Surf Ballroom

The Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake

JEFF HEINZ, The Globe Gazette

The national political spotlight will shine on North Iowa this weekend as six presidential contenders will be here in the next two days.

The parade of candidates begins at 9:30 a.m. Friday when Carly Fiorina, the only woman in the Republican field of candidates, makes an appearance at the Mason City Public Library. The event is free and open to the public.

Friday night, four of the five hopefuls for the Democratic nomination will speak at the annual Iowa Wing Ding at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake. Candidates include former secretary of state, senator and first lady Hillary Clinton; former Maryland governor Martin O'Malley; former Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chaffee; and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont.

The event is sold out with attendance expected to be nearly 2,000. Credentials have been approved for more than 150 media representatives from all over the country.

State Sen. Amanda Ragan, D-Mason City, will be presented with the Beacon Award, given each year to a Democrat for service to the party and the community.

On Saturday, former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, a Republican who won the Iowa caucus vote four years ago, will hold a town hall meeting at 5 p.m. at the Pizza Ranch in Charles City.

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