1) Labatt Blue Pond Hockey Tournament, 1:30 to 10 p.m. Feb. 19, 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Feb. 20, and 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Feb. 21 in Buffalo RiverWorks (359 Ganson St.) Free to attend to spectate.
Commentary: The more I think about it, the more RiverWorks seems to be a perfect location for the pond hockey tournament, an event that suffered from Mother Nature's cruelty (read: unseasonably warm temperatures) for several years.
At RiverWorks, though, there's more control over the quality of the playing surface -- a fact not overlooked by the 144 teams across 12 divisions -- plus heaps of space for other activities for spectators or players between games.
This year, there's a massive ice couch in front of the Labatt silos, human bowling (which is more harmless than it sounds) and an appearance by the beloved Labatt Blue Bear. We try to get him to stop by The Buffalo News, but apparently his schedule is awfully busy.
Commentary: The Cure vs. Smiths English rock rivalry is comparable to Duke vs. North Carolina, Michigan vs. Ohio State, Yankees vs. Red Sox and other bitter adversaries that I can't think of right now.
But, fans of both can coexist in one place -- Iron Works -- on Saturday, as tracks from both bands are played back-to-back in a free-spirited dance party. Check out the photo gallery from last year.
3) Flying Bison Chili Fest, 1 to 5 p.m. Feb. 20 in Flying Bison Brewing Co. (840 Seneca St.) Free to attend, but tasting tickets are required to sample each chili.
Commentary: Chili contests can be rather fickle. Should you go spicy to please the judges? What about weaving in a potentially difference-making ingredient like chocolate, beer or cantaloupe? (Just kidding about the cantaloupe).
Details to enter your own chili can be found here, but if you'd rather just judge others' concoctions, your money will go to benefit WINGS of Hope, based out of Orchard Park.
Chili-themed beats will be provided by Tui Osborne.
4) Rainbow Skate, 5 to 10 p.m. Feb. 19 at the Ice at Canalside (44 Prime St.) $6 admission, $4 skate rental, $15 per person for four-person curling team (maximum 10 people), $12 per 30 minutes to ride the ice bike.
Commentary: The Ice at Canalside will beam with color on Friday night, as the LGBT community and its supporters will hang out on the waterfront and partake in curling, skating and ice biking, as well as enjoying music from DJ Charles Masters. Local celebrities and food trucks will also be on the scene to round out the event.
5) Buffalo Winter Cup, 10 a.m. Feb. 20 in Delaware Park (near the Buffalo Zoo entrance.) Free to attend and watch.
Commentary: Soccer in the snow? The Buffalo Soccer Council will host its annual Winter Cup on Saturday, as the 4 vs. 4 challenge will test the footing and the fortitude of its competitors. Despite fierce competition, this quintet of players -- Brandon Loncar, Eric Brodfuehrer, Joe Conjerti, Cody Rouse, Steve Galante and Zack Wood -- won at Front Park in 2015 after losing in the championship in 2014.
Commentary: The Facebook event preview piqued our interest with the mention of a "sinister interactive mystery" to solve, but the fundraiser supports Emerging Leaders in the Arts Buffalo (ELAB) and weaves together all sorts of visual wonders like dance, burlesque, acrobats, feathers and fire.
I was able to check out the Ukrainian Center for the first time a few weeks ago, and it's a cultural treasure (which feels like you've been transported back in time to Eastern Europe).
7) The Sadies, 9 p.m. Feb. 19 in Buffalo Iron Works (49 Illinois St.) Tickets are $18 at the door.
Commentary: From Michael Farrell's interview with The Sadies drummer Mike Belitsky, we learned that the Canadian band is well renowned for its live shows, as well as a strong finishing line about a shared commitment.
"Not many bands stay together as long as we have, and I’m sure there are a lot of people who have left Buffalo. But the ones who've stayed would appreciate our commitment to what we do," Belitsky told Farrell.
8) "Totems for a Flattened Now" by Nando Alvarez-Perez, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Feb. 19, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 20, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 21 in Flux Gallery (in CEPA Gallery) (617 Main St.). Admission is free.
Commentary: Alvarez-Perez's exhibition tinkers with the past, present and future, and his artistic representations through photography. News contributor Conor Moynihan reviewed the CEPA display, and this may have been his best line:
"Alvarez-Perez’s installations are truly ecosystems — to borrow the artist’s term — of images, pattern and color. Just as you grow comfortable making sense of a photograph of a Venus among lilies and mirrors, you move on to the next work of an out-of-focus image of a woman regarding a painting. Alvarez-Perez’s work is a set of parts in continual operation, and always at play."
9) Visit EXPO, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Feb. 19, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Feb. 20 at 617 Main St. Various prices by stand.
Commentary: A collection of trendy local businesses have set up shop inside the Market Arcade: GBGB by Gypsy Parlor and Duke's Bohemian Grove Bar, Sun Roll by Sun Restaurant Buffalo, Bobby Alfman's gourmet sandwiches, Mercato by Osteria 166, as well as Newbury Street and Crush Juicery.
Andrew Galarneau paid a visit to EXPO's soft opening, and he talked to a few of the restaurateurs and snapped some photos.
Commentary: A sign that EDM is alive and well in Buffalo? Excision quickly sold out his Buffalo show slated for Monday night, and tickets are moving for the weekend show as well.
[See photos from Excision's sold-out show in Buffalo in May 2015]
The dubstep phenom's live show delivers a whopping 150,000 watts of sound, which conjures word like "pulsating."
Email Ben Tsujimoto, who's running out of clever things to write, at firstname.lastname@example.org