1) Shamrock Run, 9 a.m. day-of registration, tentative noon start time March 3 at Old First Ward Community Center (62 Republic St.). Late registration fee is $40 and may be purchased online here and picked up at the OFW by EOB Friday.
Commentary: The 40th anniversary of the pre-St. Patrick's Day race is a 5-mile jaunt through the Old First Ward, with runners donning a range of Irish apparel - from green top hats to massive green bow ties to whatever is happening on the left in the photo below.
Find the course map and last year's results at the Shamrock Run's website, then mentally prepare for post-race parties at the OFW Community Center ($10 for non-runners) as well as nearby Gene McCarthy's later in the afternoon.
Look back at the colorful Smiles photos from the race and post-race party in 2017.
2) LepreCon, 2 to 9 p.m. March 3 at 10 Chippewa District bars. Cost is $20 through March 2, then $30 at the registration site day-of, at VENU. Four-packs for $73 and 10-packs for $150 are also available at the previous link.
Commentary: Explore Chippewa bars on Saturday afternoon through LepreCon, a St. Patrick's Day-themed bar crawl to spots such as Sidelines, Taphouse, 67 West and D'Arcy McGee's.
Find something green to wear, snag the necessary crawl cup and score card from VENU, then begin the quest for the t-shirt handed out to the 1,500 finishers.
3) Opening celebration for Tony Conrad's exhibition, 5 to 7 p.m. March 2 for Albright-Knox members, 7 to 9 p.m. for the general public in Albright-Knox Art Gallery (1285 Elmwood Ave.); it's free of charge. "Surplus Affect" from 7 to 9 p.m. March 3 in the Burchfield Penney Art Center. Cost for BP event is $5.
Commentary: Tony Conrad's quote to the Guardian in 2016 was poignant in regard to his impact on the world: "You don’t know who I am," Conrad told the outlet, "but somehow, indirectly, you’ve been affected by things I did."
The News' Colin Dabkowski expanded on what the late Buffalo-born artist-composer-producer-teacher meant, below. "Introducing Tony Conrad: A Retrospective" is a collaboration between the Albright-Knox and University at Buffalo Art Gallery, and runs until late May. Tony Oursler and Branden W. Joseph will be the two speakers for the Voices in Contemporary Art conversation Friday.
Commentary: A slew of new pizza vendors will set up shop at South Buffalo Charter to raise money for Boy Scout Troop 60, including Buffalo Pizza and Ale House, LombarDough's Pizza, Leo's on Seneca and Schupper House.
Appropriately green (and impressively stylish) South Buffalo Pizza Fest t-shirts are on sale for $10 (2XL and 3XL run for $12). Peek at Smiles shots from the 2016 event, to the right.
Commentary: The 49th annual "Freezin' For a Reason" arrives Sunday at Olcott, where brave fundraisers will dip into 32-degree Lake Ontario to support a variety of sight-based organizations.
Costumes are encouraged - the weirder the better - and you never know what (or whom) you'll run into. Peek at last year's photos in the related gallery.
6) Cross the Pond, 8 p.m. March 3 in Sportsmen's Tavern (326 Amherst St.). Cost is $10 at the door.
Commentary: The Dady Brothers, Crikwater and the Brothers Blue join forces on a bill dubbed "Cross the Pond," a tribute to Irish and Appalachian music on Saturday in Sportsmen's.
The headlining duo, renowned for 22 guided tours of Ireland, has tamed the bodhran, pennywhistle, ukulele, fiddle, mandolin and harmonica over the course of a 40-year career.
This show is one of many pre-St. Patrick's Day events in the city, which was the focus of this week's Gusto cover story, below.
7) "Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope" by Paul Robeson Theatre, 8 p.m. March 2 and 3, 4 p.m. March 4. Runs March 2-25 in the African-American Cultural Center (350 Masten Ave.). Cost is $30 for general admission, $25 for seniors and $22 for students.
Commentary: If theater is on your to-do list for the weekend, this Paul Robeson Theatre production begins Friday. "Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope," a Tony nominee for Best Musical, unravels the African-American experience through song and dance, featuring 12 different singer-dancers over the course of 20 pieces. The music is wide-ranging, too, with rock, calypso and ballads all featured.
8) Resistance Dance Party, 6 to 9 p.m. March 2 in Sugar City (1239 Niagara St.). Cost is $5 per person, $10 per family or can include a donation of menstrual pads.
Commentary: Who says every fun party demands alcohol? Sugar City hosts a family-friendly dance party at its Niagara Street location on Friday while collecting menstrual pads (not tampons) for students at Buffalo Public Schools.
The mission of this event falls in line with New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo's 2018 "Women's Agenda" proposal for free hygiene products in school bathrooms.
9) El Coco - Afro-Cuban Latin Jazz, doors at 6 p.m., show at 8 on March 2 and 3 in Pausa Art House (19 Wadsworth St.). General admission is $20 at the door, with no reservations in advance.
Commentary: As you can see from the title of this event, jazz has welcomed about as many divergent influences as you can imagine. El Coco is a four-person ensemble at full strength, but regularly breaks into smaller groups for various songs.
Hansel Herrera, a guest trumpet player, adds spice for the two-night run, while Lazara Nelson, one of Pausa's founders, lends Buffalo flavor. Read more about Pausa at the link below, and wait for Smiles from the venue's five-year anniversary party, coming Friday morning.
Commentary: Help a new food truck find its feet on Saturday at its kickoff party, where paying guests will receive a chance to try the full menu, plus enjoy wine and beer included with admission.
Nashville Hot Chicken sliders, Mom's Pierogi and fried black rice are among the most enticing options - and we'll even forgive them for using the wrong "peak." Find the menu here.
BONUS) Awesome Paws Rescue, 4 to 8 p.m. March 3 in the Clarence Fire Company (10355 Main St., Clarence). Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. You can also simply purchase a barbecue chicken dinner for $10.
Commentary: Despite years of being nipped by an Australian Cattle Dog named Charlotte, I haven't lost my fondness for dogs - most notably corgis and bulldogs.
Although dogs aren't invited to this event, the money raised from the gathering - which includes barbecue, beer and wine, and raffles - will benefit the Blasdell not-for-profit organization that aims to save dogs from euthanasia.
*The Step Out Buffalo Bloody Mary Fest and the Buffalo Cupcake Challenge (Entercom) have both sold out, rendering them ineligible from this list.