1. While Nik Wallenda is getting ready to do his historic tightrope walk tonight over Niagara Falls, Niagara Falls itself is going to celebrate with a full day of activities, including much smaller tightrope walks, on Old Falls Street, starting at 11 a.m. There will be food and beverages, musicians, acrobats, fire eaters, dancers and street artists. Marketside Restaurant, 712 E. Market St., will be serving its Wallenda omelette. And 97 Rock will be broadcasting live from its VIP Party Tent at the Hard Rock Cafe, 333 Prospect St., where Wallenda can be watched live during the 10 p.m. hour on a 9-by-12-foot LED screen.
2. The 2012 Special Olympics New York Summer Games kick off with the opening ceremony at 8 p.m. at Alumni Arena on the University at Buffalo North Campus in Amherst. It all begins with a parade of 1,800 athletes and coaches from across the state. There will be speeches from Chris Koch, chief executive officer of New Era, and former "Biggest Loser" contestants Ramon Medeiros and Jessica Limpert. Competition will be Saturday in eight Olympic-style sports: track and field, aquatics, basketball, bowling, gymnastics, power lifting, tennis and volleyball. All the events are free.
3. The 12th annual Buffalo River Fest gets under way from 6 p.m. to midnight along the water in Buffalo River Fest Park, 249 Ohio St. near Michigan Avenue. The first hour will see high school rowing teams competing on the river, while Hartzmetz Sounds and the Urban Renewal Band provide music for first-night festivalgoers. An exhibit of photos and artifacts from the Buffalo waterfront's glory days also will be open, as will a variety of vendors offering food, beverages, arts and crafts. The festival continues through Sunday.
4. The Town of Hamburg is celebrating its bicentennial with a three-day Happy Birthday Hamburg Beach Party starting this evening in Woodlawn Beach State Park. Festivities begin with a happy hour kickoff from 5 to 10, with music from Heard of Buffalo beginning at 6. Events on Saturday include a 5K run at 9 a.m., followed by a parade at noon from from Woodlawn Fire Hall to Woodlawn Beach, where there will be more music, food, games and amusement rides.
5. Expatriate pianist Eugene Gaub winds up his annual visit home tonight by performing the last of the four concerts in the Roycroft Chamber Series. The program at 8 in St. Matthias Episcopal Church, Maple Street and Main Street, East Aurora, includes Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 11 in F, K. 413, arranged for piano and string quartet, featuring Gaub; Debussy's Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp, with harpist Suzanne Thomas; and the Clarinet Quintet by Max Reger, featuring Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra principal clarinetist John Fullam. Tickets are $20.
6. For this weekend's Wine & Cheese Weekend on the Niagara Wine Trail in Niagara County, Yancey's Fancy Artisan Cheese has paired one of its specialty cheeses to each of the 15 participating wineries. The tastings are offered from noon to 6 p.m. today and continue from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $30 for wine and cheese, $15 for just cheese, and are good for all three days. For info, visit www.NiagaraWineTrail.org.
7. This week's movie blockbusters bring us comedy and classic rock. "That's My Boy" finds bad dad Adam Sandler trying to make amends with his grown son, played by "Saturday Night Live" stalwart Andy Samberg. "Rock of Ages," based on a Broadway jukebox musical, stars Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, Mary J. Blige, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Julianne Hough, along with the music of Bon Jovi, Guns N' Roses, Def Leppard, Foreigner, Journey, Poison, Twisted Sister and REO Speedwagon.