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The 10: Taste of Country, EA Music Fest, Allentown Art

1) Taste of Country, gates at 4:30 p.m., concert at 6 on June 10 at Coca-Cola Field (275 Washington St.). Tickets are $29 and can be purchased here.

Commentary: Strong lineup for WYRK's Taste of Country this year, and it's well-balanced to boot. Rascal Flatts headlines the show, while solid openers include Justin Moore, Randy Houser and Michael Ray, plus local performer Eric Van Houten.

Expect to see cowboy boots and hats, jean shorts and flannel shirts in abundance at Coca-Cola Field, with tailgating spread out across the lots surrounding the ballpark.

Browse Sharon Cantillon's shots from last year's Taste of Country, which was headlined by Billy Currington, then read Toni Ruberto's feature on Eric Van Houten.

Eric Van Houten, middle, is seen performing at Lancaster Speedway in 2016. (Don Nieman/Special to The News)


2) East Aurora Music Fest, 2 p.m. to midnight on June 10 at venues throughout East Aurora. See the participants and rough schedule here. Presale wristbands for entry into all venues run for $10, and are available at 14 different locations in town. Wristbands the day of the event run for $15.

Commentary: Spend the day in East Aurora - the village that is one of 11 in America without an open container law - and enjoy a wide range of local music, spanning from country to rock to jazz. Some recognizable performers include Tim Britt, Tom Stahl & the Dangerfields, McCarthyizm, Miller & the Other Sinners, Alison Pipitone, Busted Stuff, .22 Calibre, Ten Cent Howl and Jony James.

It's not just 42 North Brewery, Griffon Pub and Bar Bill's tent that will bustle with activity; scope out less-frequented locales like Riley St. Station, Wallenwein's, American Grille and the tent at the Roycroft.

Look back at the Smiles gallery from the 2016 East Aurora Music Festival.

Smiles at the 2016 East Aurora Music Fest. (Don Nieman/Special to The News)


3) Allentown Art Festival, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 10 and 11 along Delaware Avenue between North and West Tupper streets, as well as a short stretch of Franklin, Allen and Virginia streets. Festival map here; it's free to attend.

Commentary: Good things to expect at the Allentown Art Festival: Outstanding people-watching on both days; inspired art, crafts and jewelry (some surprisingly affordable and others righteously expensive); vendors from far and wide, including Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Michigan and Ohio; and festival-friendly food like deep-fried Oreos, shrimp kabobs and two stands with cheesecake. You can judge a festival by how many stands sell cheesecake, we're told.

Read The News' Colin Dabkowski's preview of the major annual street festival, then look back at the Smiles from last year's event.


4) Superhero Race/Walk, 6 to 10 p.m. June 9 at Delaware Park and St. George's Church. Walkers begin at 6:30 p.m., runners at 7:15. Online registration has closed, although on-site registration is accepted until 7 p.m. June 9. Cost is $35.

Commentary: Does Wonder Woman's recent rise mean she'll dominate the costumed race on Friday night? Head to Delaware Park for the 5K race or 1K walk, where you'll see casually athletic versions of Batman, Spiderman, Captain America and a whole cast of other famous characters.

Look back at the 2015 Smiles gallery from the Superhero Race, then read Scott Scanlon's Q&A with a peer specialist from Compeer for more on the event.

There's no age restriction for superheroes at the Superhero Race/Walk. (Don Nieman/Special to The News)


5) Gus Macker, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 10, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 11 at 2255 Baseline Road in Grand Island. Free to attend as a spectator; here are the brackets and participating players. Special contests open to the public cost $2.

Commentary: Basketball players of all levels and ages will invade the streets of Grand Island on Saturday and Sunday for a weekend of 3-vs.-3 games. Although the location has changed through the years, an impressive 223 teams have registered for 2017, with some stacked squads like Team Yaw (Jamestown-based), Bottoms Up (UB-based) and Catt Rez (Ace Narvaez, Lovell Smith).

Special contests, open to spectators and players, include a free-throw challenge, three-point shootout and "Little Gus" shot clock.

The Gus Macker 3-vs.-3 basketball tournament has been a summer tradition in Western New York. (James P. McCoy/Buffalo News file photo)


6) Walk/Run/Roll in Lauren's Shoes, 8:30 a.m. registration, 10 a.m. 1-mile CP Warrior Walk, 10:30 a.m. 5K on June 11 at Wilkeson Pointe in Buffalo's Outer Harbor (225 Fuhrmann Blvd.). Register online for the race until the time it starts, and day-of registration is accepted on-site.

Commentary: The race/walk raises money toward treatment for cerebral palsy; the event is inspired by 14-year-0ld Lauren Walier, a courageous CP sufferer introduced here. The 5K begins and ends at spruced-up Wilkeson Pointe, and the route explores the rest of the Outer Harbor, overlooking the water.

Participants are encouraged to wear ankle weights as they run or walk, giving competitors a taste of the discomfort experienced daily by those with CP. Read more about the Make Lemon Aide Foundation for CP here.

The latest work at Wilkeson Pointe is part of an ongoing investment in Buffalo's waterfront, which has totaled $120 million in the past nine years. (Mark Mulville/News file photo)


7) Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, 7 a.m. registration, race begins at 10 a.m. June 10 in Buffalo RiverWorks (359 Ganson St.). Day-of registration runs for $35, or can be completed online here. Fundraising is not required, but encouraged. FAQ here.

Commentary: Almost $160,000 has been raised so far by runners set to compete in the Race for the Cure, held Saturday outside RiverWorks to raise money to fight breast cancer. See the full schedule of events here; it includes a free breakfast for breast cancer survivors and post-race awards and entertainment.

Look back at the Smiles gallery from a previous Susan G. Komen fundraiser - Pink the Rink at HarborCenter.


8) Color Me Rad, 9 a.m. June 10 at Darien Lake (9993 Allegheny Road, Darien). Tickets are $55 online here through June 9, then $60 on the day of the race.

Commentary: The nationally touring fun runs where participants are sprayed with vibrantly colored powders have not slowed in popularity, as Color Me Rad returns to Darien Lake on Saturday. A free T-shirt, temporary tattoo and sunglasses are handed out to all participants, who are released in waves so the experience isn't too clustered.

All runners are entitled to free entry into the amusement park, too, in order to continue the festivities late into the afternoon.


9) Breathe Carolina, 9 p.m. June 10 at VENU (75 W. Chippewa St.). Tickets are $15 in advance and can be purchased here.

Commentary: Denver-born electronic pop-rock duo Breathe Carolina - comprising David Schmitt and Tommy Cooperman - hits VENU on Saturday for a gig, as the downtown space takes a brief respite from country shows. The duo's most recent release is a three-pronged collaboration with vocalist Kaleena Sanders and Russian producers Dropgun, entitled "Rhythm Is a Dancer."

Fans cheer as Breathe Carolina performs at Kissmas Bash in 2011. (Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News file photo)


10) Party for Prep, 6 to 8 p.m. June 9 in SoHo Burger Bar (64 W. Chippewa St.). Presale tickets are $30 and can be purchased here. The price rises to $40 at the door.

Commentary: A benefit for Buffalo Prep, a not-for-profit organization that helps scholastic achievers prepare for middle school, high school or college through summer programs and after-school enrichment classes, Party for Prep includes two hours of open bar, food, raffles and a chance to hang out on the upstairs patio of SoHo.


BONUS: Clam Jam, 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. in Resurgence Brewing (1250 Niagara St.). Free to attend.

Commentary: Put the quirky minds and creativity of Resurgence and Bootleg Bucha together, and you wind up with an all-day event like the Clam Jam, which boasts raw and steamed clams, sausage, corn and potatoes in Resurgence's beer garden, plus a specialty cocktail - the Cuke Duke - which blends Resurgence's cucumber saison with Bootleg's hibiscus lime kombucha.

Pizza specialists O.G. Wood Fire food truck will set up shop from noon to 2 p.m., with Frank Gourmet Hot Dogs taking over from 4-8.





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