We’ve been to Mason City, Iowa, a few times over the past year. Each time we visited, I wanted to take a stroll along the city’s Sculpture Walk. I’m a sucker for these types of attractions. But each time we were in town, something prevented me from accomplishing the walk – weather, time or other events. Finally, I succeeded! Lisa attended a seminar in town recently and I tagged along, with the sole mission of walking the River City Sculpture Walk.
The sculptures are the work of River City Sculptures on Parade, a non-profit group that brings public art to communities, such as Mason City.
The walk lived up to my expectations (I know, I should reevaluate them). I love how cities’ attract visitors to their downtown areas usually though attractions, such as sculpture walks or murals. They are beautiful to look and you can check out area businesses. It’s a win for everyone.
Mason City has 40 statues on its walk. It’s about 1 ½ miles long and winds through town, taking the same rote as the city’s annual music parade to celebrate “The Music Man” himself, Meredith Willson, the famous musical writer who grew up here.
I brought up a map of the walk on my phone and started to take a stroll. I visited a sculpture named “Mermaid,” near the downtown mall.
“Zinger” stands near a bed and breakfast, a few steps from the main streets.
A statue of Willson stands outside Music Man Square, which houses a museum honoring him. Willson wrote several musicals, including his biggest hit “The Music Man,” as well as “The Unsinkable Molly Brown.” He even performed as a member of the band with John Philip Sousa.
I liked “Circle of Friends.” It features a girl reading a book inside a circle with names of books engraved on the outside. It’s located just outside the library’s main entrance. There is a similar sculpture in Sioux Falls, SD.
The library had a couple more sculptures I really liked. “Summer Distractions” features a kid on a scooter, trying to read a book while holding a doll from the handle bar.
“The Monumental Professor” has an owl wearing glasses standing on a stack of books. I loved this one.
How could I pass up a sculpture named “76 Trombones?” It’s the most-famous song from “The Music Man.”
“The Book of Life” added a nice accent to an older building downtown.
The “American Architect” is a sculpture of the great architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. He designed the Stockman House and the Park Inn Hotel in Mason City.
The statue stands facing the Park Inn Hotel, as if he is admiring his work. The hotel is beautiful. We visited it during a previous trip.
“School’s Out” depicts a boy ready to play some baseball during the summer.
The last statue which was a must-see for me was “Mr. Eggwards.” He looks like Humpty Dumpty sitting on a wall.