If you're a "Seinfeld" fan, you've likely already acted fast and purchased tickets to his Shea's appearances, as both have been sold out for some time. But, even if you missed out on the TV superstar, there's still an awful lot to do.
Here's The 10:
1) Ellicottville Winter Blues and Brews Fest, 4 p.m. Jan. 22 through Jan. 24. Each sampling session requires a $10 donation to the Buffalo Niagara Brewers Association, while all shows are free to attend.
Commentary: It's a winter paradise in Ellicottville, as skiing and snowboarding season is in full swing and visitors from all over the world converge on the slopes.
Blues music will resonate from bars across the town, including Balloons, Madigan's, Gin Mill and Villaggio, while the Ellicottville Brewing Company will host craft-beer tastings inside the Igloo from 4 to 8 p.m. Jan 22 and 23. See more details on the bands and the craft-beer vendors here.
Commentary: Mark Ciemcioch's Goldberg preview emphasizes Goldberg's perseverance in the spotlight, highlighted by her capture of EGOT -- Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards. The actress-comedian is outspoken in her support of LGBTQ and AIDS awareness, which are central to her material.
3) Visit the New York Beer Project, 11 a.m. to midnight Jan. 22; 11 a.m. to midnight Jan. 23; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Jan. 24 at 6933 S. Transit Road in Lockport. Free to enter.
Commentary: The Lockport brewery hosted its grand-opening party on Wednesday, debuting four standard beers and three seasonal options. The venue's gastropub had been open for weeks prior -- selling beer from other local breweries in the meantime -- before unveiling flavors like Train of Thought and the Russian Imperial Stout.
Commentary: Get your mind out of the gutter! The West Seneca brewery is keen on hosting events, and this weekend features a sausage competition that recognizes the best breakfast sausage, best venison sausage, best sausage overall and best pairing of Rusty Nickel beer with the sausage.
A campfire, snowman contest, kids activities, cornhole competition and live music from Imperial Brown are all on tap (metaphorically, you can't literally pour a snowman from a tap.)
[See images from Rusty Nickel's grand-opening party from May 2015]
Sausages will be provided by Mineo & Sapio, and competitors will be tasked with stuffing or preparing their meat in the most tasty way possible. Maybe you shouldn't read that last sentence aloud. There will be judges, and you can register to compete here.
4B) Curiously, there are actually two sausage fests on the same weekend, as the lunch-focused "Total Sausage Fest, Brah!" rolls on at noon Jan. 24 in Barrel + Brine (257 Carolina St.), the house of professional picklers.
Commentary: A much different concept than Rusty Nickel's event, Barrel + Brine's own R.J. Marvin and Grange Community Kitchen chef Anthony Petrilli create meals centered around sausage and the curing/pickling talents of the host business.
The pop-up meals can be eaten on-site or as takeout, although '80s music may sway eaters to stay. RSVP on the Facebook event page, and the event will go until supplies run out.
[Read about the plans for Grange Community Kitchen in Hamburg]
Here are the best-laid sausage plans:
Marvin: Beer-poached corned-beef sausage, raw classic kraut, Russian dressing, emmental, BreadHive's dill pickle rye
Petrilli: Cured duck sausage, naturally fermented orange-brandy mustard, pickled shallot, crispy duck skin, brioche
Commentary: Neither the Canisius Griffins nor the Niagara Purple Eagles boast an overall record above .500, but it's still a rivalry game not to miss. Sure, the Battle of the Bridge will be televised on ESPNU, but wouldn't you rather be on Monteagle Ridge feeling the near-tangible excitement yourself?
The star power on the two teams isn't as potent as usual -- there's no Tyrone Lewis or Billy Baron -- but watching Phil Valenti has entertainment value in itself. The Griffs feed off his emotions -- for better or worse -- but he's a remarkably balanced player who contributes in every category.
6) Vote for HarborCenter public art, online through Feb. 17. Free to vote, but must provide email address.
Commentary: As someone who walks by the HarborCenter loading dock every single weekday, there's literally nothing that's eye-catching on the northern side of the building. Most of the passersby are sprinting through the wind tunnel to reach the warmth and caffeinating comfort of Tim Hortons, but that's beside the point.
Colin Dabkowski presents the options side-by-side, describes the voting process and passes along the voting link in his preview post. I've narrowed my choice to two, but am leaning toward this one because it's creepy and there's a big donkey:
7) Workingman's Dead Winter Blast, 9 p.m. Jan. 23 in Sportsmen's Tavern (326 Amherst St.) Entrance is $6 at the door.
Commentary: Don't be misled into thinking Sportsmen's Tavern is just a honky-tonk venue; a local Grateful Dead cover band can fit in at the Black Rock space just fine.
The six-piece comprises self-proclaimed Deadheads -- Time.com published a timeline of the rabid supporter culture -- conjure up memories of the late Jerry Garcia.
8) Pure Ink Poetry Four-Year Slamiversary, 6 p.m. Jan. 24 in Gypsy Parlor (376 Grant St.) $5 cover at the door.
Commentary: Buffalo boasts a strong underground spoken word community, and the weekly open-mic spoken word night celebrates its fourth anniversary, much of which has come at Gypsy Parlor, the host venue on Sunday.
[Read a recent dining review of Gypsy Parlor]
If you're unfamiliar with spoken word, it's memorized poetry performances with rhythm, a pseudo-rap that allows its creator to deliver a message, whether it's humor, a past experience, a serious topic or thought-provoking gibberish.
Part of its beauty is that anyone can do it -- think of it as an open mic -- and the voted-upon winner each week earns $50.
9) Ol' Wondermusic, 8 p.m. Jan. 22 in Ol' Wondermoth (208 North St.) Entrance fee is $5 at the door, and it's BYOB with ID.
Commentary: A few years ago I went into Ol' Wondermoth (unbeknownst to me) for a Halloween party, and I'm pretty sure it's the first and only time I've been inside a housing cooperative. Other than the overly-foamy Rusty Chain, the experience was comfortable -- the residents were friendly and it didn't feel like I was intruding in someone's home.
Juini Booth, a popular name for jazz fans, has united a few other musicians under the heading of Throwdown, a free-form improvisation trio which will perform Friday during Ol' Wondermusic. Read Jeff Miers' event preview for more information.
10) Niagara Icewine Festival, Jan. 22-24 and Jan. 29-31. Cost depends on the venue.
Commentary: What do the names Peller, Jackson-Triggs and Konzelmann bring to mind? No, not law firms, although that's a reasonable guess. These three actually refer to wineries across the Canadian border, where two weekends remain in the Niagara Icewine Festival.
Emeri Krawczyk wrote at length about the participating wineries -- many of which serve food -- here.
Email Ben Tsujimoto, whose last name sounds nothing like a law firm (Hello, BenJarvus Green-Ellis!), at firstname.lastname@example.org