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Beef Days, Asianfest, and Battle of the Brews: Iowa Corridor Food and drink events July 19-24

A watermelon carved by chef Lynn Hanson of Cedar Rapids welcomes visitors to her Thai food stand at Asian Fest at the McGrath Amphitheater in Cedar Rapids Saturday, July 28, 2018. The event, now in its fifth year, featured food, fashion, music and demonstrations from Asian-Americans living in eastern Iowa. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
A watermelon carved by chef Lynn Hanson of Cedar Rapids welcomes visitors to her Thai food stand at Asian Fest at the McGrath Amphitheater in Cedar Rapids Saturday, July 28, 2018. The event, now in its fifth year, featured food, fashion, music and demonstrations from Asian-Americans living in eastern Iowa. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

Solon Beef Days Steak Dinners

Where’s the beef? This weekend, it’s in Solon where the annual Solon Beef Days are taking place, complete with steak dinners. The meals, served Friday and Saturday, include an 8 ounce rib-eye steak, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, roll and butter, plus iced tea and lemonade.

• When: 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, July 19 and 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday, July 20

• Where: Main Street, Solon

• Cost: $12

AsianFest

Take a culinary journey at AsianFest, where vendors will serve food from India, the Philippines, Thailand, South Korea and beyond. The “Ultimate Chef Showdown” will give chefs a chance to show off their skills and hand out samples, while the “Oats Done Asian Style’ competition will give participants and chance to mix Asian flavors with a Cedar Rapids staple, oatmeal. The annual celebration of Asian heritage and culture also will feature music, dancing, a fashion show, Kids Zone and more.

• When: Noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, July 20

• Where: McGrath Amphitheatre, 475 First St. SW, Cedar Rapids

• Cost: Free admission

Immigrant Foodways: The Witch’s Garden

Explore the medieval gardens of famous women physickers, sometimes known as “witches.” Participants will design their own herbal gardens using provided laminated healing herbs chards and concoct teas documented in recovered manuscripts. Create your own recipes, taste contemporary spins on medieval teas and elixirs and make tea satchels to take home.

• When: 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 20

• Where: National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, 1400 Inspiration Place SW, Cedar Rapids

• Cost: $20

Battle of the Brews

Raise a glass to a good cause at this Battle of the Brews benefiting the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Iowa. Nearly 20 Iowa breweries will put their beer in the ring and battle it out for the top spot in judges and people’s choice categories. Attendees can sample brews and enjoy live music, yard games and food available for purchase from market vendors and food trucks.

• When: 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday, July 20

• Where: NewBo City Market, 1100 Third St. SE, Cedar Rapids

• Cost: $20 to $30

Johnson County Fair

Whether your skill is crafting really ugly cakes or baking the perfect pie, you can put your skills to the test at two food competitions at the Johnson County Fair this week. Don’t want to compete? Get a taste of the action at the pie auction following the competition.

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• When: Ugly cake contest 2 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, July 21; pie contest noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday, July 24

• Where: Johnson County Fairgrounds, 4261 Oak Crest Hill Rd. SE, Iowa City

• Admission: Free

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