Commentary: How many comedians can jam-pack an arena? While one day that might have been Aziz Ansari or Chris Rock, it's now undoubtedly Hart, who sold out two then-First Niagara performances in 2015 and hasn't lost his stride.
From the "Ride Along" movies to "Get Hard" to Hart's most-recent role in "Jumanji," the actor-comedian is known for his "energy, timing, and a raspy, quick voice that is his pop culture fingerprint," wrote The News' Tim O'Shei in his 2015 review.
2) Deep South Taco Street Fiesta, noon to midnight May 5 at DST (all three locations). Advanced cost is two tickets for $15 or four for $28; details here. Admission at the gate will be $10 per person.
Commentary: After a memorable Cinco de Mayo 2016 street party in and around Deep South Taco's Ellicott Street location put DST on the event-hosting map, the festivities dedicated to the Mexican holiday ramp up in 2018, with all three Deep South joints taking part.
Local pop band XOXO handles the headlining slot at the downtown location, while Tragically Hip tribute band Strictly Hip will serenade Transit Road in Lancaster. Expect a rotating cast of DJs on Hertel, too.
Commentary: The annual 5K walk, which raises awareness for those fighting AIDS in Western New York while cherishing those who fought, gathered more than $115,000 in support of Evergreen Health from the 2017 event. The event webpage notes that all of the funds brought in from the event remain in the area.
Registration begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, with an opening ceremony, at 10 a.m., preceding the main event at 10:30.
Commentary: Many local music fans remember Pixies' University at Buffalo show as one of the best over the last few years, but overshadowed by the thrill of the headliners was a strong opening set by Sunflower Bean, a Brooklyn-born psych rock trio.
The touring maniacs have earned the top spot of the Mohawk Place bill on Sunday evening. Read about the band's Buffalo connection in Mac McGuire's "3 can't-miss shows," below.
Commentary: Join event-and-entertainment gurus Step Out Buffalo at their biannual Makers + Shakers Market on Sunday, which unites more than 75 vendors in the first floor of the Hotel @ the Lafayette.
Embrace a Bloody Mary bar, then spread your 10 raffle tickets at the most enticing local businesses for a chance to win. The massive list of vendors may be found here.
6) Churn's grand reopening, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 6 at 1501 Hertel Ave. Free to attend.
Commentary: Find out what's new at Churn, the Lloyd Taco soft serve branch that reopened for the year last month with Jennifer Boye, former chef at Mansion on Delaware and Elm Street Bakery, at the helm. Tipico's cold-brew coffee is a new highlight this year, while the pastry operation will expand considerably.
Sunday's grand reopening party, which includes free samples and giveaways, overlaps with Lloyd's return of brunch. Churn's from-scratch churro sundaes have made the rounds already on Instagram and in Andrew Galarneau's Starters, below.
7) Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center opening, 4 to 9 p.m. May 4 at 825 Depot Ave. West, Niagara Falls. General admission is $20 and may be purchased here. Connected events continue Saturday and Sunday, too.
Commentary: The new Niagara Falls museum has a noble cause: "to inspire visitors to recognize modern injustices that stem from slavery and to take action toward an equitable society."
A full weekend has been dedicated to the Underground Railroad Heritage Center's opening, with the first party running Friday, featuring music from Buffalo Brass Machine at 6:15 p.m. and visiting trombonist Wycliffe Gordon at 7:30. Find more information about the related events Saturday and Sunday at the center's website.
8) Lakeview Village Shops open, noon to 6 p.m. May 5 and 6 at and around 5955 Ontario St. Olcott. Free to visit.
Commentary: While those familiar with the Lakeview Village Shoppes are already anxious for Pirate Weekend (July 6-8), the 11 locally owned businesses - bunched together in a small, quaint village setting - kick off the 2018 season on Saturday and Sunday.
The shops are open only weekends in May, but from Memorial Day through Labor Day, Lakeview Village is open daily. Check out all of the 2018 vendors in this Facebook post, below.
The 2018 shoppes on our boardwalk are:*2 Good 2 Be Threw*Abby Joe’s Unique Boutique*Cameron’s Lakeside Ice...
9) Cherry Blossom Festival featuring Music Is Art, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 5 at Buffalo History Museum (1 Museum Court). Free to attend.
Commentary: After Wednesday night's Brews and Booze panel discussion at the History Museum, the Buffalo Cherry Blossom Festival continues Saturday with a day of live music, via Music Is Art.
Eight bands will perform with live art created by their side; DJs will be sprinkled in between sets. The Great Foodini, Ms. Judi's and Sassi Cakes are the three food trucks scheduled to attend. The festival concludes with family day from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday.
10) Angelica Tea Room's first anniversary party, 5 p.m. May 5 at 517 Washington St. Free to attend.
Commentary: The classy vintage Washington Street lounge has fostered an environment rare to Buffalo, with bright floral colors and a taste of post-Prohibition America. At the first anniversary party, the cocktail bar will unveil its season cocktail menu while emphasizing its popular snacks.
In Michael Farrell's bar feature, linked below, the quote from bar manager Rachel Herman-Gross is telling.
“When people come in here, we want them to feel like they’ve been transported to another place,” she said. “We’re not after a sense of otherworldliness, but we’d like you to feel like you’ve left downtown Buffalo … at least for a little bit.”
BONUS: Party Thieves, 8 p.m. May 5 in Town Ballroom (681 Main St.). Tickets are $20 in advance here or $25 at the door.
Commentary: Don't be misled by the electronic dance artist's title - Party Thieves is the venture of one person, Jared McFarlin, a former West Point cadet and Army football player turned touring musician.
The Orange County, NY, native is still in the infancy of his music career, but early notice from megastars Diplo and Skrillex hasn't hurt his reputation.
BONUS 2: 40th anniversary of the East Aurora Farmers Market, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 5 in the Tops Markets parking lot. Free to attend.
Commentary: As a former overnight employee at the East Aurora Tops Markets (118!), I have a soft spot for the East Aurora Farmers Market, which would set up as I'd complete my stocking of shelves in the wee hours of Saturday morning.
The scent of fresh produce and vegetables, eye-catching colors of flowers, and stacks and stacks of desserts are memorable, and since the opening Saturday marks the market's 40th year, it's worth checking out. Peruse a list of vendors here.
Commentary: With the 144th annual Kentucky Derby ready to rumble Saturday evening, the local chapter of the American Cancer Society hosts a Friday fundraiser with a fitting theme. WYRK personalities Brett Alan and Liz Mantel will emcee the event.
From mint juleps at the open bar to three chances to bet on simulated horse races, attendees can enjoy an evening in their derby hats.
Story topics: AIDS Walk/ American Cancer Society/ Angelica Tea Room/ Churn/ Cinco de Mayo/ Deep South Taco/ event previews/ Kentucky Derby/ Kevin Hart/ Lakeview Village/ sunflower bean/ The 10/ things to do