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Good morning, Iowa!

Cheers to the (almost) weekend! There are big things happening in a few days. Des Moines is hosting its first hip-hop music festival on Friday and Saturday. Scroll down for more information on that. There's also the Gatsby Gala on Saturday from 6 to 10 p.m. at 4025 Tonawanda Drive. Dance to live music and enjoy food and Speakeasy spirits. Black tie or 1920s attire is encouraged. Tickets are $150, or $100 for adults under age 35 at salisburyhouse.org.

CHASING FREEDOM

In anticipation of Des Moines’ first all hip-hop festival, Fresh Fest, the next edition of Juice Side Sessions features Iowa rapper and Fresh Fest performer Jason “Gadema” Herron. Gadema brings his proficient talents to the Fresh Fest stage at 3 p.m. on Saturday, where he’ll perform alongside Tripp. Festival performances are set to take place at the Des Moines Social Club on Friday and Saturday across multiple stages. But, before taking his talents to Fresh Fest, Gadema performed his track, “Chasing Freedom,” for the latest edition of Juice Side Sessions on the Social Club rooftop. Click here to be the first one to watch our latest Juice Side Session.

SO MANY SQUIRRELS

What is it about these "albino" squirrels running around the campus of Iowa State University? Even one of the Des Moines Register's former interns, Lissandra Villa, wrote about the nine things she'll miss most about Ames after graduation. What was the first thing she mentioned? The "albino" squirrel. So, I did some investigating and found out that this is a thing. Here's what I dug up.

BEST OF THE BEST

Hopeful food vendors were looking to get crowned at this year's fair, but only one could be named winner of the Iowa State Fair People’s Choice Best New Foods Contest. The winner ended up being...Not Your Mamma's Taco from the Iowa Turkey Federation stand, which is west of the Anne and Bill Riley Stage. It has a spicy kick with sweet mango salsa.

Get fresh this weekend...

Calling itself “Iowa’s first hip-hop festival,” Fresh Fest Music Festival features two stages of music for two days, including both local and regional artists, curated by Media Fresh Records. Celebrate the hip-hop lifestyle with freestyle and b-boy battles, an urban fashion show and more. Des Moines Social Club, 900 Mulberry St. $20 single-day pass, $25 two-day pass. Purchase tickets at mediafreshrecords.com.

I'M IN LOVE WITH...

- Ameena, Juice

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