It's a competitive event weekend in Buffalo, with several worthy entries vying for your attendance.
You could make the case that's true for every weekend, but with four quality events already (OK, long ago) sold-out -- Beerology in the Museum of Science, Step Out Buffalo's Bloody Mary Fest in Shea's, the WNY ADDY Awards and Brunching with Benefits at Epic Restaurant -- and these ensuing 10 also on the agenda, you'll have some tough choices to make.
On to The 10:
1) Wine About Winter and WNY Winter Brewfest, two sessions: 1 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. March 5 in the Niagara Falls Conference and Event Center (101 Old Falls St., Niagara Falls). Tickets are $25 in advance or $35 at the door for Wine About Winter, and there are further ticket-buying choices like group packages, designated driver and more. Brewfest tickets are $35 in advance and $45 at the door.
Commentary: The traveling beer and wine fests are united for the first time, appealing to all but the area's hard liquor lovers. If you're curious about the participating wineries and breweries, you can click on those respective words, and here's a perk: Since the festival's organizers aren't from around Buffalo, the vendors are a little more varied than usual local beer events. Not better or worse -- just different.
[See Matt Weinberg's photos from the 2015 WNY Winter Brewfest]
Commentary: News contributor Kris Kielich asked Ian Axel and Chad King, the duo in A Great Big World, what the major message was from the band's most recent album, "When the Morning Comes." "Let love in," replied King, while Axel responded, "We’re all in this thing together, and music is a reminder of that."
While the overplaying of "Say Something" made me want to bore even more holes in my head, Axel and King sound like talented musicians with a positive message, and you could argue that there just aren't enough of those in pop music.
3) Allentown First Fridays, 6 to 9 p.m. March 4 at three galleries in Allentown: Buen Vivir (148 Elmwood Ave.), Starlight Studio & Art Gallery (340 Delaware Ave.) and Queen City Gallery (617 Main St. in Market Arcade).
Commentary: One of the attractive aspects of First Fridays is that if you aren't a fan of the art at one gallery, it's only a short jaunt to check out the wares of another local artist (or artists). A two-part exhibition on climate change will debut at Buen Vivir, with Ashley Powell, who sparked controversy with the "black only" and "white only" signs at the University at Buffalo, showcasing her work.
For what it's worth, Emma Repp, whose exhibition goes on display at the Queen City Gallery, might have the most amusing description of her work:
"These pieces are about taking what could induce the need to escape and just building something beautiful right on top of it. Mostly, they just happened. They are made digitally from handmade elements I scan and collage together, usually while listening to Nicki Minaj. I want them to feel like the pop song you listen to while eating ice cream after a man on the street made fun of your shoes."--------------------
Commentary: Utah has brought us traffic lights, the predecessor to the television, Stockton and Malone, and now The Moth & The Flame (and presumably other things, but I have a word count here.) A favorite of Alternative Buffalo 107.7's playlist, the four-piece released its "Young and Unafraid" EP and appears to be on the rise, writes Mac McGuire.
5) KOPPS with Humble Braggers and Lesionread, 8 p.m. March 4 in Mohawk Place (47 E. Mohawk St.). Cover is $6 cash.
Commentary: Three very different area bands are on the Friday bill in The 'Hawk (I feel oddly trendy calling it that), as Kopps -- experimental dance musicians from Rochester -- joins Buffalo groups Humble Braggers and Lesionread. Read deeper on Humble Braggers and Lesionread, courtesy of Mac McGuire.
6) The Art of Beer, 6 to 9 p.m. March 4 in Niagara Arts & Cultural Center (1201 Pine Ave., Niagara Falls). Admission is $35 at the door.
Commentary: Dedicated to preserve cultural heritage and further the Niagara Falls arts community, the NACC hosts its annual bubbly fundraiser on Friday night, welcoming breweries and beers like NY Beer Project, Community Beer Works, Woodcock Brothers, Resurgence and more. Cider, food, coffee and dessert vendors will be on hand, too.
7) Dixie’s "Never Wear a Tube Top While Riding a Mechanical Bull," 8 p.m. March 4; 4 and 8 p.m. March 5; and 2 and 6 p.m. March 6 in Shea's Smith Theatre (600 Main St.). Tickets range between $20 and $25 and can be purchased here.
Commentary: It's very tough to explain Dixie Longate and her antics in 100 words, especially when I'm wasting 20 or so in this brilliant teaser. But, what you should do is read Ben Siegel's 3.5-star review, which will make you laugh and also inform you. You know, the two things that I generally fail at (but strive for valiantly!). Even though I don't have experience with it, the title seems wise.
8) Buffalo Home Show, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. March 4 and 5; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. March 6 in Buffalo Niagara Convention Center (153 Franklin St.). Tickets are $11 general admission, $8 if purchased online, $3 for children ages 6 to 12 and free for children 5 and under. Event also runs next weekend, too.
Commentary: The Home Show is a convenient event if you're looking to spruce up your home or just interested in learning options to do so. For those curious about vendors, there's a handy keyword and category search page here, and details on special guests like George Oliphant are here. Personally, I'm intrigued by the "Woodland Landscape in the Lobby," as well as the Friday night Craft Beer Corner.
9) Lake Effect Furies season opener (doubleheader with Sirens), 2 p.m. March 6 in Buffalo RiverWorks (359 Ganson St.). General admission is $15 total for both bouts, although reduced prices are available for kids, seniors and military.
Commentary: The number of Queen City Roller Girls house teams may have shrunk, but the organization's travel team has not slowed down. The Lake Effect Furies and the brand-new "B" team, the Subzero Sirens, will kick off their 2016 campaign with a double-header against Rochester in RiverWorks. Here are the rosters for the Furies and the Sirens -- you may recognize, or at least chuckle at, some of the names.
Commentary: The Buffalo 716ers will deliver a tribute to the memory of Bradley D'Oyley, the former Buffalo State College basketball player who died in February from a mysterious illness. Take in a rivalry game that boasts a Buffalo organization working feverishly to bring professional hoops back. Read Lou Michel's piece on D'Oyley.
Email Ben Tsujimoto at email@example.com
Story topics: A Great Big World/ Allentown First Fridays/ beer events/ Buffalo 716ers/ Buffalo events/ Buffalo Winter Brewfest/ concert previews/ Home Show/ Humble Braggers/ Kopps/ Lake Effect Furies/ Lesionread/ Niagara Arts and Cultural Center/ QCRG/ Queen City Gallery/ Queen City Roller Girls/ Shea’s Smith Theatre/ The 10/ The Art of Beer/ Wine About Winter