Community Profile

Home to Meredith Willson, author and composer of "The Music Man," Mason City is the original ‘River City’ and has a long history with a bright future. Residents enjoy the quality of life in a small-town atmosphere while enjoying the amenities of cities much larger in size. Located in north central Iowa, it is the center of activity between Minneapolis and Des Moines.

The Mayor and City Council have set the course for a prosperous future through their strong commitment to sound infrastructure, providing a safe community for the residents and offering fun amenities to entertain citizens and visitors. Partnerships are formed to bring economic success through the creation of employment opportunities and to a revitalized downtown.

Community leadership values strong neighborhoods. City officials work with neighborhood residents and community organizations to improve neighborhoods and the quality of life for citizens.

The employees of the City of Mason City are dedicated to meeting the needs of its citizens and ensuring that there is no ‘trouble in River City’. Highly trained professionals deliver police and fire services to the community. Citizens access leisure services through parks and recreation, the library, and the MacNider Art Museum. City employees maintain a quality street system, water and sewer utilities, and a full-service commercial airport.

Mason City is known for its strong musical tradition. The first annual North Iowa Band Festival marched down the street in 1936. This popular annual tradition draws bands from across the region to compete in the marching competition and the chosen designees as the school’s queen and king contestants also hope to be crowned by day’s end.

A rich architectural heritage is found in Mason City, which contains one of the largest concentrations of Prairie School architecture in one location, featuring both commercial and residential buildings. The only remaining Frank Lloyd Wright designed hotel located in downtown has been restored to a functional hotel due to a complete renovation including restoration of the distinctive brick and terra-cotta facade and art glass windows. Mason City is also the home to the Rock Glen and Rock Crest National Historic district, the largest collection of prairie style homes in a natural setting in the world.

Mason City is the largest retail shopping hub in north central Iowa providing numerous venues to satisfy all styles of fashion. After a day of shopping or recreational fun, plentiful dining options offer a wide range of food choices sure to please any palate, from home style cooking to elegant international cuisine.


Come to Mason City and enjoy all that the community has to offer!