The North Iowa Band Festival celebrates its 80th year in 2018.

The 79th band festival, held May 25-29, was downtown for the third year. The largest free marching band competition in the Midwest, it brings in thousands of tourists.

Along with the traditional parade, activities included the carnival and marketplace.

Entertainment ranged from the country music band Thrillbillies with headliner Chris Hawkey, local favorites Betty and the Gents and The Pork Tornadoes of Cedar Rapids, with a kick off performance Thursday evening by Orquesta Alto Maiz at the First Congregational United Church of Christ.

Musicians from the Mason City Municipal Band, Mason City Middle School Band, high school jazz band and high school orchestra played on the downtown plaza throughout the weekend, along with the Mohawk Danzers and Newman High School Dance Team.

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