Jefferson and Greene County is Be sure to check these out and save them to refer back to later on.

The Mahanay Memorial Carillon (Bell Tower) will be open extended hours during the Festival: Friday from 10 am – 8 pm; Saturday from 9 am – 8 pm; and Sunday 10 am – 4 pm.

Youth are FREE courtesy of the Victor Zike Trust and the Rosalene (Kay) Zike Trust, in memory of the parents of Bell Tower Foundation President Carole Custer. Adult admission is $5. There may be limited numbers allowed in the lobby and Paul Nally Observation Deck at a time, but everyone will have a chance to take the tour. Individual season passes are available at the tower for $25.

Come for the view. Stay for the bells. The bells continue to ring the Westminster Chimes each quarter hour. Two songs play after each hour from 8 am – 8 pm. Views from the observation are spectacular with rooftop art installations and the beautiful rural countryside.

Visit the Mahanay Bell Tower!

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.

New rooftop art for 2022

Artist Dana Hamilton is working on his rooftop art installation on the roof of the delicious Peony Chinese Restaurant. This restaurant is located on Lincoln Way directly south of the Mahanay Bell Tower. Visitors can watch Dana work on days that the weather is cooperating from the Nally Observation Deck of the Bell Tower.

The Mahanay Bell Tower is open weekends in May from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and then daily starting Memorial Day weekend. Appointments can be made to visit the Tower by calling The Welcome Center at 515-386-2155 and a staff member will meet you there.


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.  

Mahanay Tower Is Open

The Mahanay Bell Tower is open to visitors and boy, have they been coming! Masks are optional at the tower and for the comfort level of our visitors, we may limit the number of people in the lobby area and observation deck. But for the most part, our very friendly and knowledgable staff is ready to welcome you and your family & friends!

The Mahanay Bell Tower is open daily beginning Memorial Day weekend from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Admission is $3 for adults and FREE for youth age 18 and under courtesy of our Rotary Club of Jefferson. They are sponsoring the youth admissions as they celebrate their upcoming 100th anniversary as a club.

There is so much to see on your trip to the Mahanay Bell Tower. You will hear the beautiful 47 bells play. The view is spectacular. With five rooftop art installations that you can only see from the enclosed observation deck, it is a unique experience for sure. The countryside is gorgeous and the view of our beautiful downtown Jefferson is spectacular.

The four Ring Out for Art sculptures are in place on the courthouse plaza and there are two special alleys for you to see – Sally’s Alley on the south side of the Square and Arch Alley on the north side. Our Greene County Courthouse is outstanding to see if you can visit during the week when it is open. The Thomas Jefferson Gardens are located on the southeast corner of the Square and are simply stunning to walk through and enjoy. They have chimes to play and a special children’s garden area too. The Welcome Center is located at these Gardens with brochures on many other attractions to visit and places to go.

Make plans to visit Jefferson for these attractions as well as great shopping and places to eat!

Rooftop Art can only be seen from Paul Nally Observation Deck

Jefferson Telecom has made a huge contribution to art in the community by commissioning artist ARCY to paint a rooftop art installation on the roof of the 101 N Chestnut which houses Greater Life Chiropractic. ARCY has been painting for days as weather permits to complete this very challenging installation of an elderly farmer from the Midwest. Pictures have been taken by a drone, but the only way to really see this masterpiece is to ride the elevator in the Mahanay Bell Tower to the Paul Nally Observation Deck. The enclosed observation deck is full of windows to view the countryside and the downtown. This is the 5th installation of rooftop art in the downtown. It is amazing! Thank you to Jefferson Telecom for this wonderful gift to the community.

Ambassadors Visit

The Jefferson Matters: Main Street & Chamber Ambassadors will be recognizing the new season for the Mahanay Bell Tower at a ribbon cutting.  The Rotary Club of Jefferson will be represented as the 2021 sponsor for free youth admissions.  A new rooftop art installation will be ready to view from the Paul Nally Observation Deck.

Mahanay Bell Tower Opening Day

The Mahanay Bell Tower will officially open for the season on Saturday, May 1 from 10 am – 4 pm.  It will be open weekends in May and then daily from Memorial Day through the end of September.  Please call for an appt. to schedule a tour at another time.  515-386-2155

New piano & rooftop art

Along with the fabulous view from 120 ft. up and hearing the sound of the 47 bells, there are other reasons to come to Jefferson and visit the Mahanay Memorial Carillon Tower.   A new public piano with a RAGBRAI theme is now located on the plaza.  A fourth rooftop art has been completed called Music Straight From the Heart.  It is well-worth a visit to Jefferson to see these public art pieces and more.