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The 10: Festival of Lights, Christmas Party XII, CPX-Mas

1) Festival of Lights, 5 to 9 p.m. entry (buildings open until 10) on Dec. 23 at the Hamburg Fairgrounds (5600 McKinley Pkwy., Hamburg). Cost is $25 per carload.

Commentary: It's the final night of the Festival of Lights, one more chance to relish the seasonal spirit of the Hamburg Fairgrounds. Photographer Don Nieman snapped photos of the action on Wednesday, and his Smiles gallery should give you a prime idea of what to expect.

Attendees also get to check out the finished products of the Great Lakes International Ice Carving Competition, which are spectacularly intricate (and kind of fearsome).


2) Christmas Party XII, 10 p.m. Dec. 25 until 4 a.m. Dec. 26 in Pearl Street Grill & Brewery (76 Pearl St.). Tickets are $20 for general admission and $25 for VIP, and they can be purchased here. Two complimentary drinks and access to a special Silent Disco area included in VIP.

Commentary: Annually filling the void for things to do on Christmas night, MNM Presents returns its EDM-focused gathering at Pearl Street, where nearly 20 DJs span five floors.

Familiar names like Big Basha, Paul Kuenzi, DJ 3P0 and Mario Bee are on the bill, while the VIP Silent Disco room is spun off purely vinyl. Check out the Smiles gallery from last year's party.

Smiling faces at Christmas Party XI, held at Pearl Street in 2015. (Chuck Alaimo/Special to The News)


3) CPX-Mas Show, 7 p.m. Dec. 23 in Mohawk Place (47 E. Mohawk St.). Tickets are $10 at the door.

Commentary: Local country-punk band The CPX, a five-piece fronted by Andrew J. Reimers, headlines a night of five bands, including Agent Me, Son of the Sun, Rooftops and Last Conservative.

Proceeds from the show benefit Planned Parenthood of WNY. Read more about CPX-Mas and Christmas Party XII over in Mac McGuire's "3 Shows Not to Miss."


4) Christmas Eve Farmers and Artisans Market, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 24 in Horsefeathers (346 Connecticut St.). Free to attend.

Commentary: On the hunt for stocking-stuffers? Horsefeathers' Winter Market has reeled in an attractive lineup of vendors for the day before Christmas, with Butter Block, Blue Table Chocolates, Barrel + Brine, Nickel City Cheese & Mercantile, Public Espresso and more selling goods. Look back at the Smiles gallery from Horsefeathers' first Winter Market of the season.

Lait Cru Brasserie, which moved in to replace Martin Cooks, crafts quite the breakfast sandwich, writes Step Out Buffalo. The News' Andrew Galarneau wrote a Starters on Lait Cru here.

Smiling faces at the Nov. 5 Horsefeathers Winter Market. (Chuck Alaimo/Special to The News)


5) Festivus at Hydraulic Hearth, 8:30 p.m. Dec. 23 in Hydraulic Hearth (716 Swan St.). Free to attend.

Commentary: Last weekend's Festivus party in Colter Bay should give you an idea what to expect, but Hydraulic Hearth throws its party on the actual alt-holiday, as determined by Seinfeld. Although a trivia competition built around the show has already sold out, there's still room for contenders in the Elaine Dance-Off, plus the necessary aluminum pole.

We're looking forward to the airing of grievances, but also the Snapple punch. Prizes will be awarded for the best Seinfeld costumes, and DJ Cutler and Shane & Tone will be on hand to perform.

[Photos: Browse shots from Bagels & Brooze, a weekly event at Hydraulic Hearth]


6) More Than Me acoustic show, doors at 8 p.m., show at 9 on Dec. 23 in Mr. Goodbar (1110 Elmwood Ave.). Cost is $5 at the door.

Commentary: Performing as The Doyle Brothers in New York City, Ryan Jacob and Todd Doyle are still known better as More Than Me in Buffalo after their Hard Rock success in 2010.

They've recently earned the role as resident band at Prohibition, a swanky bar in the upper west side of Manhattan, but they've returned home for the holidays for a gig at Elmwood Avenue haunt Mr. Goodbar.

[Look back at when Jeff Miers wrote about The Doyle Brothers in 2014]


7) Pasion holiday party, 7 p.m. Dec. 23 at 153 Elmwood Ave. Free to attend.

Commentary: If you have a soft spot for the Allentown Cuban restaurant, Friday night is a smart time to show your love. $25 pitchers of margaritas, mojitos and sangria, plus $30 pitchers of holiday punch, are the drink specials, while appetizers will be half price until 7 p.m. All beers are $4. Music will be provided by Sol y Sombra (formerly the Latin Jazz Project) from 7 to 10 p.m. before DJ Kage finishes the night off.

Pasion hired a new chef from Cuba and revamped its menu in August, as Andrew Galarneau reported in his Restaurant Notes.

A look at the bar area for Pasion on Elmwood Avenue. (via Pasion)


8) Ryan Stang's 14th annual Xmas Bash, 9 p.m. Dec. 23 in VENU (75 W. Chippewa St.). Ticket prices are $40 at the door, includes four hours of open bar and food from Blasdell Pizza.

Commentary: Stang, who also hosts Spikes for Tykes at Woodlawn Beach each summer, will throw his annual holiday party at VENU, formerly Lux, on Chippewa. Live music, open bar, two floors of entertainment and complimentary coozies are the main draws, while a portion of the proceeds will support Meredith Latour's battle with cancer.


9) Eric Van Houten's Home for Christmas, 8 p.m. Dec. 23 in Ebenezer Ale House (4348 Seneca St., West Seneca). Free to attend.

Commentary: West Seneca native Eric Van Houten has pursued his country music career in Nashville, Tenn., but he's back home for an intimate gig inside Ebenezer Ale House. Van Houten's name might ring a bell from when he opened for Chase Rice this summer at the Lancaster Speedway - see photos from that show here.

West Seneca native and country artist Eric Van Houten performs before Chase Rice at the Lancaster Speedway. (Don Nieman/Special to The News)


10) "Picasso: The Artist and His Models," 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in half-hour windows on Dec. 23, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Dec. 24, closed Dec. 25 and 26. Cost is $18 for adults, $12 for college students and seniors, and tickets can be purchased here.

Commentary: So, maybe you need a nudge to check out Picasso. (I'm not entirely sure why you would, since Pabs is in the discussion for the GOAT of artists). But, if you do need persuading, The News' Colin Dabkowski shot video as Albright-Knox Art Gallery director Janne Siren gave an informative tour of the exhibit, which you can see here. Let that whet your palate for an in-person visit.

Email Ben Tsujimoto, who probably committed art blasphemy by shortening Pablo to Pabs, at

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