Municipal Band Concerts

The band plays at 8 p.m., but the crowd gathers much earlier around the bandstand on the Iola square. The Iola Municipal Band has presented free summertime concerts since 1871. It's the longest continually performing city band in Kansas and one of the oldest in the country.

The beat goes on every Thursday night during June and July. The band program is printed each week in the Iola Register, but Iola residents are quite familiar with the routine. Every concert begins with The Star Spangled Banner and ends with a John Philip Sousa march. Broadway medleys and the state song, Home on the Range, often get top billing.

Performances draw up to 200 to 300 people of all ages. Music lovers sit on park benches, blankets, lawn chairs, or in their cars. Each week a different organization dishes up homemade ice cream and cake for a fund raiser. The 48 band members come from every walk of life and fill up the restored 1910 bandstand. Many residents have grown up with the band, and the music will continue for years to come.

 

 

 

 

Shocktober

Saturday night carnival the weekend before Halloween in the Riverside Park gym for all ages. Various games and activities including costume contest, cake walk, story teller, jack-o'-lantern contest, bean bag toss, etc.

NFL Punt, Pass and Kick

Annual event held at the Iola High School football field in early fall. Winners in each age division will be determined by total distance and will advance to a regional competition.

Bus Trips

Ride on a charter bus to various locations. Trips include Kansas City Royals games, Silver Dollar City, and more. Prices vary depending on trip and most include travel and admission only.

Special occasions
All ages
Events to be announced as they are arranged.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special Events

Buster Keaton Festival

Buster Keaton is one of the great film geniuses. His silent film brilliance is commemorated, studied, and enjoyed the last weekend in September at the internationally known Buster Keaton celebration.

Born in 1895 seven miles west of Iola in Piqua, Iola celebrates its local legend in workshops, talks from experts, and in viewing's of his work. The festival has featured such guests as Keaton's widow, Eleanor Keaton, Jim Karnin, Leonard Maltin and Steve Allen. The talented Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra often accompanies the showing of Keaton's films. Other silent film stars such as Fatty Arbuckle, Mary Pickford, Laurel and Hardy, and Charlie Chaplin have been featured in the past in addition to Keaton.

This annual event is held at the Bowlus Fine Arts Center for free. For more information contact the Bowlus or the Official Keaton Celebration Web site.


Farm City Days

This celebration is held the third weekend in October. It features a carnival on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. On Saturday the square is alive with a variety of activities and displays including a parade, car show, quilt display, artists' roundup, and crafts show. Food, commercial booths, artisan demonstrations and musical entertainment are found in abundance. Games and entertainment are available for all ages.


Allen County Fair

The Allen County Fair is a highlight for much of the city during the month of August. The fair allows people to gather to show and enjoy local talents of the community.

For the musically inclined, country and gospel concerts are available. Vocal and talent contests exhibit various abilities of residents of Southeast Kansas. Others talents focus less on performance and display gifts in various other areas such as entomology, gardening, woodworking, photography, arts and crafts, rocketry, farm products, and livestock. Many participate in the fair as members of 4-H. A rodeo, demolition derby, and tractor and horse pulls are local favorites. Although some of the entertainers and events change from year to year, the tradition of the over a hundred year old fair lives on.

Mad Bomber Run

Web Site for the Mad Bomber Run (opens a new window)