1) Jason DeRulo at the Erie County Fair, 7:30 p.m. Aug. 12 at the Gusto Grandstand of the Hamburg Fairgrounds (5600 McKinley Pkwy., Hamburg). General admission tickets are $40 and can be purchased here.
Commentary: The Erie County Fair, which runs through Aug. 20, is the marquee event of the weekend, drawing friends and families from all over the area to explore the carnival setting at the Hamburg Fairgrounds. New foods, like kettle corn ice cream and Nuttella, are a big part of the appeal.
One singular event to consider is Jason DeRulo – the recording artist who often sings his own name at the beginning of a song - on Saturday night. The Florida native sticks out through his flashy fashion – he's starting a clothing line this summer, writes OZY - and dancing ability, but he's recently embraced a country music bent, according to both TMZ and Rolling Stone.
The Fair might not be a bad testing ground for DeRulo's country dabbling. Check out Derek Gee's photos from the first night of the Fair.
2) Festival of India, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Aug. 12 at Canalside (44 Prime St.). Free to attend and open to the public.
Commentary: The India Association of Buffalo hosts an Indian Mela, which is Sanskrit for a religious fair or festival. Food and dance - classical and Bollywood - are at the heart of this cultural festival on the waterfront. A rangoli art contest is another prominent part, as the colorful, pattern-based design used to add vibrancy to walls and floors in Indian homes.
Also, if you want to visit a flash website that will make your computer lose its mind, go to the event's page.
3) Bark Bash, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 12 at Knox Farm State Park (437 Buffalo Road, East Aurora). Free to attend for you and your (well-behaved) dogs, and please keep them on a leash unless they are in the play area.
Commentary: Dogs will be the center of attention - well, when aren't they the center of attention? - on Saturday in East Aurora, where prizes for best costume and best trick will be awarded, as well as what should be a popular owner-dog lookalike contest.
The Country Comfort Inn Bark Dash - which isn't actually a race - costs an optional $10 and attracted 100 participants last year. Ninety vendors, many related to dogs in some fashion, are also slated to set up at the event.
Commentary: Expect a splash of color along the water on Friday, as orange-clad cocktail party attendees will raise money for Carly's Club at Roswell Park Cancer Institute and enjoy four hours of open bar, raffles and bites of food from local restaurants like Osteria 166, Oliver's, MTK, Tempo and several others.
There's a chance to guess the number of candies in a bowl in order to win a Mercedes-Benz, which seems like one of the most impossible tasks ever considered.
Commentary: In some ways, the Goo Goo Dolls are like the Erie County Fair - most people in Western New York are familiar with their annual visits, as well as the history and significance behind them. Perhaps they're appealing because of their consistency and their sense of Buffalo tradition.
Peek back at Tim O'Shei's feature on Goos' bassist Robby Takac, a true Buffalo philanthropist, and check out photos from their soundcheck and Smiles from the 2016 Darien Lake show (right), as well as action shots from the Goos' intimate performance in (716) Food and Sport.
Commentary: Did you know that polarizing-enigmatic-but-talented Kanye West played the University at Buffalo in 2005? I had no idea. Saturday night will be a tribute to all things Kanye - his fashion, his full catalog of music and his overall brand (I don't know exactly what that means, but it sounds Kanye-like).
WeJo 2.0 will handle the music for the dance party, which, as far as we can tell, is the first Kanye West-themed event in Buffalo.
7) Oliver Street Art Festival, noon to 5 p.m. Aug. 12 in Project 308 Gallery (308 Oliver St., North Tonawanda). Free to attend.
Commentary: Art serves as a useful medium for helping a mental illness sufferer cope with or try to understand their emotions and thoughts. Natalie Brown, founder and owner of Project 308 in North Tonawanda, has collaborated with Sandie Crocker, an art therapist with the Niagara Falls-based Community Missions of the Niagara Frontier Mental Health Art Program, for an exhibit that will be central to Saturday's fourth annual event.
There are many more elements to the street festival, too, including over 50 vendors, two food trucks (Hawaiian BBQ, Sassi Cakes), beer samples from Flying Bison, a carnival for kids, five musical performances and the presence of downtown art staple WNY Book Arts Center.
8) Cocktail City (6 p.m. Aug. 12) and Gospel Brunch (noon Aug. 13), both in Hydraulic Hearth (716 Swan St.). Cocktail City is free to attend, although you must pay for the cocktails, while the brunch is $25 for food and music.
Commentary: Five different local distillers, as well as Rochester-based newcomer Black Button, will coordinate era-specific drinks with mixologists from Vera, Buffalo Proper, Hydraulic Hearth, Lloyd Taco Factory and Billy Club, all to the melodies of Black Rock Zydeco, who will serenade the beer garden from 7 to 11 p.m.
The Gospel Brunch features an overnight T-Meadow Farm pig roast by the Black Sheep's swine magician Steve Gedra, as well as gospel music led by composer-singer Toney Rhodes, who released a jazz fusion album titled "The Buffalo Spell" in 2015.
9) Undergrounds one-year anniversary bash, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 13 at 580 South Park Ave. Free to attend.
Commentary: It's been a full year since Undergrounds opened shop in a former funeral parlor on South Park in the Old First Ward, and the owners have planned a full day of activities to recognize the milestone. A vendor fair kicks off the event from 9 a.m. to noon, while beer from OFW Brewing and Ringside will be available from noon to 6 p.m.
Live music from Southtowns Shamblers, Leroy Townes Band, Gravy and The Zack Morris Experience rounds out the experience.
10) Country Bar Crawl, 2 to 10 p.m. Aug. 12 at four downtown bars, mostly centered on Chippewa Street. General admission is $20 per person or $16 apiece for groups four or bigger. Ticket details can be found here.
Commentary: Several Chippewa District bars - Tap House, Sidelines, Local and MES Lounge - plus Pearl Street-basement bar Brawler's will offer drink and food specials during the nationally touring Country Bar Crawl event. Registration for the event will be done at Sidelines between 2 and 5 p.m.
Find the full list of specials at each bar here, and each ticket buyer will receive a 16-ounce stadium cup and a wristband for cover-free bar access.
BONUS No. 2: Taste of Lancaster, 5 to 11 p.m. Aug. 11, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Aug. 12 on Central Avenue in Lancaster between West Main Street and Broadway. Also free to attend.
BONUS No. 3: Up on Roof Barbecue and Beers, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 12 at the Broadway Market (999 Broadway). Free admission.