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Ames Sesquicentennial and 80/35 Music Festival lead July 4 entertainment

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If you are looking for something to do on July 4, there will be a lot more than just fireworks to keep you busy. The 80/35 Music Festival will be taking place in the Western Gateway Park in Des Moines on July 4 and 5, while about 30 minutes north, Ames will celebrate their Sesquicentennial those same two days. Between those two events and your normal Friday night music scene, Central Iowa will be hopping this Fourth of July weekend. Here is a look at the live music for Friday, July 4. (Check back later for previews of Saturday's and Sunday's concerts, as well)

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The 2014 80/35 Music Festival kicks off Friday at noon on all three stages, and the party will keep going until roughly midnight. Tickets for the festival will be available at the gates for $45 for a 1-day pass and $80 for a 2-day pass, but two of the stages are free and don't require a ticket. Friday's highlights include multi-time Grammy-winning reggae artist Ziggy Marley (featured video), Florida pop rock band Surfer Blood, Main Stage headliner Conor Oberst, the LA pop duo Best Coast, regional favorite Pert Near Sandstone, and local favorites Bonne Finken and The River Monks. For Examiner's complete preview of the 2014 80/35 Music Festival, click here.

The reverberations of 80/35 can be felt throughout the heart of Des Moines as a number local music venues will be hosting 80/35 after parties. On Friday, the Des Moines Social Club, Wooly's, Gas Lamp, Vaudeville Mews, and Joker's will all be hosting post-festival parties. To get the details, check out Examiner's look at the after parties of 80/35.

The City of Ames is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, and Fourth of July weekend will be the center of the celebration. On Friday, the city will have not only live music, but street vendors, historical presentations, the Bill Riley Talent Show, kid's activities, a parade, and more. As for the music, here is the schedule of performers on the Danfoss Main Stage that will be set up on the 100 block of Main Street:

Noon: Lavonne McRoberts & Dylan Boyle
2 p.m.: Gatehouse Saints
4 p.m.: Holly & the Night Owls
5:30 p.m.: Great Caesar’s Goat
8 p.m.: Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars

The Ames Sesquicentennial events are free and open to all ages. For more details on the celebration, go to the Ames 150 website.

Whiskey Dixx in Des Moines will have live music and other activities going on all day on July 4, starting at 11 a.m. outside next to Court Avenue Brewing Company. The music will kick off at 1 p.m. and will include performances by Wikid Likir, New Trick, Richard Arndt, Danny Grause, and Moccasin Creek. DJ Metro will spin tunes inside Whiskey Dixx starting at 9 p.m. Tickets for the event are $10 or $18 per couple.

Here is look at the rest of Friday's concert calendar:

Bob Pace
Gas Lamp in Des Moines
4:30 p.m., 21+ ($5 cover)

Backstage Boogie Band at Rendezvous on Riverview
Clarkson School Lot in Des Moines
5:30 p.m., all ages (free)
(fireworks following concert)

The Colt Walkers
DG's Tap House in Ames
9 p.m., 21+ (free)

Steve George
The Finish Line Show Lounge at Prairie Meadows in Altoona
10 p.m., 21+ (free)

Westside Band
Meskwaki Casino outside Tama/Toledo
8:30 p.m., 21+ (free)

The Tony Valdez Large Band at Jazz in July
Lions Park in Urbandale
6:30 p.m., all ages (free)

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