It wouldn’t be hard to name the five biggest acts over the 26 years of Saturday in the Park. Aretha Franklin, Santana, B.B. King, the Avett Brothers and Bonnie Raitt would certainly be up there.

But what about the five biggest surprises – acts you weren’t expected much from but bowled you over?

Our list:

1. Sir Mix-a-Lot (2016)

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2016 Saturday in the Park

Sir Mix-a-Lot performs at the Abe Stage at Saturday in the Park at Grandview Park in Sioux City, Iowa on Saturday, July 2, 2016. Sioux City Journal Photo by Justin Wan

While he was assigned the second stage (now called The Abe), the veteran rapper wowed the crowd and pulled plenty of attention away from the main stage.

2. Cee Lo Green (2011).

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Saturday in the Park 2011

Cee Lo Green performs during Saturday in the Park a Grandview Park July 2, 2011. (Jim Lee/Sioux City Journal)

Working with bump-and-grind dancers, “The Voice” judge used tracks, not a band, let the audience sing the adult version of “Forget You,” and had a set that was shorter than most. (All surprises aren’t good ones.)

3. Michael Franti and Spearhead (2010).

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Michael Franti

Michael Franti's band was formed in the 1990s, but it took until 2009 to land a Top 40 hit.

While he wasn’t the year’s headliner (Santana was), Franti got into the crowd and created an atmosphere unlike any other. He was the one fans were talking about days after the event was over.

4. Kate Hudson (2005).

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Black Crowes

Vocalist Chris Robinson performs with the Black Crowes during Saturday in the Park July 2, 2005.

She wasn’t on stage (her husband, Chris Robinson from the Black Crowes was), but she attracted plenty of attention in a day when social media was hardly a thing.

5. The Brian Setzer Orchestra (1998).

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Music Brian Setzer

In this Sept. 18, 2009 photo, musician Brian Setzer poses at home with his guitar in his Minneapolis condo. Setzer, leader of the Brian Setzer Orchestra and a fan of film noir, is out with a new CD titled "Songs from Lonely Avenue," which is a tribute to film noir. (AP Photo/Dawn Villella)

The guy knew how to rock and took full advantage of the Grandview Park Bandshell setting. Turning it into his own Hollywood Bowl, he set the bar fairly high for those who came after him.

 

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