Band Festival for 2017

The weather forecast I looked at last weekend for this weekend called for rain today, and sure enough we had rain, but fortunately it came after 3:00 pm and not that much. At least the parade didn’t get rained on.  Other than the hour and a half I spent watching the parade, the bulk of my morning was filled with returning calls and preparing for tomorrow’s appointments.  For it being Memorial Day weekend, there sure are people out there wanting to look at homes.

My public open house at 323 – 6th St. NW was a great success.  There were people coming and going the entire time, and several of them taking really long looks and asking the right questions.  I’ll not be surprised if there’ll be call backs for second looks.  Everyone in attendance marveled at the quality of workmanship as well as its overall move-in condition.  As I mentioned before, every time I’m there, I get this wonderful “grounded” feeling.  I wouldn’t be surprised if it was also felt by everyone else that stepped thru its front door.

You all may consider me a killjoy, but the Band Festival today was quite the disappointment for me.  There were so few bands that I couldn’t help but say to myself, “What the heck’s happened?”  I haven’t gone to each and every parade over these long years, but my memory is still good enough to where I can distinctly remember far more bands than there were today.   Whomever was in charge of soliciting the out-of-town schools to make the trip here, should be chastised for there being such a weak showing.  I know there’ve been school budget cuts across the Midwest, but that shouldn’t have been the reason for the marching bands from those schools not being in attendance today.

For me, today’s showing was a litmus test which confirmed the waning popularity of Mason City being the place where marching bands meet once a year.  Some may think me bias, but I’m not so sure the re-skinning of The Music Man Square is going to solve the chronic dwindling interest in Meredith Willson and the legacy he left to Mason City.  It’s sad, but again, it’s another example of our changing times–especially with our youth.

Late this afternoon I happened to run into a gentleman who’s somewhat older than me who grew up here in Mason City.  I told him about my experience at the parade today and he also recalled the time when he was in high school, and remembered big marching bands coming from as far away as Illinois and Minnesota.  I’m glad we had our little chat, because sometimes our memories can be skewed–especially after so many years.

Above you’ll find the photo gallery of Mason City’s Band Festival for 2017.

Joe Chodur

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