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Colorful floats on display at Band Festival Parade

Judges make their decisions on the Grand Marshal and Mr. Toot Awards

Posted: May 26, 2019 12:01 AM

MASON CITY, Iowa - Mason City is coming alive all weekend long with the 81st Annual North Iowa Band Festival. And around 120 organizations across North Iowa took part in Saturday morning's parade, and many brought in colorful floats.

A lot of time and energy was spent on creating the masterpieces; for the Friends of the 457, which is dedicated to preserving the historic steam locomotive in East Park, they actually put their float together ten years ago.

"I thought it would be a couple boxes put together."

Terry Harrison is the man peddling the replica, and it's not exactly an easy task.

"The big thing is to have somebody standing on either side to help push it. Sometimes if we're on a hill when we stop...it gets hard to push it forward and get it moving. Once we get it moving, it gets harder to stop it.

While it has yet to bump into another float ahead of them, they've made some modifications like adding handle bars for somebody walking alongside the float so it doesn't run away.

"We have people on either side that can grab ahold of it and keep it from going. We always have people march alongside. And it never goes fast enough really."

Another organization that had a float in this year's parade was the Youth Task Force. Their float had a Dr. Seuss theme, while also sticking with the parade's theme of "Forward March." Alice Ciavarelli is part of the task force, and took part in building the float.

"My son is a really good contraption designer, so he has been scrounging around and finding different parts for us."

It took about a month to plan the final design and build it.

"Probably for the last week or so, we've been working every day, painting the little things and getting the rest of the float ready."

They wanted to choose a theme that could relate to everyone, and also bring attention the message of making healthy choices.

"We're hoping that some of the kids along the parade route will enjoy it. Not that anyone from any other age would like Dr. Seuss, we're just hoping that younger kids will find it entertaining."

During the parade, judges made their decisions on floats:

For the top 3 finishers of the Grand Marshal Award:

*Mason City Youth Task Force-1st

*Smithfield-2nd

*Prairie Ridge-3rd

For the top 3 finishers of the Mr. Tot Award:

*First United Methodist Church-1st

*NI Vietnam Veterans-2nd

*MacNider Art Museum-3rd

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