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7 things you need to know before you start your day

1. Institutional investors, analysts and financial advisers will hear presentations from 19 Buffalo-area and Rochester-area companies at the Western New York Investors Conference from 7:55 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Buffalo Niagara Marriott, 1340 Millersport Highway, Amherst. Among those making pitches will be East Aurora aircraft electronics manufacturer Astronics Corp., Amherst material handling equipment maker Columbus McKinnon Corp. and Amherst energy company National Fuel Gas, local banks Evans Bancorp, First Niagara Financial Group and M&T Bank, and local technology companies Computer Task Group and Synacor.

2. The latest strategy for keeping the Bills in Buffalo will be unveiled at a 5:30 p.m. kickoff event for the Buffalo Fan Alliance in the Hotel @ Lafayette. The alliance, which describes itself as "rabid Buffalo Bills fans," has consulted with a national law firm that has worked on NFL transactions and has come up with "an innovative financing model that fits within the NFL bylaws." Rep. Brian Higgins and Assemblyman Sean Ryan will be among the speakers. Reservations only. For info, visit
3. A ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10:30 a.m. will mark the opening of "The Science of Sports," the fall exhibit at the Buffalo Museum of Science. On hand will be representatives from the Bills, Sabres and Bisons, all of whom helped with the project. Opening to the public Saturday, it explores the science behind football, hockey, baseball, golf and sports medicine.

4. The King of Pop returns to life - hat, glove and moonwalk - as Who's Bad - The Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute Band, comes to the Riviera Theatre, 67 Webster St., North Tonawanda, for a performance at 8 p.m. The longest-running MJ tribute band, it features singer Taalib York doing what's said to be a perfect Michael and a band that plays songs from all stages of his career with horn-driven R&B spunk. Seats are $28 for adults, $13 for kids 10 and under, but don't expect to spend much time sitting down. It's a show that makes people want to get up and dance.

5. The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra launches this season's BPO Rocks concert series this evening with the Indigo girls. The Georgia-based singer-songwriters will introduce new orchestral arrangements of their best-known songs, like "Closer to Fine," "Least Complicated" and "Galileo," as well as music from their latest disc, "Beauty Queen Sister." Tickets are $31 to $61.

6. The banner across Main Street proclaims that this is Oktoberfest Weekend in Williamsville, which means that restaurants all along the street will be celebrating with German food and beverages. It begins at 3:30 p.m. with the Official Keg Tapping Parade from Village Hall to the opening party in Island Park, where Mayor Brian Kulpa will tap the first keg and offer the beer in it for free. As in previous years, there will be a variety of pumpkin contests and the Great Sam Adams Hoist-Off, where contestants see who can hold a full stein at arm's length the longest.

7. Buffalo State College will kick off a $20 million fundraising campaign - the largest in the school's history - at 4 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center at Rockwell Hall, 1300 Elmwood Ave. College President Aaron Podolefsky will be joined by James Brandys and Linda A. Dobmeier, co-chairmen of the drive, which is being called "Transforming Lives: A Campaign for Buffalo State."