As we flip the calendar to August, Bills fans immediately start feeling pangs of anticipation. Depending on the day, these jitters can raise you to highs -- "Marcell Dareus is an athletic freak of nature!" -- or plummet you to troubling lows, where you ask yourself "What's a 'Tyrod Taylor'?", and looming character issues leave you petrified of in-season drama.
Regardless of whether you're a season-ticket holder or a veteran armchair QB, the 17 training camp practices at St. John Fisher College give eager local football fans a convenient excuse for a road trip to Rochester for a much different viewpoint than buzzed squinting from the Rockpile.
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If you've seen "Hard Knocks" on HBO or NFL Network, you can grasp the drama, grueling workouts and individual competition that accompanies every training camp. It's tough to beat free admission to all these practices, but remember that complimentary tickets are required for the days highlighted in red.
Now, off to The 10:
Commentary: Expect a colorful night at the Outer Harbor, as blasts of fluorescent paint will splatter
scantily-clad exuberant partiers. Although I've never done a Color Run (also happening this weekend, incidentally) or witnessed Life In Color, there's apparently a real release from getting drenched by (now odorless!) paint or cornstarch/baking soda/dye mixtures.
The best part, seriously? Expat DJ Grabbitz will return to Western New York to play a set from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. Here are the other set times. (Here's one of Life In Color's promotional images, if it gives you any indication for what to expect.)
2) VegFest, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday outside Marcy Casino in Delaware Park. It's free to attend, but $30 to run in the 11 a.m. Tofurky Trot 5K, for which you can sign up at the door.
Commentary: News Food Editor Andrew Galarneau has already discussed his affinity for the Tofurky Trot 5K, and I'll direct your attention to the deep and diverse vendor list (whoever brainstormed "Gardenuity" for a business name deserves extra lentils). Once you've satiated your appetite, you can mosey over to listen to one of the speakers or performing acts, one of which is Critt's Juke Joint, comprising saxophone player Eric Crittenden, who recently accompanied the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra at Canalside Free Thursdays.
3) "Peter Pan," 8 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Artpark Mainstage Theatre, 450 S. Fourth St., Lewiston. Tickets range from $25 to $55 for adults, while reduced rates are available for seniors, children and groups.
Commentary: I always thought Lewiston needed more Captain Hook, and The News' Hannah Gordon speaks highly of his character, as well as Smee's, after reviewing Thursday's performance. The outdoor theater season is winding down, of course, which is why "Peter Pan" sits so high in The 10.
4) ChalkFest, noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Main Street (500 block) at Fountain Plaza (between Huron and Chippewa streets). Free to attend and participate.
Commentary: Now in its fourth year, ChalkFest was originally intended to beautify the 500 block of Main Street, which had lagged behind the rest of the city's development. After spreading Dr. Seuss-themed artistic love on Washington Street last year, the all-ages festival heads back to its roots, this time trumpeting chalk creations centered on superheroes and villains. [If you need superhero ideas, look no further than Hannah Gordon's detailed feature from two weeks ago.] It's not BYOC (Bring Your Own Chalk), and there will be food trucks, live music and narrations.
5) Paint the Town, 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday at Canalside, 44 Prime St. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased here. Apply quickly, though, as the organizers need to prepare for the appropriate amount of attendees. After Saturday, the final Paint the Town of the summer is scheduled for Aug. 22.
Commentary: With outdoor art bustling in Buffalo, you may reminisce about your meticulous drawing of a sunflower back in sixth grade art class (No? Maybe that's just me. I think it's still on the fridge.) Even if you've gone over a decade without dipping a brush, Paint the Town assuages nerves by giving step-by-step instructions to aid attendees in creating a Buffalo-themed masterpiece (pictured below). The organization books the trendy location (Saturday's is the Naval Park at Canalside), supplies the materials and even lets you take the painting home.
Commentary: I was never allowed to listen to Incubus as a little person because of the meaning of the band name, but there's a reason the band has endured for almost 25 years. Even though Incubus' last full-length disc was released in 2011, the five-piece alt-rock/metal band just released an EP, "Trust Fall (Side A)," in May. Here's the title track from that:
7) Buffalo Infringement Festival, venues throughout Buffalo, all day Friday and Saturday and until 11 p.m. Sunday. Prices vary by event, but most are free.
Commentary: The News' Colin Dabkowski has done a thorough and consistent job of previewing the Buffalo Infringement Festival events, which are as numerous as they are bizarre. Want an evening of burlesque? That's going on tonight. What about enough masquerade balls to make your head spin? Those are on the slate, too. Stay with us this weekend, as Dabkowski wraps up his festival coverage.
Commentary: Beer-based races are becoming trendy (a scary thought), and Bud Light, Jack FM and 13 bars on Hertel Avenue are collaborating on a hoppy marathon Sunday. The premise is simple: participants show up at Public House between noon and 12:30 Sunday, get a free t-shirt and $2 Bud Light drafts, and prepare to jaunt along Hertel to complete mysterious tasks at each bar. The first "athlete" to finish -- the final challenge is at Checker's -- receives tickets to the Bills' home opener, compliments of Bud Light. List of specials at the Facebook event page.
9) Taste of Williamsville, noon to 8 p.m. Sunday at Island Park, 5565 Main St., Williamsville. Free to attend, but the food costs money.
Commentary: How does Williamsville taste?
We should ask Trending Buffalo. Digs aside, new to the festival this year is celebrity food judging on the main stage from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. The pie-baking contest, of course, returns, and awards are given for the following categories: Best Overall Pie, Best Fruit Pie, Most Original Pie, Best Appearance Pie and Biggest Pie. (Probably overdoing the strikethroughs in this 10.) Here's the list of vendors, and keep tabs on the well-kept Facebook page.
10) Taste of Lancaster, 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday on Central Avenue in Lancaster between West Main St. and Broadway. Free to attend.
Commentary: It's hard to hate on a beer tent that opens at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Back to the Bars and Blood Money are the highlighted music acts, but unfortunately the 3 vs. 3 basketball tournament has been canceled due to a lack of interest, the Lancaster Bee broke Wednesday. The Bee does have the list of vendors, though, which you can check out here.
Email Ben Tsujimoto, who is sleep deprived and a touch too sassy today, at firstname.lastname@example.org