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Robin Anderson’s carnival hands out shot glasses to children as prizes

Robin Anderson micro-manages her Bandfest, but allowed this detail to slip through the cracks.  Photo from a Mason City parent.

Editorial by Matt Marquardt –

Just how low can the bar be set in Mason City?

Robin Anderson’s Chamber of Commerce isn’t shy about laying out the rules of behavior and decorum for anyone attending our Bandfest event – they do so every year – but apparently the rules of decency stop with us.

At this year’s Bandfest carnival in East Park – the same carnival that was marred by riots and brawls last year – parents alerted me to the fact that carnies were giving children shot glasses and Budweiser beer bottle openers as prizes after playing some of the games at the carnival.

A culture of booze-drinking at City Hall doesn't make it OK to to hand shot glasses to children at a family event.
A culture of booze-drinking at City Hall doesn’t make it OK to to hand shot glasses to children at a family event.

I will not be blaming any parent for “allowing” their child to accept these prizes.  Bandfest and the carnival are supposed to be family-friendly events. One would not think that prizes of this nature would be handed out to children at the Bandfest carnival, but this year, they were.  It’s too bad that our schools and other role models try to teach kids that substance abuse is wrong and then Robin Anderson allows this kind of garbage to take place.

Now, just because there is a culture of booze-drinking at City Hall doesn’t make it right that the carnies handed out shot glasses to children.  Neither Mayor Eric Bookmeyer nor any of our six City Council members commented when told about the booze prizes.

I do believe it is time that Robin Anderson gets the boot from running the Bandfest event.  Let’s investigate the possibility of the Visit Mason City agency taking over.  The slimy tentacles of Robin’s Chamber has reached far enough into our daily lives.  Enough is enough.

Time for Robin Anderson to get the boot from the daily lives of Mason City citizens.  No more running the Bandfest, no more sculptures, no more tax dollars for her pet projects.
Time for Robin Anderson to get the boot from the daily lives of Mason City citizens. No more running the Bandfest, no more sculptures, no more tax dollars for her pet projects.


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Robin Anderson – the epitome of SARS (Self-absorbed reflex syndrome)


I understand that I am commenting on what you are calling an “editorial.” But in fact, every “article” on this website (I refuse to call it a news source) should be deemed an editorial.

As an actual award-winning journalist I’m curious as to what makes you think you have the chops to call yourself one as well? You certainly don’t have the ethics of a journalist. And to be perfectly honest, you have no depth — you write the same stories over and over again.

Also, your style could use serious help.

An Actual Journalist:
Your comments could, in reality, include all news media. Fox noise rings a bell to start with. If you are a real journalist then you must have heard the phrase “power of the pen”. where and why do you think this phrase came about? The very thing you are complaining to Matt about has been going on for as long as this phrase has been around. Nothing new here.
I remember some years ago writing to a journalist from KCRG tv in Cedar Rapids on an article he did on prior salvage title vehicles. It was obvious that he did not know all the facts when he aired his article on tv. His job was to air the dangers of buying these vehicles. So he did without including the whole truth. But then again, the whole truth would not have fit in to his story. SOOOOO was he honest? Did he lie?

As for Matts style, many here have tried to let him know that his style could use some polishing. And ANY article that is not copied word for word from a police document can be considered an editorial (as you call it). Simply in the way something is highlighted or punctuated. Shirley, you can figure that out.

@Pretend Journalist-Who are you? Where do you pretend to do your articles? You come on here with your B.S. and nothing to back it up. You are probably John Skipper in hiding or one of the other wannabe writers that post on the GLOB.

Matt, I can tell you with utmost certainty that this so called “actual journalist” is the Globe’s prized 2nd rate hack that they are actually over paying for what they are really getting if terms of talent. Don’t sweat it…

LMAO…award winning. This “actual journalist” did in fact win an award right now…an award from me that states they are #1. #1 I in what I won’t say out of respect for the women folk.

This is all certainly entertaining, to say the least. I do not work for the Globe or even in Mason City for that matter.
I do know this —
Journalists look to uncover truths and wrongdoings. They tell great stories. Often times their work is impactful enough to bring about change. Journalists however, are not bullies.
If you want change, report the facts. Don’t call names. Have a bit of dignity. Read up on journalistic ethics.

I knew exactly how to get you to bite. Here’s the thing Jack, I nor does probably anyone else on this site really care what you think. You are here and commenting quite obviosly because you can’t stay away. For that, Mr. Marquardt has already won. Regardless of what you think or say this business is successful and is growing every day. You cannot change that. So, you can rebut and I hope you do but all it does is further prove that people, A LOT of people are drawn to it for good reasons and bad reasons. Here’s the thing tho…it doesn’t matter as long as they keep coming…just like you. Welcome and just try to stay away. Lol, it hasn’t worked for you yet…has it?

That carnival is a disgrace. That is not a place I will let my child go, if I can help it. I want her to steer completely clear of that event. The rides are unsafe and the people are more unsafe. Between the caliber of people they employ and the caliber of the people that seem to flock there just to start problems, it’s not a setting I want my child in. Mason City is severely lacking when it comes to the carnival department. The North Iowa Fair when I was a kid was a lot better because there was a reputable company brought in. Unfortunately, that one is gone, but there has to be others in the game. MC hires the cheapest they can find, not the safest or best.

What do we need to do to get the band festival back downtown where it belongs? The owners of the stores that suffered for almost 2 years while the hotel renovation and street scape was done should get all of our support — starting with bringing bandfest back downtown.

@truthneeded-get rid of Robin Anderson and our mayor and you will be surprised how fast this town can turn around. If you really want to speed it up get rid of the city council too.

Absolutely agree that Band Festival should be downtown. I have many fond memories of shopping downtown after the parade. There was so much excitement, including my favorite stop, Gretchen’s, where I had to get my fix of their fantastic caramel corn. Please move it back downtown. Matt, if you agree with this maybe you could start a campaign on NIT?

At Luther-I can tell by your post that you don’t live here so I would say you don’t get a voice in what happens here in Shi##y City. The only thing our mayor was good at was marrying a doctor who could support his bar bills. His other claim to fame was being a executive recruiter which is the biggest bottom feeder in the world. There is nothing slimier than a head hunter and he wasn’t very good at that either.

My advice is to go back and get the GED so you can clean up the usage and the spelling. THEN, start your own online newspaper if you think you can do it better than Matt can.

@ Luther classmate: I certainly hope you didn’t go to Luther. You’re a poor advertisement for them with your lousy grammar. You wouldn’t have made it out of Freshman English class there.

Yeah, this years band fest was a joke!
even without the rain!!!!!!

I agree, shot glasses were a joke. I’d like to see them give out large glass Van Halen rolling trays like they used to.

There is nothing you could say or do to me that would give me a heart attack. Knowing that people like you exist does make me sick to my stomach troll. So, now go urinate up a rope.

After looking at the people walking around east park this past weekend, I would say most, kids and adults, have been around shot glasses before.
When somebody ask were I am from, I am just going to say, South of Minneapolis. Very sad comentary on Mason City.

For those of you saying she doesn’t have control over the carnies, this is the same woman who picks the operator which does control the attractions and the food. Don’t you all remember when the locals vendors were given the boot…it’s all money…beer distributors give their wares away free all the time, the operators can get these for next to nothing and use them as prizes and maybe if they’re lucky, get a new customer for life…hook ’em young, wasn’t that Marlboro’s objective. I don’t have a problem with Robin per se, but I do believe she has the ability to control what gets brought into East Park. I would support having the Visit Mason City group take Bandfest (along with the fair while we’re at it).

For every shotglass given out, Robin should donate a dollar to the Youth Center.

Hey Matt…try to be a little objective. It so obvious you don’t like this woman..

Sorry Matt, This is the lowest form of journalism. You’re better than this.

Matt come you are better than this. So where were the assuaults on Max when he proposed the gentlemens club for downtown to help spur economical development for mason city?

It’s not just the prizes that upset me about this years carnival. It’s the rides! They are not safe and this year it was proven. Friday night the power went out and their generator had black smoke pouring out of it trying to get the power back on. Now I understand that the stormy weather can impact generating systems, but it was not storming at the time and even if it is storming, the rides should not be running. Their were many people stuck on the zipper. On Sunday, the kiddie dragon ride came off the track! And when looking very closely at the ferris wheel, some of the cars didn’t even have the safety bars on them. Now, I know carnivals are carnivals, but the carnival in Clear Lake for the 4th just seems different. The owner is constantly riding around on a golf cart personally checking the rides himself, making sure the carnies aren’t being jackasses, and it just seems like it’s better run, although I don’t know what they give out for prizes. Hopefully they will learn from this not to give out alcohol endorsing products. If Band Fest is going to have a carnival, maybe it’s time to find someone else or just forget it all together.

Didn’t the carnival in Clear Lake have one or two people fall off a ride last year? All of these traveling carnivals should be a concern between the shady employees and the safety of the rides.

I am not a Robin fan AT ALL. But this is not her fault, and who cares if they give out a shot glass?

Matt I would not be putting anyone down until you clean up your own porch…..Jim Reed

Blah, Blah, Blah Matt. They have been giving the same prizes out for twenty years at the Bandfest Carnival !

Naw, it’s not really her fault what the carnies give away as prizes. She has no way of controlling that. I understand Matt wants to take it to this woman, but superstition ain’t the way. Just ask Stevie Wonder, even he can see it.

Bad form Matt. It’s obvious you don’t like her. She is a figure head of chamber, she doesn’t have near the power you think she does. She doesn’t get near the credit you give her and not everything is her fault.

I agree with previous commenter, not journalism. Bad form Matt.

Jenny, Joe or one of many others? It does not matter. What does matter is that you track i/p addresses. For what purpose and to what end? To delete some comments you don’t like, I suspect. To profile and target subjects and write “editorials” is of some concern or probably should be. Nothing surprises me.

@jenny-are you a IDIOT or just a moron? It is Matt’s site and he can do whatever he wants. If he was going to delete anyone he would have deleted you. You are only on here to belittle him and the rest of us by posting under different names. You don’t have enough pride to use the same name and stand behind your comments. Go post at the GLOB and try to put something on there they disagree with and see how far you get.

I am neither an idiot or a moron and my purpose is not to belittle. If you seek first to understand, you will see that I am standing up against others “belittling” (circa Matt and Peter, primarily). He can and does delete posts. It is his site – agreed, but just because he can…..should he? Don’t all opinions matter? Only his advertisers can weigh in on that. If they support his personal vendetta against others, so be it. Greater legal minds than mine can determine if his profiling and tracking bears additional scrutiny.

@jenny-I didn’t say you were an idiot or moron, I just asked if you were?

So you just IMPLIED that Jenny was an idiot or a moron? Is that kind of like implying that you may be a bitter old man who is mad at the world and never thinks he’s wrong? Just asking, not calling you names or anything. Why would anyone stoop to your level.

@Anymouthy-well what do you know. My favorite troll is back and still behind and below me where it was intended you be. Your just like toilet paperalway wiping up my rear. I guess you don’t have anything else to do but troll around smart mouthing your betters do you troll? Get a life creep.

Sounds like I struck a nerve! You better work on growing a thicker skin unless you are aiming for a heart attack or something.

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