Commentary: Usually the winter luau falls in the dead of winter that makes you fondly covet warmer times. But it will be around 40 degrees on Saturday with minimal snow on the ground. Few are complaining.
You can still party at RiverWorks, though, as there will be a beastly music lineup, including DJs and full bands, temporary tattoos from Madd Tat2 and go-go dancers wearing grass skirts.
Two important clarifications: the skirts will not be made of real grass, and the DJ Sully listed is not TBN sports columnist Jerry Sullivan.
2) Kulig Polish Winter Festival, noon to 5 p.m. Feb. 7 at Chestnut Ridge Park (6121 Chestnut Ridge Road, Orchard Park). $25 with sleigh ride, $15 without sleigh ride, $10 children age 10+ $10, under 10 free.
Commentary: Perhaps the dusting of snow we received on Thursday night bodes well for suitable tobogganing and sledding, but that feels far fetched with temperatures approaching 50 degrees on Sunday.
[Polish pride is strong in WNY: Read this on Fat Thursday]
But, you can at least enjoy a balmy sleigh ride, intriguing Goralska Kapela -- Polish folk music -- as well as authentic Polish food and beverages. That means Tyskie and kielbasa, and maybe quality golabki if you're lucky.
3) M&T First Fridays, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Feb. 5 in Albright-Knox Art Gallery (1285 Elmwood Ave.). All activities are free for members, while sessions cost different amounts for non-members. Entrance into the 1962 Building for the Monet exhibition is a reduced rate, but not free.
Commentary: I can't claim to be an art connoisseur, but if there's one type that makes sense to me, it's Impressionism. It tackled easily-relatable modern scenes and gave them an ethereal quality. (Watch your back, Colin Dabkowski.)
Claude Monet, one of the movement's founders and world-renowned icon, is the focus of two gallery talks, and a screening of Woody Allen film "Midnight In Paris" is also on the docket. See the full slate of events here, and read Dabkowski's short write-up on Monet here.
4) Reel Big Fish, 8 p.m. Feb. 6 in Town Ballroom (681 S. Main St.). Tickets are $18 and can be purchased here.
Commentary: Yes, ska music is still alive, and you can experience it in Buffalo this weekend. Did you know dancing to ska music is called "skanking"? Sounds malicious but it's really harmless. Check out Kris Kielich's preview of the long-standing band's visit here.
5) Snow Stroll Pedal and Pedestrian Parade, 4 p.m. Feb. 6, meets at Buffalo Iron Works (49 Illinois St.) Free to attend.
Commentary: Not to be confused with the Slow Roll or the Snow Roll (although there is some connection), the Snow Stroll parade is for even slower movers who will maneuver around popular downtown locations: Canalside, HarborCenter and the First Niagara Center, and more.
You can bike slowly or just walk, and donning Mardi Gras-inspired costumes is encouraged at this event presented by Arts Services Initiative of WNY.
6) Labatt Super Bowl party, 2 p.m. Feb. 6 in Buffalo RiverWorks (359 Ganson St.)
Commentary: I'm not going to pretend that the Super Bowl (or "Superb Owl," as a podcast co-host so eloquently put it) isn't the biggest event of the weekend, and if you're looking to venture outside of the house (always risky), Labatt Blue will have an official party at RiverWorks. The festivities follow the 2 p.m. Super Bout by the Queen City Roller Girls.
7) Night Slaves, 8 p.m. Feb. 5 at Mohawk Place (47 E. Mohawk St.) Cost is $5 at the door.
Commentary: As a powerful proponent of band names in everyday speech, "Night Slaves" is a mix of disconcerting and mysterious. What are they slaves to? In this case, probably nothing good (and not because nothing good happens after 2 a.m.).
Mac McGuire has penned a concert preview, replete with an interview with Night Slaves' John Toohill, who describes the "industrial electronic" duo and its six-track cassette release. If you don't know what cassettes are, go here to read about their revival.
8) Super Bowl alternatives, all over Western New York. Various prices.
Commentary: The image that pops in my head when I think about Buffalonians on Super Bowl Sunday is riddled with apathetic Bills fans plowing through chicken wings and Labatt beer, seated uncomfortably on recliners and couches. But you don't have to be that person!
Features Editor Bruce Andriatch brainstormed a list of alternative ways to enjoy the Super Bowl -- like at a bowling alley, at the grocery store or going hard on some laundry.--------------------
9) Mardi Gras Masquerade Party, 1 p.m. Feb. 6 in Flying Bison (840 Seneca St.) Free to attend, with drinks running for $5 and a full Creole/Cajun buffet for $10.
Commentary: So Mardi Gras isn't until Feb. 9, but you can't fault Flying Bison for wanting to jump the gun. The planned activities are alluring, too: a photo scavenger hunt, Mazurek's King Cakes with (fake) babies inside (don't bite down too hard!), a specially-crafted Bootleg Bucha (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and a Cajun buffet from the Louisiana Cookery.
10) U.S. men's soccer vs. Canada, 10 p.m. Feb. 5 in Mes Que (1420 Hertel Ave.) Free to attend, with Pabst Blue Ribbon pounders for $2.50.
Commentary: It's probably not a shock to anyone that I'm an aggressive soccer apologist, which helps me sneak this cross-border clash into The 10. After a less-than-convincing 3-2 win over Iceland last Sunday, the Yanks could really benefit from a confident thrashing of an improving Canadian national team.
Plus, a trip to Mes Que will allow you to explore their well-researched list of winter cocktails. Or, there's always cheap PBR.
I had intended to include Pints and Pierogi at Marcy Casino in The 10 this week, but tickets sold out rapidly. Who knew? I guess people in Buffalo sure appreciate their beer and Polish fare.
Email Ben Tsujimoto, who thinks this Buffalo & Erie County Library mascot owl below is less-than-superb -- terrifying, actually -- at email@example.com