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BEST BETS

1. Elvis is in the building.

"Idols of the King," a musical about 13 zealous Elvis fans and their obsession with the king, has its Western New York premiere starting Friday at Artpark.

The story features two characters who play the parts of a hitchhiker, an elderly couple touring the country, a flower child and a Las Vegas show girl. Scot Bruce, who has impersonated the rock legend around the world, sings 16 Elvis hits, including "I Can't Help Falling in Love with You," "Blue Suede Shoes" and "Jailhouse Rock," backed by a live band.

Ticket prices range from $15 to $29.50. The show runs through Sept. 12, with lawn seating for the Friday and Saturday evening performances on Sept. 10 and 11. Also, there is a Seniors Day Saturday, when people 62 and older can buy tickets at $3 off the regular price.

Tickets are available at the box office (754-4375), at Fantastix outlets and at Tops markets.

2. Cuisine, culture and a carousel.

You can taste Thai chicken, German strudel, Greek gyros, Mexican burritos and Italian pastries. Just don't ride the Super Man roller coaster after you do.

Six Flags Darien Lake offers its 18th annual international festival this weekend, with 50 craft vendors who will be selling jewelry, headdresses, wood items, leather goods and ceramics. Also, dancers will be doing Polish folk dancing, country line, Caribbean hula and Irish jigs.

Regular main gate admission prices are $28.99, adults; $14.50, children (48 inches and under) and $14.99, seniors. Children two and under are free. Also, discount tickets are available at Tops markets ($19.99, adults and $11.99 children). Or, for the best bargain, buy one ticket ($19.99) at Tops and receive one ticket free at the main gate when it's presented with a coupon from Friday's Gusto.

The festival runs Saturday through Monday. Hours are from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

3. See a gorgeous gorge.

End summer with a walk in the woods at beautiful Letchworth State Park.

It takes place at 12:30 p.m. Monday. Meet at Inspiration Point parking lot (at the south end of the park). A naturalist will lead a walk and tell participants how the gorge was formed and relate the history of the park. It takes about one hour and covers one-quarter of a mile, a warm-up for the park's many other trails.

At 2 p.m. there is a two-hour program with a one-mile hike around the Glen Iris Estate. Meet at the museum (across from the Glen Iris Inn).

There is a $5 per car admission to the park, but no charge for the hikes.

4. CIAO -- prepare to feast.

It's time for the seventh Chautauqua Italian American Organization festival. Hours are from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday at the Chautauqua County Fairground's Floral Hall in Dunkirk.

This year, for the first time, there will be a bocce tournament. But it won't be the first time for traditional foods, homemade cookies, pasta and day-long entertainment. There will be displays of family memorabilia, photos and clothing, along with activities for children. The Angelo Rizzo band of Buffalo will play in the evening.

Admission is $1; parking is free.

5. Fifty years of flying.

The Canadian International Air Show celebrates 50 years of performing over Toronto's waterfront.

This year's acts include the Canadian Forces Snowbirds and a CF18; aerobatic champion Wayne Handley; the Essell & Falkner Wingwalking Team and the Waterbombers. Vintage participants include a Lancaster, five Harvards and a P51 Mustang.

The shows run from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday. They are free with admission to the Canadian National Exhibition on Lakeshore Boulevard at Ontario Place. CNE admission is $7 adults; $5, seniors and children.

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