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The 10: Wine About Winter, WNED Kids Fest, Poutine Eating Contest

1) WNY Wine About Winter, two sessions: 1 to 4 p.m., 7 to 10 p.m. Feb. 4 in Tonawanda Castle (69 Delaware St., Tonawanda). Tickets are $29 at the door until all 700 are sold out.

Commentary: If only The 10 could start out with a pun every week. Kudos to whoever named "Wine About Winter," a wine festival in the kind-of-medieval Tonawanda Castle.

Roughly 20 local and regional wines will be available for sampling, and painting and coloring parties will become increasingly amusing and abstract as you sample more wine.

Smiling faces at the 2016 Wine About Winter. (Dan Cappellazzo/Special to The News)

[PHOTOS: Smiles at the 2016 Wine About Winter and WNY Brewfest]

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2) WNED Kid Fest, noon to 5 p.m. Feb. 4 and noon to 4 p.m. Feb. 5 in WNED-TV Studios (140 Lower Terrace St.). Tickets for adults are $12, $10 for kids. Children under 1 get in for free.

Commentary: How many opportunities do you get to hang out with a tiger, an aardvark with spectacles, four remarkably small and colorful friends, and a large red dog in one place? The popular PBS characters will converge upon the TV station's downtown studio all weekend to meet adoring (or maybe slightly nervous) kids.

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3) Poutine Eating Contest, 2 to 4 p.m. Feb. 4 in Allen Street Poutine (242 Allen St.). Entry fee is $10 at the door. Free for curious onlookers.

Commentary: The rules are simple but the task is remarkably difficult - how much traditional poutine can you consume in five minutes? The short time window reinforces the need for a strategy; it's not a war of French fry attrition.

[READ: Nothing routine about Allen Street Poutine]

Suggestion: Eat the cheese curds while they're hot, or else they'll be a challenge toward the end of each bowl. Second suggestion: Don't be that guy (or girl) who dunks the fries in water or another liquid. The competition isn't that serious, and you're not Takeru Kobayashi.

Allen Street Poutine is at 242 Allen St. in Buffalo. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

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4) The Cure vs. The Smiths Transmission Dance Party, 9 p.m. Feb. 3 in Buffalo Iron Works (49 Illinois St.). Tickets are $5 at the door, 18+ event.

Commentary: Tracks from the deep catalogues of post-punk icons The Cure and The Smiths will alternate all night, with a warmup hour of the two bands' less danceable songs as a tune-up to their lively hits. Mac McGuire talks about how the Transmission Dance Party outgrew Mohawk Place and lends more details about the event.

The dancing scene from the Cure vs. the Smiths party at Buffalo Iron Works in 2016. (Chuck Alaimo/Special to The News)

[PHOTOS: Look back at Smiles from the 2016 Cure vs. Smiths party]

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5) WNY Winter Brewfest, 6 to 10 p.m. Feb. 3 in Tonawanda Castle (69 Delaware St., Tonawanda). Tickets are $45 and can be purchased here.

Commentary: Due to concerns of overcrowding, the Winter Brewfest dropped its capacity to 700 people for this craft beer-focused event, which features four hours of sampling and includes a commemorative tasting glass. If you take pride in trying the current brews from local and regional breweries, the festival is a convenient place to hop from pale ale to porter to stout.

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6) QCRG: Saucies vs. Dollies, 2 p.m. Feb. 4 in Buffalo RiverWorks (359 Ganson St.). Tickets are $15 general admission and $20 for front row seats.

Commentary: The start to the 2017 season wasn't kind to the Dollies, as the Queen City Roller Girls' defending house team champions fell emphatically to the Alley Kats. The Dollies will get a chance to right the ship on Saturday afternoon against the Saucies, who are coming off a 2016 to forget.

Look back at the Smiles gallery from the season opener for a taste of what to expect.

A nice shot of Queen City Roller Girls action from the season opener in 2017. (Matt Weinberg/Special to The News)

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7) Statler City Psychic Fair, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 5 at 107 Delaware Ave. General admission costs $5 and prices vary for the psychics participating.

Commentary: The event's website contends that Sunday's festivities mark the larger psychic fair in the world, which is quite the lofty claim. Less personalized gallery readings are $5 in addition to the $5 entry, while individual readings range between $35 and $50 and can be purchased in advance here. (And no, I do not know the difference between a $35 and $50 psychic, other than $15).

[PHOTOS: Smiles at Silo City's Psychic Fair in fall 2016]

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8) Rumourz plays Fleetwood Mac, 7 to 11:30 p.m. Feb. 4 in Tralf Music Hall (622 Main St., Suite 203). Tickets are $14 and can be purchased here.

Commentary: One of Western New York's most popular tribute bands, Rumourz, will recognize the 40th anniversary of Fleetwood Mac's release of "Rumours" with a multimedia gig at the Tralf on Saturday. Video, audio and plenty of stories will give context to and accentuate the British rockers' Grammy award winning album.

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9) "Sophisticated Ladies," 7:30 p.m. Feb. 3, 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. Feb. 4, 2 p.m. Feb. 5 in MusicalFare Theatre (4380 Main St., Amherst). Production runs through March 5. Tickets run for $43 and can be purchased here.

Commentary: The News' Colin Dabkowski interviewed and tracked the fantastic career of John Fredo, the director of tap dance-driven play opening this weekend in Daemen College's MusicalFare Theatre.

[READ: Dabkowski's review of "Sophisticated Ladies"]

The South Buffalo native has been a fixture in the theater community since the early '90s after embracing dance in New York City and film in Los Angeles; his performance in "Death of a Salesman" wowed audiences back in 2014.

MusicalFare Theatre's production of the Duke Ellington revue "Sophisticated Ladies" runs through March 5.

*****

10) Sixth annual Johnny Cash Birthday Bash, 10 p.m. Feb. 3 in Nietzsche's (248 Allen St.). $5 at the door.

Commentary: The celebration of the legendary musician brings together a strong lineup of local music, as Andrew J. Reimers-led The CPX, Leroy Townes, Ten Cent Howl and the Bear & the Bison fill out the late-night Allentown bill. Dressing in all black is both acceptable and encouraged - and no one will think you're unnecessarily morbid.

*Bonus events:
- M&T First Fridays at Albright-Knox Art Gallery, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Feb. 3. Free
- MTV House Party Live Filming, 10 p.m. Feb. 3 in VENU. Tickets range from $15-$20.

Note: Aaron Lewis' show in Town Ballroom would have been included in The 10, but it sold out well in advance.

Email Ben Tsujimoto, who is actually whining about winter, at btsujimoto@buffnews.com

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