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8 must-attend weekend events

National Balloon Classic

Friday through Aug. 1: The National Balloon Classic returns to the Indianola Balloon Grounds, 1601 N. Jefferson Way, Indianola, starting at 5 a.m. Friday and running for nine days. There are daily flights, music by The Nadas, Damon Dotson, Bonne Finken and others, food vendors and more. Free for morning sessions, $5 after 4 p.m. Go to

Italian-American Heritage Festival of Iowa

Friday-Saturday: The Italian-American Heritage Festival opens its gates at 11 a.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday in Western Gateway Park downtown. The weekend features folk dancers, cooking demonstrations, cannoli and pasta eating competitions and live music by Steve Augeri of Journey, Sons of Gladys Kravitz, The Snacks, Final Mix and others. Free before 5 p.m., $5 after 5 p.m. Friday, $10 after 5 p.m. Saturday. Go to

LT Mentality

Friday: Iowa rapper LT Mentality is relocating to Minneapolis, but before he leaves he's putting on a going away party at 6 p.m. at Vaudeville Mews, 212 Fourth St. $5. DJ Young Mic and Mike T open. Go to

Blackberry Smoke

Saturday: Southern rockers Blackberry Smoke return to play a Nitefall on the River show at 8 p.m. at Brenton Skating Plaza, 520 Robert D. Ray Drive. Blackberry Smoke released its fourth album, "Holding All the Roses," in February featuring the hit "Too High." $27 in advance, $32 at the door. Go to

Nova Labs second anniversary party

Saturday: The Ames label Nova Labs celebrates its second anniversary starting at 5 p.m. at DG's Tap House, 125 Main St., Ames. The roster of acts includes Pets With Human Names, Origami Animals, Vietcong Man Son, Grandchamp, Damnation All Stars, Dylan Boyle, Nate Logsdon and Beyonder. Plus, free tacos as well as comedy by Joey Ficken. Free. Go to

6th Avenue Corridor Concert

Saturday: The Jazz in July series continues with the 6th Avenue Corridor Concert, an outdoor street festival starting at 3 p.m. at Sixth and College avenues. The New Bodies, It's Complicated and The Damani Phillips Trio featuring Sam Salomone will all perform. Free. Go to

Morning Moose Underwear Run

Saturday: Lazer 103.3 hosts the third annual Morning Moose Underwear Run starting at 10 a.m. at el Bait Shop, 200 S.W. Second St. The 1.5 mile run is done in boxers, bras and briefs, with proceeds benefiting the Children's Cancer Connection. $23 if registered by July 23, $25 day of race. Go to

Iowa School of Burlesque Class of 2015 Show & Tell

Saturday: The Iowa School of Burlesque will showcase its fourth graduating class with a 2015 Show & Tell performance at 9 p.m. at Lefty's, 2307 University Ave. Performers include Captain Jack Hardness, Dirty Pearl Wreckless, Bennie Boop and others with alumni and special guests also performing. $10. Go to