We're just going to cut to the chase this week, mostly because you probably don't want to hear me fawn over fall, which is unquestionably my favorite season.
1) Ellicottville Fall Festival, 6 to 10 p.m. Oct. 9; 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Oct. 10; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Oct. 11 in the Village of Ellicottville. It's free to attend, and the Ellicottville website has a very useful schedule for entertainment, rides and more.
Commentary: Expect a picture-perfect weekend in ski country, where the leaves are changing color and the rising hills in the distance lend themselves to iPhone wallpapers. As Theresa Donnelly passes along in her Gusto cover story preview, the crowd grows every year, but there's no shortage of activities for adults and families to wile away a day away from the city. If you're craving more Ellicottville knowledge, read Michael Farrell's piece on EBC, Toni Ruberto and Donnelly's breakdown of Ellicottville businesses and then a Cheap Eats on Katy's Cafe.
2) Urban Drive-In, noon to midnight on Oct. 10 at Silo City. Free event, although food will be available on-site for purchase, via food trucks.
Commentary: Hosted by Squeaky Wheel Media, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this weekend, the Urban Drive-In is an intriguing mix of major movies and locally produced short films as part of a 12-hour outdoor spectacle near the grain elevators.
Before the day's first movie, "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," Explore Buffalo will direct the Silo City Grounded tour ($15 adults, $5 students) to inform about the history and the re-purposing of two grain elevators, the flour mill and the malthouse. The Facebook event says you don't have to drive -- this isn't your typical drive-in, after all -- as you can use alt transportation with a fold-up chair in tow. You can find the day's schedule on the aforementioned Facebook link, too.
3) Sugar City Soul Night, 10 p.m. Oct. 10 at Milkie's (522 Elmwood Ave.) Admission is $5 at the door.
Commentary: The premise is simple -- a late-night weekend dance party at Milkie's on Elmwood to raise money to benefit Sugar City, the grassroots art-and-music organization that now calls Niagara Street home. The gathering is always well-attended, a little sweaty and a little wild, which honestly are three must-have ingredients for a dance party.
4) U.S. men's soccer watch party vs. Mexico, 9 p.m. Oct. 10 at Mes Que (1420 Hertel Ave.) Free to attend, and Pabst Blue Ribbons pounders will run for $2.50. The match begins at 9:30 p.m., but you should get there early, as Mes Que fills up fast.
Commentary: The visit by podcasters-turned-TV-stars Men In Blazers reinforced the fact that Buffalo is on the soccer map, and it's not the first city without an MLS team (see Chattanooga, Detroit, San Antonio and Sacramento) to fall in love with the sport.
Enjoy the company of the Buffalo chapter of the American Outlaws, the U.S. men's national team supporters group, at Mes Que, where English Premier League allegiances will be (temporarily) forgotten for a tremendously important match that determines whether the Yanks will have a spot in the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia -- it's a one-game playoff! Fans of Mexico are invited, too, and they'll probably be treated with more kindness than how outsiders are treated by Bills fans.
Commentary: Curious what kind of musical talent resides an hour down the I-90 East? Two Rochester bands -- more accomplished Joywave and rising electro-dance quartet KOPPS -- will perform Friday in Waiting Room. Both bands combined on the video below, "Tongues," which rapidly approaches 100,000 views on YouTube.
Commentary: If you're as curious as I am about the musical genre "freak folk" -- I'm picturing Darth Vader cheerily picking a mandolin -- Saturday's Blitzen Trapper gig should answer your question. The Portland, Ore.-based band released a new album, "Lonesome Angel," last week. Read Mac McGuire's preview, which delves into opener Jesse Malin's career, too.
7) Knockturn Alley II, 7 to midnight on Oct. 9 and 10; 2 to 6 p.m. Oct. 11 in Dreamland (387 Franklin St.). An all-access pass for three days runs for $25, while admission for either Friday or Saturday is $10. Sunday is kids day, and the cost rises to $15. Tickets can be purchased here.
Commentary: If rousing club Quidditch wasn't enough to prove that a proud underground Harry Potter culture exists in Western New York and across the world, perhaps an all-weekend celebration at Dreamland -- the second annual Knockturn Alley -- will get the point across.
From a dive bar littered with muttering, cloaked wizards to a line of shops called the "Bizarre Bazaar," Dreamland pulls out all the Potter stops. Costumes, of course, are mandatory. (It's too bad there's not an award for "Best Snape" or "Hairiest Hagrid.")
8) Black Dog Brew, noon to 5 p.m. Oct. 10 at Resurgence Brewing Co. (1250 Niagara St.). Tickets are $25 for adults and include food, one free drink (choice between two craft beers, sangria, wine or pop) and a souvenir pint glass. Children under 12 can get in for $10, and are allotted food and two free pops. Dogs get in free, even poodles or dogs named "Pierogi."
Commentary: A benefit for Black Dog Second Chance Rescue, found on Sheridan Drive in Amherst, this gathering includes a nice lineup of food vendors -- Lloyd Taco Truck, 716 Club House, Ashker's, Bocce Pizza and more -- plus the spacious indoor-outdoor setting of Resurgence Brewing Company. How thrilled are the dogs about their high-stakes costume contest? I honestly have no clue, but the owners are probably psyched (bonus points, from me, if your dog wears a Marcell Dareus jersey).
9) Columbus Day Weekend at the Great Pumpkin Farm 10 a.m. to dusk on Oct. 10, 11 and 12 at 11199 Main St., Clarence. Admission is $7, and children 2 and under can get in for free.
Commentary: You may consider yourself an athlete, but how nimble are you with a pumpkin? They're often irregularly shaped, heavier-than-you'd-think and there's a reason the insides are referred to as "guts." Read more on the Pumpkin Olympics here, and know that a one-thousand pound pumpkin will be dropped from the sky at noon on Columbus Day, spilling its guts everywhere in dramatic, breathtaking display.
10) FinnFest, Oct. 9-13, including 8 p.m. Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra performance of new disc, "The Essential Sibelius," at 8 p.m. Oct. 10.
Commentary: This international celebration of Finnish culture is hosted in Buffalo's Kleinhans Music Hall, among other nearby venues, this year, and the overarching goal is "to connect modern Finland with historic and contemporary America." Read a preview and see the schedule of the events here, then dig deeper into the classical music with Mary Kunz Goldman and Finnish art in the Albright-Knox Art Gallery with Colin Dabkowski.
Email Ben Tsujimoto, who's never used a forklift to drop a massive pumpkin, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Story topics: Black Dog Brew/ Blitzen Trapper/ BPO/ Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra/ Clarence/ Columbus Day/ Columbus Day Weekend/ concerts/ Dreamland/ ellicottville/ Ellicottville Fall Festival/ Finnfest/ Great Pumpkin Drop/ Great Pumpkin Farm/ Joywave/ Knockturn Alley/ Resurgence Brewing/ The 10/ Waiting Room