1) Central Terminal Oktoberfest, 6 to 11 p.m. Sept. 30 in Buffalo Central Terminal (495 Paderewski Drive). Tickets are $10 and may be purchased in advance here or at the event. Parking is free, and the event is for ages 21 and over.
Commentary: The historic Buffalo Central Terminal transforms into a festive party hall with Polish music, as polka band Those Idiots is slated to perform at 7 p.m.
Food and drink will be available by Potts Deli, another Polish twist on the evening, which is called an Oktoberfest but is neither German-themed nor in October.
But hey, people like to hang out in the cavernous - and slightly spooky - station, and it provides an excuse to wear lederhosen (which would have been intolerable last weekend). Browse Smiles from last year's fest in the Central Terminal. [Edit: I stand corrected - Those Idiots will play German music on Saturday.]
2) Old Falls Street Oktoberfest, 1 to 8 p.m. Sept. 30 on Old Falls Street in Niagara Falls. Admission to the event is free.
Commentary: From dancing to a live performance by the German-American Musicians to authentic German beer and food, Old Falls Street in Niagara Falls will bustle during the annual Oktoberfest street celebration. A ceremonial keg tapping gets the event in motion at 1. Kids activities will be available, too.
3) Locktoberfest, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 30 on Canal Street in Lockport. Free to attend.
Commentary: Props to you, Locktoberfest, for boasting one of the best event websites we've seen. This whole commentary could be about how usable that site is (agenda-free!), but let's get to the meat of it.
Four bands are slotted to serenade Canal Street on Saturday, punctuated by a set from the Skiffle Minstrels at 3:30, while produce, dairy and art vendors set up near the locks (which, by the way, if you like history, locks
or even lox, then there's plenty for you to do).
A few food options round out the offerings, including the Fireman's Chowder from the Lockport Fire Department. If it's not spicy, that's disappointing. Firemen should not produce weak chowder.
4) Black Rock & Riverside Oktoberfest, 3 p.m. Sept. 30 until 4 a.m. Oct. 1 in participating bars in the two neighborhoods. The festivities begin at 3 p.m. at Artisan Kitchens & Baths, at 200 Amherst St. The event is free to attend, while raffle tickets are $5 apiece or three for $10.
Commentary: Take a historic jaunt for Oktoberfest with stops on a free shuttle to some off-the-beaten path watering holes and a few enticing newcomers that will boast live music and drink specials on Shiner Oktoberfest and Jaegermeister. Don't miss the ceremonial keg tapping at Artisan Kitchens and Baths.
Hidden gems like Hot Mama's Canteen, Rohall's Corner and the Unknown Club, among others, join newcomers Dapper Goose, Nye Park Tavern, Pierce Arrow Burger Bar and Roaming Bison Tavern on the list of participants. Prost! (It's "cheers.")
5) Canalside Fall Fest, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 30 at Canalside (44 Prime St.). Free to attend.
Commentary: One of the top family-friendly choices of the week, Canalside's Fall Fest embraces autumn with gourds and produce from Badding Bros, a Honda Trunk-or-Treat, ample sidewalk chalk, free fitness activities by BlueCross BlueShield, an appearance by Explore & More (soon to be a Canalside resident) and exotic animals.
Commentary: The Boston-based alternative rock band is so on fire right now that they set off fire alarms at a gig in Portland, Ore.'s State Theatre because of the band's elaborate smoke show to close the concert.
Led by frontman Black Francis, Pixies will play a more intimate show at University at Buffalo on Sunday, so don't expect a repeat of Portland. Although they're most popular in the United Kingdom, Pixie's 2016 album "Head Carrier" did peak at No. 72 on the Billboard Top 200.
7) Buffalo Comicon, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 30 and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 1 in Buffalo Niagara Convention Center (153 Franklin St.). Tickets are $13 for Saturday, $10 for Sunday or $22 for a two-day pass, and may be purchased here.
Commentary: Full-size statues of superheroes, a cosplay contest, multiple virtual-reality gaming vendors, an appearance from The Flash (John Wesley Shipp), a Magic: The Gathering demonstration for new players, plus anime, manga (Japanese comic books and graphic novels) and heaps of free comics are all reasons to get excited for the two-day Buffalo Comicon in the Convention Center downtown.
Commentary: Madd Ink, creators of the Winter Luau typically held at RiverWorks, has formed another event, this time in tandem with waterfront bar-restaurant Liberty Hound. Shuffle to the Naval and Military Park's U.S.S. Little Rock - which will be transformed into a tiki lounge - for live music, fire dancers and food and drink specials.
A contest for best luau-themed costume will give $100 to Madd Ink to the winner; outfit suggestions include Hawaiian warriors and princesses, sailors and other tropical ideas.
9) Dash for Diversity, 8:30 a.m. registration, race begins at 10 a.m. Oct. 1 at Delaware Park's Ring Road. Three-person teams may register for $60 total ($30 total for students), while there's no official cost for walkers, although they're encouraged to fund-raise $25. Online registration here.
Commentary: The National Federation of Just Communities joins forces with the Buffalo Zoo to present the Dash for Diversity, which is broken into a three-person, 9K relay race; a 1.8-mile fun walk and an even shorter kids run. Lunch will be provided by the Hyatt following the race as the awards are doled out. A 15-minute interfaith service begins at 9 a.m.
All participants in the Dash for Diversity receive $6 admission to the Buffalo Zoo, which is half of the usual rate. Red pandas love this time of year.
10) Buffalo Humanities Festival, 6 p.m. Sept. 28 in Burchfield Penney Art Center, 7 p.m. Sept. 29 in Albright-Knox Art Gallery and 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 30 in Buffalo State College's Rockwell Hall. Tickets range from $10 to $100, depending on the level of involvement. More info here.
Commentary: From devastating back-to-back hurricanes Irma and Harvey, to unusual weather patterns that have touched Western New York, an environment in chaos is a major global topic.
With so much curiosity and discussion centering on the climate, the Buffalo Humanities Festival offers three days of lectures and activities predicated on climate change and environmental sustainability.
Environmental author and social activist Bill McKibben is the key speaker at the Albright-Knox on Friday, while Saturday's slate at Buffalo State is more session-based. Check out the full lineup for the event here.
BONUS: Polish Happy Hour at Corpus Christi, 5 to 11 p.m. Sept. 29 at 165 Sears St. Admission is free.
Commentary: There's no better way to kick off the Dozynski Polish Harvest Festival - which runs through Sunday - than a Friday night fundraiser for Corpus Christi Church put on by the Polish Happy Hour contingent, which just raised $5,000 for St. Stanislaus Church at the end of August.
Free food and entertainment will be balanced with a smorgasbord of Polish beers and the usual revelry to support a Polonia staple.
BONUS No. 2: Steelfest, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 30 at Steel Plant Museum of WNY (100 Lee St.). Free.
Commentary: Explore the Steel Plant's new exhibit, "Hard at Work: Clothing and Gear of the Steel Plant," while Ru's Pierogi food truck and local brewery Flying Bison will be on the scene for sustenance.
BONUS No. 3: Bada Bing Anniversary Party, 5 p.m. Sept. 29 at 42 W. Chippewa St. Free to attend.
Commentary: The Chippewa bar that calls itself "the Bing" celebrates 17 years of business - with a location change mixed in - with live music from Urban Renewal and Gary Quatrani, as well as select complimentary food and drink.