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Seven by Seven / Seven things you need to know by 7 a.m.

1. Summer is only four days old, and summer activity overload already is setting in. Citybration is offering evening balloon rides at the waterfront and a sunset reception atop City Hall, plus a special night in Coca-Cola Field as the Bisons open a homestand against the Norfolk Tides, complete with fireworks. The Boston Hills BBQ Festival is firing up for a weekend of food competition and music in Boston Town Park. And then there's the spiritualist community of Lily Dale in Chautauqua County, where the summer season opens with a Native American Weekend, beginning at noon today with a flag-raising ceremony.

2. The 2011 Buffalo Place Rocks the Harbor series debuts tonight at the Central Wharf at Erie Canal Harbor. The paid-entry counterpoint to the free Thursday at the Square concerts, it features back-to-back shows on three weekends this summer, beginning with Dark Star Orchestra, which some consider the finest Grateful Dead tribute band around. Gates open at 6. Music starts around 7 with the local group Soulive. Tickets are $20.

3. Construction started 82 years ago this week on the Central Terminal on Paderewski Drive, which was built to handle some 200 trains a day. Helping raise funds to restore the landmark to its former glory is the inaugural Deco-Fest, which brings an evening of music and other diversions to the station's grand concourse. The high-powered swing revival band Cherry Poppin' Daddies headlines a musical bill that includes Krypton 88 from Rochester, the Royal Crowns from Toronto and local rockabilly band Blue Ribbon Bastards. There's also a retro burlesque performance by Chelsea Green from Pole Play Dance Studio, and pinup model Kelly "Kelvis" Welsted will sign pictures and autographs. Doors open at 5. Tickets are $20.

4. The third major entry in the area's cavalcade of free summer outdoor concert series gets under way tonight. First attraction in the Molson Canal Concert Series in Lockport is Canadian rocker Steven Page, a founding member of the Barenaked Ladies who left two years ago to pursue his solo career. Opening are local groups Free Henry, Oxford Train and the Scops. It's at Ulrich City Centre, which is bounded by Main, Walnut and Locust streets. Music starts around 5:30. Headliners usually hit the stage by 9. And remember -- no outside food, drinks, chairs or blankets.

5. Buffalo News reporter Dan Herbeck will discuss his 33-year reporting career on the Nick Mendola show from 1 until 3 p.m. today on WECK Radio, 1230 AM. Herbeck and Mendola will talk about Buffalo journalism and Herbeck's career as a crime and courts reporter, which included co-authoring a best-selling book about the Timothy McVeigh case, news stories about sniper killer James Kopp and many other major cases in Western New York.

6. Raven was Buffalo's rock supergroup of the late 1960s, a volatile gathering of hot bluesy players from the city's leading bands, including the one they borrowed their name from -- Stan and the Ravens. A move to New York City led them to a gig as the house band at one of Manhattan's trendiest spots, Steve Paul's Scene, where they rubbed shoulders with the likes of Jimi Hendrix and George Harrison. After a self-titled album on Columbia Records, the band returned home and broke up, heading on to notable musical careers here and in California. The four surviving members return for reunion shows tonight and Saturday in the Tralf Music Hall, 622 Main St. Music starts around 8. Tickets are $28.

7. The Buffalo Bills don't know whether they'll have a football season yet, due to the ongoing lockout of the players by the NFL owners in a contract dispute, but if and when play begins, they'll have new uniforms. The Bills introduce their first redesign since 2002 from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. in Ralph Wilson Stadium in a gala program that includes live music and appearances by Bills alumni and the Jills cheerleaders. There will be on-field access and football-themed games for fans. And after the unveiling ceremony, there will be a screening of a box-office hit movie. Complimentary tickets are required to attend. Get them at all M&T Bank branches and select Verizon Wireless locations in Erie County.

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