OLAF FUB SEZ: According to author Judith Viorst, born on this date in 1931, “Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands – and then eat just one of the pieces.”
NO PROBLEM – Snow or no snow, Winter Wonderland in the Woods will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday in Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve, 93 Honorine Drive off Como Park Boulevard, Depew. The theme this year is “Undercover Wildlife.”
If there isn’t enough white stuff for cross-country skiing or snow art, there still will be a compass navigation course to try out, an exhibit of animal furs, talks on wild bird rehabilitation and door prizes. Hot drinks and snacks will be for sale. If it’s really warm, Winter Wildlife Olympics will be added.
Admission is free. Donations are appreciated. For more info, call 683-5959.
LAISSEZ LES BON TEMPS ROULER – Pumping up the Mardi Gras spirit in Buffalo will be Arts Services Initiative of Western New York, which has lined up a series of events.
The first is the Big Easy in Buffalo Ninth annual Mardi Gras Jam on Friday evening in Buffalo Iron Works, 49 Illinois St., featuring the Marc Stone Band from New Orleans with Chuck Campbell of the sacred steel group the Campbell Brothers. Also playing will be the Heavenly Chillbillies and a band of Kenmore East High School students who are studying New Orleans music. Doors open at 7 p.m. Music starts at 7:30. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door.
On Saturday, The Big Easy joins with the bicycle group Slow Roll Buffalo to stage the first Snow Stroll Parade, a procession for marchers and bicyclists that will gather at 4 p.m. at Buffalo Iron Works, where the Buffalo Brass Machine will play a free concert, then take a short stroll or slow ride at 4:30 p.m. through the Cobblestone District to Canalside and back. Banners, flags, costumes and uniforms are welcome. All are invited.
For Mardi Gras itself next Tuesday, The Big Easy is putting together a special musical playlist to serenade the skaters on the ice at Canalside.
POLKA GRAS – Instead of Mardi Gras, in Poland the pre-Lenten celebration is Paczki (pronounced punch-key) Day, a feast day that features the flavorful deep-fried pieces of dough.
In the Buffalo area, the party is hosted by the Polish Heritage Dancers of Western New York, who will present their 19th annual Paczki Day from 1 to 7 p.m. Sunday in Holy Mother of the Rosary Cathedral, 6298 Broadway, Lancaster.
The band Special Delivery will play polka favorites from 2 to 6 p.m. The Polish Heritage Dancers will perform at 3.
There will be the crowning of a Paczki King, Queen, Prince and Princess. There will be drawings, raffles and vendors. And there will be a Polish kitchen serving dinners, a la carte items and desserts, as well as paczki.
Tickets are $8 advance through Friday, $10 at the door. For tickets, table reservations and more info, call Michelle Kisluk at 983-5084. Tickets also are available at the Am-Pol Eagle, 3620 Harlem Road, Cheektowaga; and at Salt Lamps Etc., 5274 Broadway, Lancaster.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY – Paul Stewart Shanks, Mary Davey-Carr, Adam Dzimian, Joseph Golombek Jr., Nancy Hughes, Judy Zeckhauser, Lindsey Miller, Helen Scrivens, Shirley A. Thompson, Pat Harnish, Alexander Lee Burns, Stephanie Ubaldini, Jill LaMantia, John Beres, Gene Murray, Kathy Aranyosi, Daniel McCabe, Campbell Valentine Vogt, Betsy Gustek, Donna Bondanza, Mark Szczepanik, Christine Bacchetti, Hayden Goff, Lynn Ellis and Mary Gister.