Mason City’s 150th birthday party gets underway this afternoon with a kickoff ceremony in Central Park. Sesquicentennial Committee Chairperson Ann McGreggor says the events will start about five o’clock. Several local and national dignitaries are expected to attend. Mayor Jean Marinos will read a proclamation and the Mason City Municipal Band will give a concert. McGreggor says this summer’s festivities are the culmination of many hours of work over the last few years. The sesquicentennial committee has been working for nearly four years to put this summer’s events together. McGreggor says there will be plenty of festivities taking place over the next month. Every weekend in June there will be different activities taking place, and it all wraps up during the annual 4th of July celebration at Mohawk Stadium. Tonight’s events coincide with the beginning of the North Iowa Band Festival, which runs through the weekend.