There's truly something for everyone this weekend in North Iowa: music, history, classic cars, art - even a little theater. Be sure to get outdoors while summer is still here.

There's music and magic at Thursdays on Main

Local favorites Betty & The Gents will entertain the crowd tonight, Aug. 3, at "Thursdays on Main" in downtown Clear Lake.

The event starts at 6 p.m. with classic cars, bounce houses, kids' activities, laser tag, hand-powered kiddie train rids, crafts, vendor market, food trucks and more. Stores are also open late.

There's special entertainment with The Magic of Mike Prestby at 6:30 p.m.

Betty & The Gents take the stage at 7 p.m., playing music until 9.

Thursdays on Main activities end at 9, when the fun moves to City Park for the movie "The Jungle Book" (PG).

Ted Nugent returns to the Surf

“Motor City Madman” Ted Nugent returns to the Surf Ballroom Thursday, Aug. 3, with The Tom Fuller Band set to open the show. Tickets are $38 in advance, $43, if available, the night of the show. Doors will open at 7 p.m.

Nugent has been known for performing like a madman since his days with the Amboy Dukes. In the 30-plus years since leaving that group, he has established himself as a solo artist.

To millions of guitar lovers everywhere, Nugent is rock and roll. Known as much for his incredible guitar skill as he is for his outspoken opinions and onstage antics, Nugent is considered one of the world's leading guitar showmen. His no-holds-barred career spans five decades of multi-platinum hits

from the ground breaking Amboy Dukes' "Journey to the Center of the Mind," to classics like "Stranglehold" and "Cat Scratch Fever," Damn Yankees chartbusters like "High Enough," cult classic "Fred Bear," and “Love Grenade.” Nugent has released more than 34 albums, and has sold a career total of 30 million records.

MacNider hosts "Off the Clock" and more

Another opportunity to explore Charles H. MacNider Art Museum with friends and a glass of wine will be offered Friday, Aug. 4, when the museum hosts MacNider: Off the Clock.

From 5 to 7 p.m., view the newly-opened “Hava Hagenbarth: Capturing the Natural World” exhibition in the Center Space Gallery and the “In Her Own Right: Marion Mahony Griffin” in the Kinney Lindstrom Gallery. There will be also be a living portrayal of Mahony Griffin by Mary Rohne.

Complimentary wine and appetizers will be available throughout the event, in addition to music by Michael Betz. Admission is free. Betz will also play earlier in the day, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Mason City Public Library for its Summer Music Series.

The whimsical images created by Hagenbarth, a Mason City artist, are highlighted in the exhibit which opened July 28. The 29 prints and drawings, featuring an assortment of animals and natural landscapes, will transport the viewer to Africa.

Hagenbarth is retired from the U.S. Foreign Service where she served primarily in Africa. Though she always had a love and talent for art, she pursued other interests in her career. The exhibit continues through Sept. 23.  

On Saturday, Anna Lewis will give a presentation on “22 Women of Steel & Stone: Women Architects” to coordinate with the "In Her Own Right: Marion Mahony Griffin" exhibit.

Lewis will speak at 2 p.m. in the museum’s Salsbury Room. Seating is on a first come, first served basis. It is free and open to the public.

The museum is located at 303 Second St. S.E. in Mason City. For more information, visit or call 641-421-3666.

The annual CLASS car cruise, show is Friday and Saturday

The annual C.L.A.S.S. Car cruise and show is Aug. 4-5, sponsored by Clear Lake Auto Social Society.

Line up for Friday's cruise begins in the Kingland Systems lot, with a meet and greet from 3-5:30 p.m. Cost is $5 per car. Cruise the lake at 5:30, arriving at the Surf Ballroom for a dance from 7:15-11 p.m. with The Whitesidewalls and Dick Dale. Doors open at 7.

Show & Shine is noon to 3:30 p.m. Saturday at City Park, with awards at 3:30. Coupe De Ville will play from 6-10 p.m.

Officially described by the guitar company as a "Fender Legend," Dick Dale has acquired many titles over the years, including the Father of Heavy Metal, the Father of the Power Players and the Father of Loud. While there are others who could challenge these claims, Dale is undoubtedly the King of the Surf Guitar.

During the late 1950s, he staked claim to a guitar sound in Balboa, California, that became synonymous with surf culture. In the summer of 1961, Dale recorded an instrumental, "Let's Go Trippin'," which is widely regarded as the first surf instrumental record.

The Whitesidewalls Rock 'n' Roll Revue has been the Midwest's ultimate 1950s and 1960s doo-wop and rock ‘n’ roll show band since its founding more than 40 years ago. Featuring five singers playing multiple instruments, the tight harmonies and driving dance beat of The Whitesidewalls are the signature of the Rock 'n’ Roll Revue.

Hound Dog, Swanee, Gino Gambucci, Bobby Maestro and Rocky Beaumont - a talented group of versatile artists from Minnesota and Wisconsin - perform for thousands of people each year, demonstrating their agile musicianship while putting on a great show.

Tickets are $18 in advance or $23 at the door. Box office hours are 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday, plus 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday and 1-4 p.m. Sundays through Labor Day. Tickets may be purchased by calling 641-357-6151 or on-line at

Get to know Cannonball Gardens

Head down to East Park on Saturday, Aug. 5, where the Friends of the 457 will host a getting to know the Cannonball Gardens event.

The event, complete with coffee and cinnamon rolls, will be from 8-9 a.m. on the lower level patio Garden area in East Park.

Anyone interested in knowing more about the Gardens or becoming a volunteer is invited. Volunteering can be as little as an hour a week or month, at a time best suited for you. This beautifully-landscaped area is fast becoming one of the most visited areas in the Mason City Park system, according to members of the Friends of the 457, and keeping it that way depends on volunteers.

Even if you're not interested in volunteering, this is a chance to learn about the garden's history and plans for the future.

There will also be educational display boards on Orphan Train history, Iowa Railroad history, and history of East Park. Dennis Wilson will give a 20-minute presentation based on information from the Orphan Train history board. 

Fun for kids at Kinney Museum

It's Kids' Day at the Kinney Pioneer Museum in Mason City on Sunday, Aug. 6.

From 1 to 5 p.m., explore the museum, and enjoy sack races, box hockey, bean bag toss, writing with a quill pen and more. Visitors can roast hot dogs and make s'mores to have with cookies and drinks. At 2 p.m., there will be a magic show with Levey the Great.

The blacksmith, broom makers and rug maker will demonstrate their crafts. All crafts will be for sale.

Admission is $3 for adults, $1 for children under 12, and includes the magic show. The museum is located at the entrance to the Mason City Municipal Airport.

Jesse Allen to play for Picnics and Performances

The next "Picnics and Performances" at Central Gardens of North Iowa will feature musician Jesse Allen on Sunday, Aug. 6.

This performance, the third in a series of eight at the gardens, will be from 5 to 6 p.m.

Allen has been developing his show and craft throughout Iowa for the past several years, combining influences ranging from 1980s and '90s country to blues and R & B, as well as modern country and '80s rock. Poised to take a run at Nashville and beyond, Allen is excited to share his music with fans across the country.

Families are encouraged to bring picnics, beverages and lawn chairs and sit back and relax while being entertained.

The event is free and is underwritten by the Bertha Stebens Charitable Foundation and sponsored by Avangrid Renewables.

Music Jam in Hampton

The next Old Time Country Hoedown will be 6 to 9 p.m. Monday, Aug. 7, at the historic Windsor Theatre in downtown Hampton.

The hoedown, offered the first Monday of each month, is a music jam open to all levels of musicians and music lovers, with old time country, bluegrass, and gospel songs. Admission is free with a free will donation accepted. All proceeds are given to the Windsor Theatre. Concessions will be open.

Check out the Facebook page for pictures, videos, and updates, and contact event organizer Don Wrolson at 641-425-0909 with any questions.

Creative tools with Emmy award-winning artist Paul Micich 

CreativeSynergy presents ‘Creative Tools’ with artist, designer, illustrator, musician, composer and technologist Paul Micich at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 8, at the Clear Lake Arts Center, 17 S. Fourth St.

As a visual artist, Micich has received Gold and Silver Awards from the Los Angeles Society of Illustrators. His work has been included in illustration annuals for Communication Arts and the Society of Illustrators (New York). His illustrated edition of "The Littlest Angel" has sold more than 1 million copies and his work has appeared in Atlantic Monthly and other magazines, book illustrations, library murals and limited edition prints.

As a musician and composer, Micich’s instrument is the Akai EVI (electric horn). Sounds range from violin to piano, harmonica to percussion, mbira to flute.

“It matches my taste,” he said. “I can express myself on the ‘electric horn’ in ways never available to me with any other instrument.”

Micich started as a trumpet player, then added flute at Drake University. He calls the Midwest a crossroads for performing musicians - from R & B bands to concert bands, brass quintets to blues and ethnic groups, symphony orchestras to big bands.

This event is free and open to the public. Light snacks provided and beer, wine and soda available for purchase. Registration is appreciated but not required; call 641-357-1998 or email


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