Commentary: It's a big deal that Janet Jackson is playing Buffalo, especially if you're like News contributor Ben Siegel, who had his 11-year-old heart set on seeing his beloved performer back in 1993, when she canceled her area show at the last minute due to the flu (as well as the breaking news that Janet's sister, La Toya, claimed her brother Michael was a child molester).
Siegel's reflections, below, are both emotional and pretty funny.
2) Buffalo Cocktail Classic, 5 to 8 p.m. Nov. 5 in the Foundry Suites (1738 Elmwood Ave.). Tickets are $45 for general admission, $60 for VIP, and there are options to "round up for Compeer," which donates a small additional sum to the local charity. All ticket options here.
Commentary: Local distillery Tommyrotter is at the heart of Step Out Buffalo's second annual Cocktail Classic, held Sunday in the classy Foundry Suites. Tommyrotter's gin, vodka and whiskey will provide the foundation for craft cocktails created by 10 different bars, all of which have notable beverage programs.
Attendees may vote for their favorite cocktail at a Step Out voting table, with the winner of "Buffalo's Best Cocktail" crowned at the conclusion of the event. Several vendors will have a presence at the classic, too.
Commentary: Alternative '90s cover band Soul Patch, a side project of popular Every Time I Die frontman Keith Buckley, is back again, slotted for the Tralf on Saturday night.
Soul Patch plays roughly two or three shows at smaller clubs in the area each year - usually weighted toward the holiday season - and they're almost always create a buzz.
Look back at the plentiful Smiles from Buckley and Co.'s visit to Mohawk Place in 2015.
Commentary: Mr. D Wilson, a local event promoter, hosts his annual Presidential All-Black Affair in the Marriott which, as you might guess, encourages all-black formal attire. The event, featuring three rooms of music and emceed by DJ Redd Roxx, is sponsored by Ciroc, Heineken and West Herr Jaguar, among others.
5) Beyond the Wall, 6 p.m. Nov. 3 in the Buffalo Center for Arts and Technology (1221 Main St.). Free event courtesy of Allentown First Fridays.
Commentary: The eye-catching public art wall at Michigan Avenue and East Ferry Street celebrates the trailblazing influence of black civil rights leaders, both local and national, through a series of portraits commissioned by the Albright-Knox and the NFTA.
The "Beyond the Wall" opening, presented by Resource:Art and the Center for Arts and Technology, is a closer look at the work of the four artists whose meticulous work is featured: John Baker, Julia Bottoms-Douglas, Chuck Tingley and Edreys Wajed.
The Albright Knox delves deeper into the accomplishments and personalities of the 28 figures rendered through text, while The News' Colin Dabkowski and Lexie Heinle have produced a cool tool, below, for exploration.
6) Girls on the Run 5K, 8 a.m. registration; race begins at 10 a.m. Nov. 5 in Delaware Park, by the Colvin entrance. Cost for standard registration is $20 and may be completed here. Online registration closes at noon Nov. 3, but runners may register in person on the day of the race. Packet pickup is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 4 at Fleet Feet Sports (2290 Delaware Ave.).
Commentary: Not-for-profit organization Girls on the Run, which uses programs and leadership to inspire girls to reach their full potential, hosts a fundraising run on Sunday in Delaware Park.
Lloyd Taco Truck will be on site throughout the morning, while the Tops Food Tent — free for all runners and spectators — opens at 10:30 a.m. The event will go on rain or shine.
Commentary: Hang out in the lobby of the Ellicott Square Building — not your typical Buffalo venue — for a carnival-themed fundraiser to benefit the Service Collaborative of WNY, which provides programming in financial development, volunteerism, education and youth development.
Beer from Willowbrook Beverages, wine from Premier Wine & Spirits and an assortment of complimentary food, as well as a basket raffle and auction, are a few of the evening's perks.
Commentary: The WNY Book Arts Center boasts antique printing presses for its letterpress demos, quite the spectacle for those intrigued by typeface, design and the press process.
Fat Bob's Smokehouse will provide the food, Community Beer Works and Savory Sips will handle the beer and wine, and live music, raffles and tastings from local distilleries add to the revelry.
9) Holiday Vendor and Craft Fair, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 5 in the Buffalo Irish Center (245 Abbott Road). Free to attend.
Commentary: Get a jump on the holiday season with a Sunday jaunt to the Irish Center, where South Buffalo consultants for Lularoe will lead a group of 23 vendors showcasing their wares. The event is a prime opportunity to support small local businesses.
10) Christmas in the Country, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Nov. 2 and 3, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 4, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 5 in the Hamburg Fairgrounds (5820 South Park Ave., Hamburg). Tickets are $10 at the door, while children 12 and under get in for free.
Commentary: Roughly 400 local, regional and national artisans all congregate inside five buildings at the Fairgrounds, touting products of all kinds - it's a scavenger's dream, more or less. Food trucks will park nearby to handle lunch duties.
A special quirk of the event is that once an attendee pays for admission, the patron may return for free before the festival's conclusion on Nov. 5. See the exhaustive list of participating businesses and their booth locations.
BONUS: Horsefeathers Market opens, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 4 at 346 Connecticut St. Free to attend.
Commentary: Horsefeathers is up to an impressive seven permanent vendors, headlined by Lait Cru Brasserie, and for the dawn of its seasonal winter market, at least 10 more are scheduled to pop up on site.
Perhaps most exciting, at least due to its name? Thinking Elvish Fantasy Chocolate, which is both vegan and gluten-free.
BONUS No. 2: Southtowns Salt Cave opens, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 4, 5020 Armor Duells, Orchard Park.
Commentary: The healing and relaxing properties of salt caves are a hot trend, and the Southtowns Salt Cave in Orchard Park opens its doors this weekend, featuring $25 sessions in the cave, infrared sauna and hand-and-foot detox.
Appointments are encouraged, and if customers book before the end of Nov. 5, they'll receive the opening-day rate.