Music Man Square in Mason City has had a quarter of-a-million visitors. David Vikturek, director of the Mason City Foundation, says it’s just a few years since the opening of the building honoring the work of Mason City native Meredith Willson.
There have been 250-thousand visitors counted since the museum opened its doors in May 2002.
Vikturek says they’ve come from all corners of the world — just over Thanksgiving there were some from New Zealand, Australia, England and manyparts of this country. Vikturek says the number of visitors they’ve had to Music Man Square in less than four years proves that Willson’s musicals are still popular worldwide. The musical’s currently being performed in the Netherlands, and was staged last summer in England.
He says they get e-mails from all over requesting information and ordering merchandise from the gift shop. Vikturek says they’ve also been impressed with not only the number of visitors they’ve had but the number of requests worldwide for more information about Meredith Willson and Music Man-related items. He says “Music Man” is performed over 500 times a year, and Willson’s “Unsinkable Molly Brown” remains another popular show.
Vikturek says they hear from scholars studying Meredith Willson who are working on a degree or studying the American musical, so the information in the archives is always being distributed. The 250-thousandth visitor was with a tour group from Braddyville in far southwestern Iowa. Vikturek says they’ll have at least two bus tours a day during the summer, with tour groups leveling off during the winter months…but many individuals and families come in every day to tour the building. For visitor hours and more information, surf to “the music man square-dot-org”