1) Resurgence Brewing Oktoberfest, noon to 11:30 p.m. Sept. 16 at 1250 Niagara St. Free to attend.
Commentary: One of the best parts of fall? No, not pumpkin spice or apple cider, but stein-hoisting competitions! All those forearm squeezes can pay off.
Resurgence's Oktoberfest holds challenges for both men and women on Saturday, plus $10 steins (as you can see from the image below, they're legit) will be available with one free fill, Wayno's BBQ on-site, a beer truck and parking lot tent, plus the usual smorgasbord of games.
A word to the wise - don't try the life-sized Jenga while eating barbecue. It does not end well. (Yes, there's a Smiles gallery from last year. Prepare yourself to hear more of that line.)
2) Meatball Street Brawl, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 17 outside Osteria 166 (166 Franklin St.). A section of West Mohawk Street will be closed for the event. Cost is $15 in advance or $20 at the entrance.
Commentary: Pre-game for the Bills' push toward 2-0 with ... meatballs. The annual street party encourages creativity among a legion of talented Italian restaurants, from powerhouses like Ristorante Lombardo, Mulberry and Tempo to relative newcomers like Share, This Little Pig and Frankie Primo's +39.
Proceeds from the event benefit Meals on Wheels; check out last year's Smiles gallery to see the exuberant crowd. (Last year Sabretooth kept cutting me in line. You don't get between a ferocious tiger and meatballs, I guess.)
3) Curtain Up!, 5:30 p.m. Sept. 15 until 1 a.m. Sept. 16 in the Buffalo Theatre District - several activities are included: three-course gala dinner begins at 5:30; Greenroom Gala at EXPO Market from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., then plays open at several Buffalo theaters, followed by a street party from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Commentary: The beginning of a new season of Buffalo theater is upon us, and the addition of the Greenroom Gala - replete with open bar, appetizers, live music and the trendy setting of EXPO Market - caters to those looking for a less formal pre-show atmosphere (although the gala is a fantastic opportunity to dress up, as you can read in Mary Kunz Goldman's 100 Things entry, below, or see in last year's Smiles).
The famed free street party begins after the plays end, with revelry up and down Main Street until the early morning. Who said the theater community doesn't like to have fun?
4) Step Out Buffalo's Sunday Funday Bills Crawl, noon to 6 p.m. Sept. 17 at North Buffalo bars along Hertel Avenue. Check-in is from noon to 2:30 p.m. at North Park Theatre (1428 Hertel Ave.). Cost is $10 pre-sale here or $15 at the door.
Commentary: The next event in Step Out Buffalo's holster is a Bills-based bar crawl in North Buffalo, focused specifically on Hertel Avenue. Jeer at Cam Newton while traipsing to 11 different participating bars, all offering drink specials, at your leisure.
It's up to personal taste in terms of the best drink deals, but 50-cent wings from Wellington Pub and $1 Buffalo chicken crunch rolls from Mac's on Hertel are fair reasons to be excited.
Find more details at Step Out Buffalo's Facebook event, and then check out Smiles from another recent SOB event, to the right (to the right).
5) Tour de Farms, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 16 - rides begin from Rich Products parking lot (1212 Niagara St.). Cost varies between $35 and $60, depending on choice of ride; full options here. Registration can be done on-site, beginning at 5:30 a.m., which is early.
Commentary: GObike Buffalo's Tour de Farms can check a few boxes on your Saturday list - wake up early (day-of registration begins before dawn), and then get substantial exercise - 35 miles worth of pedaling (better than 35 miles worth of peddling) in.
Personal goals aside, the annual event emphasizes sustainable transportation and local farms, as the midway lunch stop, hosted by Bippert's Farms, and the final destination - Oles Family Farm - provide meals and a chance to explore the roots of the still-surging farm-to-table movement.
6) Niagara Falls Blues Festival, 4 to 11 p.m. Sept. 15, noon to midnight Sept. 16, 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sept. 17 at Old Falls Street in Niagara Falls, between Prospect and First streets.
Commentary: The 10th annual celebration of blues in Niagara Falls hits Old Falls Street again with a robust lineup.
While there's activity on all three days, Saturday's classic car and bike cruise - assembling at noon at Sal Maglie Stadium - and a performance by the Nighthawks enhanced by the last of the Muddy Waters Blues Band, which hasn't performed together since the Imperial Garage in 1984, might be the highlights. Find the full schedule of performers at the event's website.
7) Hamburg Brewing fourth anniversary, noon to 10 p.m. Sept. 16 at 6553 Boston State Road, Hamburg. Free to get in.
Commentary: Hamburg's outdoor space rivals Resurgence's as the best among Buffalo's breweries (from The 10's perspective, at least), and its tap room is quite cozy from the perspective of an interior design novice.
The Southtowns brewers have a lot under wraps for Saturday's festivities, including 20 different beers - one created specially for the birthday party - plus live music from The Invisible Touch (1 to 4 p.m.) and Strictly Hip (7 to 10), as well as a wide-ranging food menu.
8) Reinstein Woods Fall Festival, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 16 at 93 Honorine Dr., Depew. Free to attend, although a donation will be requested at the door.
Commentary: One of the elite family events of the weekend, Reinstein Woods in Depew opens its leafy arms to lovers of fall. Thirty exhibits from local nature organizations will give the festival a station-like feel, while pond exploration, a scavenger hunt, simulated fly fishing and a wildlife-spotting challenge add some intrigue. Find the full list of events here.
9) Outer Harbor Fall Fest, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 16 at Buffalo's Outer Harbor (225 Fuhrmann Blvd.). Free to attend.
Commentary: Slide out to Wilkeson Pointe for an early fall bonanza that includes vendors such as the Consumers Beverages Beer Garden, Tea Pups Cafe, Thistle Creek Alpacas and Barrett Brothers Kettle Corn.
Expect family activities, outdoor games and a cool view of the water while supporting the Outer Harbor organization's efforts to bring life to a key piece of land to Buffalo's revival.
10) Great Pumpkin Farm opens for the season, 10 a.m. to dusk Sept. 16 (runs weekends through Oct. 29) at 11199 Main St., Clarence. Admission is $7 for adults, and children 2 and under get in for free.
Commentary: The autumnal hub in Clarence debuts its 2017 season with Armed Forces Weekend, where veterans, police and fire department personnel and their guests get in for free.
Other perks for the first running include dinosaurs in the corn maze, a visiting ventriloquist, hayrides, the zombie train and amusement rides. Head to the Great Pumpkin Farm's breakdown of its event weekends here.
Commentary: Spend a classy Friday night in the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center, where wine and beer lovers will sip high-end drinks and raise money for the UB-based Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute, which houses a team that examines the foundations of disease from a biological and pharmaceutical perspective.
BONUS No. 2: Night of Worship, 7 to 8:30 p.m. Sept. 15 on the Great Lawn of Canalside (44 Prime St.). Free to attend.
Commentary: Epic Church hosts a rousing Christian music worship night on the lawn at Canalside, open to the public.