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While Foster the People sealed the summer slate of top-notch outdoor gigs in Western New York, attractive live music options don't suddenly disappear -- they just change form. The genres of shows that dominate Artpark, Canalside and Darien Lake -- classic rock, Top 40, indie, country and hip-hop -- take a backseat, while different branches of music grab the spotlight. Thr…

Family

Summer may be all but officially over on the calendar, but September is still a great time to enjoy outdoor activities. This weekend, for example, you can bring the entire family to the 10th annual Pig-a-Palooza, from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday on the grounds of Ransomville Free Methodist Church (3924 Ransomville Road, Ransomville).The event promises plenty of fun activities for…

Family

Before summer ends, three festivals in the area are offering days to revel in peaches, boats and music.Three necessities of any good summer.This weekend hosts the Lewiston Kiwanis Peach Festival in Lewiston, Antique and Classic Boat Show and Race Boat Regatta on Grand Island and the Freedom Waters Festival at Canalside.With today’s forecast in the mid-to-high 80s an…

Family

Just because Labor Day weekend signals the unofficial end of summer doesn’t mean there isn’t still plenty of summer fun to be had. You have options.Winging it at the ballpark The best thing about the National Buffalo Wing Festival is the variety. Wing merchants have been reinventing Teressa Bellissimo’s classic sauce since she unveiled it 50 years ago.…

Family

The Fresh Beat Band was created by Scott Kraft and Nadine van der Velde, a husband-and-wife producing team who also are behind children’s shows including “Rolie Polie Olie,” “Little Miss Spider” and “Gerald McBoingBoing.”Though Fresh Beat’s four-year run on Nickelodeon ended in 2013, the brand lives on through concert…

Family

All this talk about summer winding down is becoming quite the buzz-kill. Look, we have a full month of (official) summer remaining, and then at least a few weeks of tolerable fall weather -- unless this Vortex-which-must-not-be-named is hellbent on starting winter early. (Vortexmort?) So, don't panic that we'll dip below freezing tomorrow -- that won't happen, as the temp…

Family

It's the Fair's final Friday -- the fairgrounds' festivities have flown by. Aggressive alliteration aside, the weekend will begin with a bang -- and probably several revs, thuds and roars. Friday's featured event is the Lucas Oil Truck and Tractor Pull -- which includes the Western New York Pro Farm Pullers -- at 6 p.m. at the Gusto Grandstand of the Hamburg Fairgrounds.…

Family

In a safe environment, a massive collision can be exhilarating. The metal-on-metal crunch, the deafening roar of an engine and that eerie instant of silence before impact all stimulate the senses, often producing a simultaneous wince and grin. The Erie County Fair's headline event for Thursday is the Ultimate Night of Destruction, raging at 7 p.m. on the dirt track betwee…

Family

Erie County Fair-goers deserve a rest day after last night's breathtaking show by Dierks Bentley, which captured the hearts of the audience, young and old. A breather, however, doesn't mean the Fair stops altogether. While Tuesday at the Fair doesn't have any major events scheduled, perhaps this is a good opportunity to visit the Hamburg Fairgrounds in relative peace, av…

Family

If you're a mainstream country music fan, then Monday at the Erie County Fair is likely one of your many August highlights. Dierks Bentley, who's been nominated for 10 Grammy Awards over his 12-year career, will draw a frenzy of country fans to the Hamburg Fairgrounds for an 8 p.m. show at the Gusto Grandstand. The $45 general admission tickets can be purchased here or at…

Family

He needs very little introduction after successfully tight-roping over Niagara Falls and a gorge near the Grand Canyon, but with the Erie County Fair celebrating its 175th anniversary, Nik Wallenda is perhaps the most famous non-musical guest to grace the Hamburg Fairgrounds. The daredevil walker will teeter above the Fair midway at 8 p.m., concluding his 1,400-foot galli…

Family

Now in Day 4, the Erie County Fair is hitting full stride. That Polar Vortex you've been reading about shouldn't sadden us until September, and this weekend is expected to be downright balmy. While headliners Dierks Bentley and Lady Antebellum are still a few days off, the Gusto Grandstand lights up with a former Disney pop star in Bridgit Mendler -- not a Mickey Mouse Cl…

Family

I was telling people it would be my first time at a county fair, any county fair. The responses I received in return were mostly based on some variation of the theme shock. I then had a friend remind me that I had once attended the Marin County Fair in the county directly north, across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. So, yes, I am a fraud. But in my limited def…

Family

There are few places where you can brush up on your llama knowledge, wax nostalgic with a Van Halen tribute band and guzzle bacon lemonade -- and we're fortunate to have such an eccentric destination in our own backyard. For many, Friday marks the first chance to go truly wild at the Erie County Fair, as there's little fear of having to endure a rough morning-after in you…

Family

As the lead singer of Creedence Clearwater Revival and as a solo artist, John Fogerty’s voice has been heard on some of the most beloved songs in the history of rock ‘n’ roll. He also might be responsible for some of the most mangled lyrics ever sung by people trying to sing along. Fogerty will take the stage at the Erie County Fair tonight and fans can expect to hear so…