Commentary: Mother Nature is cruel sometimes. For example, an anticipated event like Thawfest is greeted with snow, wind and temperatures in the 20s.
[See photos from the Madd Tiki Winter Luau, a recent spring-themed event in RiverWorks]
Don't fret! The event is inside, the Sabres game will be on the 25-foot television and there will be local breweries, distilleries and wineries galore. See the full lineup here. The entertainment lineup comprises The Tommy Z Band and half of Dive House Union (we won't spoil which half, mostly because we don't know).
2) Small Press Book Fair, noon to 6 p.m. April 9, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 10 in Karpeles Manuscript Library's Porter Hall (453 Porter Ave.). Free to attend.
Commentary: The 10th annual Small Press Book Fair will be the last. Organizers Chris Fritton and Kevin Thurston are "moving in different directions, so this weekend's West Side gathering -- which welcomes these small presses from Buffalo and around the country -- should draw a crowd.
It's also probably the only place where there's a quiz on copyright law, which must be analogous to a spelling bee for academics. Read through Reuben Wolf's event primer, and stay tuned for Colin Dabkowski's longer story.
3) Gordon's 11th anniversary party, 11 a.m. to close on April 8 in Gordon's (2263 Delaware Ave.). Free to attend.
Commentary: The news that Corey Gordon was selling his bar-restaurant was met with surprise and sadness, according to the response on our social media, and while the North Buffalo pub will stay open until June or July, April 8 will mark Gordon's final anniversary party.
A strong live-music lineup, from Kevin McCarthy to Tim Britt to The Chamberlains, is a highlight of the evening, as well as the Sabres game on TV. The Gordons -- Corey and his son Greyson -- will don tuxedos for the occasion, according to the Facebook event page.
4) Buffalo Broadcasters Association's Roaring 20th anniversary celebration, 6 to 10 p.m. April 8 in the Twentieth Century Club of Buffalo (595 Delaware Ave.). Tickets are $50 for members and $60 for non-members.
Commentary: It's a milestone for the Buffalo Broadcasters Association, which regularly recognizes the quality work of the area's television and radio stations. The theme is the Roaring 20s, so if you have mob boss and flapper apparel collecting dust, then you know what to do. (Quick: how many mob bosses can you name? This is not my area of expertise.).
Dinner, gaming for charity and drinks come with the cost of admission.
Commentary: The local chapter of the American Culinary Federation puts on this annual event to showcase the talents of local chefs, brewers and winemakers, and The News' Andrew Galarneau passes along the list of vendors to be in attendance.
Taste of Culinary raises money for the Chef and Child Foundation, which fights against childhood obesity and teaches children about good nutrition.
6) "Wizard of Oz," 8 p.m. April 8; 2 and 8 p.m. April 9; and 2 and 7 p.m. April 10 in Shea's Performing Arts Center (646 Main St.). Tickets range from $30 to $75 and can be purchased here.
Commentary: OK, I'm admittedly disappointed that Ben Siegel thought the Wicked Witch of the West was "underwhelming." (You can read his review, which does have a lot of positive things to say, here. I'm glad, in his mind, the quality of the Wicked Witch of the West doesn't define the play.)
Perhaps compensating for the witch is the complexity of the Lion's character, whom Siegel calls a "half-closeted club." It sounds like Aaron Fried's performance is one of the main reasons to see this play. The play is also suitable for kids, although perfect for teenagers, Mary Friona-Celani wrote.
7) Canada's 25 percent off sale, all over that country to our north. Various prices, but cheaper than in the United States!
Commentary: That's so thoughtful of you, Canada! The struggle of the Loonie (coincidentally the name of the next film I'm producing) means that Buffalonians can flaunt the power of the American dollar (the title of my next best-selling poem) while exploring Canada on the cheap (well, cheaper).
The News' Scott Scanlon provided suggestions across several categories -- food and drink, theater and outdoor activities, for example -- that you can peruse here.
8) Watch the "Rogue One" trailer, now or later, and it's free. (That's different than Now & Later, which is a candy that costs money.)
Commentary: Chances are that, if you're a Star Wars fan, you've probably already seen the trailer a few times. From my social media timelines, the praise has been nearly unanimous. Gusto editor Toni Ruberto gets pumped up when there's Star Wars news, so check out her take here, then see what she thinks about "The Force Awakens" bonus features.
9) Snag a limited-edition Bidwell Wild, noon April 9 in Big Ditch Brewing Company (55 E. Huron St.). Only 50 bottles have been brewed, and the 16-ouncers run for $16 apiece.
Commentary: If you combine adoration for local products with the willingness to take a risk and strong craft-beer nerdiness, then you wind up with Bidwell Wild. The News contributor Kevin Wise did a fantastic job getting to the bottom of the process behind Big Ditch's creation of the one-off beer.
Here's Big Ditch co-owner Matt Kahn's quote, from Wise's piece, for what to expect: "This is a wild and sour ale, often characterized by the following terms: horsey, leathery, cheesy and acidic. This beer is not an India pale ale. It is certainly not a lager. It is a very complex beer with a number of unique flavors. It is much more like a wine than a beer.”
10) Prepare for Local Restaurant Week, begins April 11 in restaurants across the Buffalo area. Prices vary, but usually somehow relate to the year 2016 ($20.16).
Commentary: Galarneau lets you know which new restaurants are participating, and we'll have a post chock full of meals we're keen on. LRW does a nice job with its website, which is easy to navigate and clearly lays out each restaurant's specials.
If you're a locavore, you're probably already salivating over next week's lunches and dinners.
Email Ben Tsujimoto, who likes his beer leathery, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Story topics: Bidwell Wild/ Big Ditch Brewing Company/ Buffalo Broadcasters Association/ Gordon's/ Karpeles Manuscript Library/ Local Restaurant Week/ riverworks/ Rogue One/ Shea's/ Small Press Book Fair/ star wars/ Taste of Culinary/ The Wizard of Oz/ Tommy Z