The Jefferson Iowa News®


  2009  Bell Tower Events Committee Meets

Preliminary meetings have begun concerning the agenda and theme for the 2009 Bell Tower Festival, Greene County's most recognizable annual event. This year promises to be the most innovative, exciting festival yet, as several new ideas have been laid on the table for consideration.

High on the priority list was the location for 2009's venue, as Paton came in with a strong presentation. However, local voices were able to once again specify that all activities will be held in Jefferson. This aside, enough new ideas were still on the table to create an invigorated atmosphere.

The first topic of discussion concerned the dates for this year's festival. Several new concepts were considered, such as holding the festival during the county fair, or possibly over the 4th of July. After some discussion, it was decided that the festival would be held over the second weekend in June, as has been the tradition.

Many different parade ideas were discussed, such as altering the route, or possibly encouraging various float themes. It was decided that all floats should be required to closely resemble hay wagons, and consist of old Jefferson alumni waving and throwing candy at the crowd.

It was brought up this year that a barbecue contest would generate excitement and revenue via the selling of booth space and entry fees. After some lengthy discussion, the committee elected to continue its policy of selling brats downtown.

Advertising was touched on, and some thought was given to posting the event on billboards along highway 30 beginning as soon as possible, as the dates have been set. It was decided, however, to follow the time-honored tradition of putting up banners about a week in advance, as most people locally already know about the functions via word-of-mouth.

Softball tournaments were proposed, but in a surprise move, the committee chose to opt for a watermelon feed and frog-jumping contest, which it deemed more economically viable. Similarly, the idea of stock car races lost out to the much more popular spelling bee and dog show.

Many requests were made for eliminating the bistro tent band, but the committee chose to overrule popular opinion, and a very loud, bad band will once again be booked. The planning committee hopes that it will be loud enough and bad enough to keep most Jeffersonians home.

Late night movies have been voted down in favor of a quilt raffle and spaghetti dinner. A free throw contest and flower show will also once again be featured. It has been determined that a fireworks show is not feasible, as local police state that they are unable to properly monitor it.

On the plus side, the local police are on record stating that they can ensure public safety at the Fireman's Breakfast, and the children's carnival, providing there is only one entrance. Jefferson goes down in history as the only community taking direct orders from its police force, whom they elect and hire.

All of these changes point toward an especially exciting 2009 Bell Tower Festival!

 Spencer Straight, 02-13-2009