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Sensational summer events

It seemed like it would never get here, but summer is finally in full swing. From old favorites like the Erie County Fair to a new BPO show at the Richardson Olmsted Complex, these events will help you make the most of the rest of the season.

Galbani Buffalo Italian Heritage Festival
July 13-16
After 29 years on Hertel Avenue, the second-largest festival of its kind in the country is making a move to Buffalo’s Outer Harbor. That means more space to celebrate all things Italian, including mouth-watering food, live music, grape stomping, Bocce Ball Invitational, Italian Idol, performance by America’s Got Talent finalist Sal Valentinetti, Miss Italian Festival, cooking demonstrations, wine and cheese pairings, celebrity cheese-building contest and more. Festival runs Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m.
Location: Outer Harbor, 225 Fuhrmann Blvd., Buffalo
Admission: $5 adults, $2 seniors, veterans with ID and children under 12 free
Contact: 512-1878

Subaru Buffalo 4-Mile Chase
July 14
This Elmwood Village tradition is so much more than a race; it’s the social running event of the season. Whether you’re running or not, start the night off with happy hour in Bidwell Park at 5 p.m. and enjoy the Funk/R&B/Jazz sounds of Empress and the Royals. Chase starts at 7 p.m. and all are once again invited to the post-race party, with music by Sherry Gold and Overdrive. Free food, beer and soda provided to runners. Non-runners can purchase wristbands to enjoy the same. Coolers and lawn chairs welcome.
Location: Bidwell Park and
Elmwood Avenue
Admission: Free festivities and kids’ races. $25 adult runners; $10 non-runner refreshment wristbands.
Contact: 881-1652

Colored Musicians Club Jazz Fest
July 24-29

Celebrate this legendary club’s 100th anniversary with six days of world-class jazz and over 150 performers, including Grammy-winning pianist George Caldwell, premier guitarist Greg Millar, husband and wife team The Baylor Project, and the Big Band sounds of the Carol McLaughlin Combo. Other activities include a Slow Roll on the 24th that starts at the club, and the Explore and More Children’s Museum “Li’l Jazzers” kids’ tent on the 29th. Visit website for complete lists of performances, locations and times.
Location: Various locations in and around the Colored Musicians Club, 145 Broadway, Buffalo
Admission: General Admission Pass, $105 (access to paid concerts); VIP Gold Pass, $135 (VIP seating, no-wait, access to Happy Hour); Cash-only at the door: $30-$40 each headline show,
$15-$20 City Venue shows
Contact: 855-9383

July 28
Celebrate the renaissance of the Richardson Olmsted Campus at this can’t-miss event that will be a sight (and sound) to behold. To honor the historical function of the Richardson, the BPO will play music by composers who created amazing works while living with mental illness, including Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Handel. The 90-minute concert will be choreographed to a stunning display of color, images and light projected onto the iconic Richardson Towers. Show starts at 9 p.m. Rain date of July 30.
Location: South Lawn, Richardson Olmsted Complex, 444 Forest Ave., Buffalo
Admission: Free
Contact: 601-1150
Brews & Wines on the Water
July 29
Gather along the mighty Niagara for the quintessential summer outing that combines beers from over 50 regional and national breweries, the area’s finest wines, lawn games, food and live music all day long. Sip your way through this second annual event from 2-7 p.m.
Location: Gratwick Park, River Road, North Tonawanda
Admission: Brews on the Water - $35 pre-sale/$45 day of, Wines on the Water - $25 pre-sale/$35 day of, Brews & Wine combo sampling (pre-sale only) - $50, Designated Driver - $5
Contact: 843-0111

Riverside Tour of Gardens
Aug. 5
Residents of Riverside, Black Rock and West Hertel take great pride in their community – and their gardens. Peruse more than 40 on this self-guided tour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. New this year, 14207

Day will run the same hours and will highlight everything the neighborhoods have to offer. Take in tours, live music, arts and crafts shows and more. Follow up the day with dinner at one of the great local restaurants and stay for the popular Starry Night Garden Tour, featuring over 20 well-lit gardens from 8-10 p.m. Maps available day of, at area businesses or by phone. Event is rain or shine.
Location: Map headquarters is St. Mark’s & All Saints Church,
311 Ontario St., Buffalo
Admission: Both tours are free
Contact: 851-5116

Drums Along the Waterfront
Tour of Champions
Aug. 6
Get ready for a night of rousing entertainment that’s hard to beat. This 20th annual event features the top eight drum corps in the world in competition, including the reigning DCI World Champion & Drums Along the Waterfront titleholder. Rain or shine event starts at 7 p.m.
Free parking available.
Location: New Era Field, 1 Bills Dr., Orchard Park
Admission: $25-$45 (add $7 per ticket day of show). Kids 12 and under, half-price. $3 discount for senior and military.
Contact: (800) 745-3000

Erie County Fair
Aug. 9-20
Our Southtowns fair draws some big-name entertainment, and this year is no exception. Catch multi-platinum hit maker Jason Derulo at the Gusto Grandstand, where you’ll also see exciting motor events like the World’s Largest Demolition Derby and Freestyle Motocross Championship. There’s also plenty of great free stuff to take in, including livestock tours, pig racing, mountain bike stunts, a lumberjack show and much more. New this year, the interactive Urban Farm Experience exhibit with do-it-yourself projects. Taste of the Fair will be back by popular demand, offering $2 food samples on Monday. Aug. 14. Visit website to purchase tickets, class registration, and for a full schedule of performances, contests and exhibits. Midway hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. (open noon to 11 p.m. on Aug. 9).
Location: The Fairgrounds, 5600 McKinley Pkwy., Hamburg
Admission: Gate admission, $10 adult; $7 senior; children 12 & under free. Advance sale tickets, $7 adult; $5 senior. Available online or at Tops Friendly Markets.
Contact: 649-3900

Plate Expectations
Aug. 30
Feed your curiosity about one of Buffalo’s most spectacular renovation projects while helping to feed homebound seniors at this Meals on Wheels for Western New York fundraiser, held at the new Hotel Henry. Enjoy food and drink, live music by Hot Club of Buffalo, the balloon pop and wall of wine games, silent auctions and more at this popular annual event that runs 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Location: Hotel Henry, 444 Forest Avenue, Buffalo
Admission: $55
Contact: 822-2002

Big Bang by Plasticiens Volants with William Close and the Earth Harp Collective
Sept. 2
This Artpark season finale will be huge indeed, beginning with a 6 p.m. concert in the Amphitheater on the Earth Harp, an awe-inspiring and audience-enveloping instrument with strings that can reach as far as one thousand feet. Big Bang by French street theatre company Plasticiens Volants (performing for the first time in the U.S.) follows at 8 p.m., featuring music and storytelling through giant illuminated inflatables in the night sky. One chair per person carry-in permitted.
Location: Artpark, 450 South 4th St., Lewiston
Admission: General admission, $15; reserved seating for Earth Harp performance only, $35; general admission for children 12 and under, $10
Contact: 888-223-6000

Compiled by Tracey Duffy. To submit an item for consideration, send to

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