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Wet blanket tossed on some big events; Gus Macker tourney, concert hit hardest

A weekend of chilly winds and heavy rain forced Western New Yorkers to bundle up and change their plans.

The heavy weather forced an early end to the Gus Macker 3-on-3 Charity Basketball Tournament in downtown Buffalo and kept the headliner from taking the stage Friday night at the WYRK Taste of Country concert in Coca-Cola Field.

Mother Nature became more cooperative as the weekend progressed. The Kiss the Summer Hello concert Saturday in Coca-Cola Field was held as scheduled, although fans were buffeted by a stiff wind. And outdoor events Sunday -- the Gay Pride Parade on Elmwood Avenue, the Parade of Circles in South Buffalo and the Buffalo Walk for Kidneys in Delaware Park -- were dampened and chilled but went off as scheduled.

Nobody felt the fury of the weather more than the organizers and players in the Gus Macker Tournament. After watching players dribble through puddles and shoot into wind gusts Saturday, officials blew the whistle on the competition and canceled all of Sunday's games.

Officials said that player safety was a concern and that there will be no makeup dates. The Macker usually is held the last weekend in June but was moved up to avoid conflicts with high school graduations.

Heavy wind and downpours also prompted organizers the WYRK Taste of Country concert to pull the plug on the show just before 11 p.m., when headliner Eric Church was due to perform.

The radio station, on its website, cited the potential for 50-mph winds and advice from the National Weather Service "to treat the situation with caution."

Some fans, angry after the announcement that Church would not appear, threw chairs, bottles and cans onto the stage.

The station advised fans to hold onto their ticket stubs. Church said, "I owe the City of Buffalo one, and I intend to make good on that."

Top wind gusts of 37 mph were measured at the National Weather Service office at Buffalo Niagara International Airport in Cheektowaga on Saturday. Three-quarters of an inch of rain fell late Friday afternoon and Friday evening. Temperatures hovered in the upper 50s and low 60s all weekend.

The wet chill came as a surprise after an unseasonably hot and dry May. Forecasters say that things will continue damp and cool through Wednesday, with daytime temperatures mainly in the low to mid-60s and overnight lows in the low to mid-50s.

Better days are promised for the annual Allentown Art Festival this weekend. Sunshine is expected to return Thursday, and mostly sunny skies are likely for the following three days, with temperatures gradually moving from the low to upper 70s.