MASON CITY, Iowa- Meredith Willson, the writer of the famous musical, “The Music Man”, would have turned 116 years old Friday and for the first time in recent history, band festival host royalty are honoring the Mason City man.
All four of this year’s host royalty are laying flowers at Willson’s grave site at Elmwood Cemetery in Mason City. Ameila Ouverson and Nick Schmidt said they both have fond memories of watching the Music Man as well as attending band festival growing up. While they both said they wish Willson could have been honored earlier for his accomplishments being a part of it for the 80th annual Band Festival.
“Being able to march and being able to be a part of it and actually being in the parade instead of just watching it is kinda of cool,” said Ameila. “I always remember looking at the band and thinking oh wow I get to do that one day.”