The North Iowa Band Festival was a big deal in '62, what with the world premier of "The Music Man" in Mason City, Meredith Wilson, Robert Preston, Shirley Jones and others all in attendance. And I've heard that some upperclassmen may have been nearby during the shooting of the movie and have stories to tell. Perhaps we can get more on that later.
Being able to see folks of that fame from "up close" (curbside as their convertibles drove by in the parade) was pretty cool, and the energy in Mason City for the event was pretty incredible. I recall being struck by how pretty Shirley Jones was, and I'm sure I wasn't the only one who felt that way. If you've already clicked the link above to the Wikipedia article you know she played Marian the Librarian and Preston was Harold Hill.
Reading in Wikipedia, I had forgotten the number of songs that came from the musical, many of which pop easily back into my head. Mostly I recall it was a beautiful day, and Phil Johnson and I were both decked out in white Bermuda shorts. Shows off your tan better, doncha know.
I always thought this Festival was scheduled for June but I see it's already completed for this year, prior to Memorial Day. I can't imagine that it will ever go away because the economic impact for Mason City has to be significant, especially for a town that seems to have lost some of the gloss of our era.
If you're wondering about the attached photo - I don't know who our queen candidate was, but I happen to have this one - of the Lake Mills candidate, Lonna Hoel, who swept me off my feet a couple years later. For me the Lake Mills rivalry ended long ago. It had to.