Commentary: At first glance, Cupid's Undie Run is a chance to enjoy a few local craft beers before running - scantily clad and quite chilled - around downtown before warming up with a few more drinks (we recommend Thin Man's Bliss, even if you're not typically gung-ho about IPAs).
But, at its heart, the national touring event raises money to battle neurofibromatosis - a disease in which tumors proliferate around the body - and it's a 501(c)(3), which means that it's not just a national scam artist (looking at you, Color Run!). Look back at Smiles from last year's Cupid's Undie Run.
2) Black Business Bazaar, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 10 in Pratt-Willert Community Center (422 Pratt St.). Free to attend.
Commentary: The Pratt-Willert Community Center will bustle with 35 vendors from black-owned businesses, which will feature products ranging from health and beauty to kids' apparel to Valentine's Day gifts. Five different performers will supply the music, while a farmers market and raffle - for which a 75" TV is the grand prize - are also on tap.
3) "Waitress," 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8, 8 p.m. Feb. 9, 2 and 8 p.m. Feb. 10 and 2 and 7 p.m. Feb. 11 in Shea's Performing Arts Center (646 Main St.). Ticket prices range from $37 to $72 and may be purchased here.
Commentary: If you're thinking, "Bah humbug, another go-through-the-motions musical rendition of a movie," you'd be wrong. In his three-star review of the Shea's play, The News' Colin Dabkowski praises "Waitress" for its innate charm (despite an illicit love affair with a gynecologist, which is probably not charming to anyone).
The power of Sara Bareilles' songwriting is one of the stars of this production, as is Desi Oakley, who plays the role of protagonist Jenna.
4) WEDI Winterfest, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Feb. 9 in the Atrium at Rich's (1 Robert Rich Way). Tickets are $60 general admission and $100 for VIP, which includes an open-bar wristband and commemorative WEDI glass.
Commentary: Westminster Economic Development Initiative (WEDI), a broad-scoped West Side organization committed to "empowering Buffalo's economically disadvantaged" as well as operating the restaurant and small-business incubator the West Side Bazaar, will mark a decade of Winterfests with Friday night's gathering at the Atrium at Rich's.
A buffet from the bazaar's ethnically rich vendors, live music from Kelly Bucheger and a Sabres-heavy live auction are among the highlights.
Commentary: A tribute band is different than a cover band in that the former takes extra steps in its emulation. That might include how the performers dress on stage, the meticulous musical detail in their renditions or even the way they look.
Badfish: A Tribute to Sublime plays Buffalo typically twice a year, often to a sold-out crowd. There's no doubt that punk fans miss the attitude and talent of late lead singer Bradley Nowell, even though Sublime With Rome - which boasts original members - still exists. Look back at a previous Smiles gallery from the 2017 Badfish show.
6) Sugar City Soul Night, 10 p.m. Feb. 9 in Milkie's on Elmwood (522 Elmwood Ave.). Cost is $5 at the door, and it's 21+.
Commentary: The no-frills lively - and sweaty - dance party will rage to a Valentine's Day theme: "Shake Your Hips and Meet Some Lips." DJs include Handsome Dan, Hausfly, Reazon and Steve Soulson, and the money raised benefits Sugar City, based at 1239 Niagara St., which hosts live music, art exhibitions, community events and more. Peek back at previous Sugar City Soul Night Smiles galleries here and here.
Commentary: The fact that Black Label Society sold out Town Ballroom (see the Smiles) earlier this week is a good omen for the popularity of In This Moment and P.O.D., two other metal bands that grace the bill in Niagara Falls on Saturday.
Sure, performing the night after a sold-out Marilyn Manson in Rapids might not be ideal, but the audiences are different. In This Moment hasn't appeared in the area since 2015.
8) Bob Marley Birthday Celebration, 9 p.m. Feb. 10 in Nietzsche's (248 Allen St.). Cost is $8 at the door, and it's a 21+ event.
Commentary: Allentown music venue Nietzsche's is closing in on two decades of celebrating Bob Marley's birthday, as the king of reggae would have turned 73 on Feb. 6 - the devout Rastafarian died of melanoma in 1981.
Musical acts for the party are the Dreadbeats, featuring Tom Fenton, at 9 p.m., followed by Neville Francis and the Riddim Posse at 11. Relax to an evening of reggae and remember the impact Marley had on the musical landscape.
9) Labatt Blue Pond Hockey Tournament begins, 4 to 11 p.m. Feb. 11 in Buffalo RiverWorks (359 Ganson St.). Free to attend for spectators, plus plenty of additional activities. Tournament then resumes Feb. 15 to 18. Complete schedule may be found here.
Commentary: Spread across five days for the first time ever, the Labatt Blue Pond Hockey Tournament will begin Sunday in RiverWorks before resuming in earnest Feb. 15.
Teams in the novice and intermediate divisions will start their one-day competition at 4 p.m. Sunday - that schedule can be found here - while a battle of the bands, Burning Buffalo sculpture, the usual food and drink amenities at RiverWorks and a Ninja Warrior skills competition are among the peripheral activities.
10) NYBP Mardi Gras party, 8:30 p.m. Feb. 10 in New York Beer Project (6933 S. Transit Road, Lockport). No charge, but attendees are asked to bring cat or dog food, either wet or dry, to donate to the Niagara County SPCA.
Commentary: The Lockport-based brewery gets a jump on Mardi Gras with a Saturday night party overflowing with beads, live music from the Nickel City Pimp Choir and Hurricanes - sweet, rum-based cocktails popular in New Orleans. The NYBP parking lot always seems like it's packed to the brim, and don't expect Saturday night to be any different.
BONUS: Goodbar's Bang Bang After Brunch Brunch, 2 p.m. Feb. 11 in Mr. Goodbar (1110 Elmwood Ave.). Cost is $20, and tickets are limited.
Commentary: If you - like me - feel left out of those pairing dinners that exceed $80 and involve miniature bites of caviar, Goodbar's late brunch on Sunday is a refreshing twist.
After the first course of a beermosa - that's a pairing in different way, I suppose - the ensuing foods include a Ru's Cajun stout barbecue pulled pork pierogi (yes, a lot going on there), mini corn dogs, garlic Parmesan wings and an ice cream sandwich, while the beers are from Community Beer Works: Frank, The Whale, the Amazing Larry, Beer Is For Closers espresso milk stout.