1) Plantasia, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. March 22 through 24, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 25 in the Hamburg Fairgrounds (5600 McKinley Pkwy., Hamburg). Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors (60+) and free for children 12 years and younger.
Commentary: The recent sunlight has been a tease for warmer weather, and the Plantasia exhibition at the Hamburg Fairgrounds will further whet your palate for summer. This year's theme - Cityscapes into the Night - has urban flair, and the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens presents a Children's Garden for all four days.
Fourteen full gardens have been prepared at the Fairgrounds to inspire attendees' creativity, and more than 100 vendors will set up shop around the venue. Check out photos from the Plantasia Preview Night here.
2) Posh Paws, 6 to 10 p.m. March 24 in Lake Erie Italian Club (3200 South Park Ave., Lackawanna). Cost for Posh Paws is $43 here; Furball, 1 to 5 p.m. March 25 at the same venue. Furball is free to attend.
Commentary: It's animal takeover weekend at the Lake Erie Italian Club, as an opulent dog-themed event rolls Saturday and Ten Lives Club presents a free gathering, predicated on domesticated felines, on Sunday.
For Posh Paws, a ticket includes a dinner, drinks and a wine pick, while proceeds benefit HEART Animal Rescue and Adoption. Stuffed chicken breast and stuffed shells dot the dinner menu, which wraps up with an ice cream sundae bar.
For Sunday's event, Ten Lives Club will tout roughly 100 theme baskets, a 50-50, concessions and a cash bar, plus a chance to adopt cats on-site.
3) Maple Weekend, various locations throughout Western New York. Costs vary, too.
Commentary: Like their choice in wing condiments and defense of cargo shorts, Western New Yorkers take their maple syrup very seriously. While there's no intent to offend Aunt Jemima, real maple syrup - especially when made fresh - will always trump any store-bought brand.
From Corfu's Sweet Dream Maple Farm to Attica's Merle Maple Farm to Varysburg's Hidden Valley Animal Adventure to East Concord's Wendel's Maple to Warsaw's Sage Family Maple to the Buffalo-Niagara Heritage Village in Amherst, maple syrup is king this weekend. Read more about Maple Weekend from The News' Mary Kunz Goldman, who dropped by Moore's Maple Shack.
4) Pierogi for Peace, noon to 5 p.m. March 25 at Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Church (200 Como Park Blvd., Cheektowaga). There's no cover, but you have to pay for the food, which is available eat in or take out.
Commentary: Take a step out of our relatively comfortable Buffalo bubble and support the relief efforts in war-torn Ukraine, which has been bruised and battered by Russian military intervention since 2014. Sunday's fundraiser backs non-profit organization Ukrainian-American Freedom Foundation, which is said to provide direct humanitarian assistance.
Cheese and potato pierogi will be available, as well as cabbage rolls, Easter bread, sauerkraut and sausage, and cakes and cookies. Bonus points for their quirky flyer design.
5) Change MS Masquerade Ball, 6 to 11 p.m. March 24 in Salvatore's Italian Gardens, 6461 Transit Road, Depew. Cost is $125 and includes a sit-down dinner, open bar and music spun by three DJs. Ticket info here.
Commentary: Help raise money to battle multiple sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disorder that affects 2.5 million people worldwide, at this fancy dinner on Saturday in Salvatore's. Change MS is a Buffalo-based organization that provides resources for, educates and emotionally supports those dealing with MS.
Commentary: This year's Camp Good Days Gala, held downtown, is called "Festivus for the Rest of Us," themed around classic TV show "Seinfeld." The black-tie event benefits the local organization that helps children battling cancer, especially through Camp Good Days' recreation and retreat center near Keuka Lake.
Party of Nine will handle the music, while pre-dinner cocktails, an elaborate dinner, a video presentation and the chance to bid in live auctions are included in admission.
7) Battle at Buffalo, 7 to 11 p.m. March 24 in Verve Dance Studio (255 Great Arrow Ave.). Admission is $5, and it's $1 for anyone to enter a battle.
Commentary: Verve Dance Studio is remarkably inclusive, and its monthly "battles" are adrenaline-pumping evenings filled with the region's top break-dancing B-Boys and B-Girls, as well as a chance for novice dancers to throw their hats in the ring. Prizes include cash or merchandise from New Era.
8) Chilly Challenge 5K, packet pickup at 8 a.m., race begins at 10 a.m. March 25 at Canisius High School (1180 Delaware Ave.), with Mass preceding at 8:45 a.m. at the school's chapel. Cost is $28 in advance, $33 on race day. It's only $20 for registrants 19 years and younger.
Commentary: Naturally, Saturday has the lowest low temperature of the next seven days - 22 degrees - which suits an event like the Chilly Challenge well. The 5K is open to runners who didn't graduate from Canisius High School, but special recognition will be given to the top finishers among Canisius alumni and current Canisius High School students.
A post-race party featuring chili, water, pop and other snacks is slated for Kennedy Field House after the race; awards will be doled out there, too.
Commentary: Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins return to WWE Live after starring here last summer, but the biggest new name visiting KeyBank Center Sunday is John Cena, who backed New England Patriots' tight end Rob Gronkowski as a potential WWE competitor in an interview earlier this month.
Cena, a WWE free agent who can appear on both "Raw" and "Smackdown," is closing in on a record 17th WWE championship. Blog Cage-Side Seats has much more information on Cena's status.
Sunday marks one of the final WWE Live events before Wrestlemania 34, a pay-per-view event scheduled for April 8 in New Orleans.
10) Chuck Tingley's opening reception, 5 to 8 p.m. March 23 in Buffalo Arts Studio (2495 Main St. in the Tri-Main Building). Free to attend.
Commentary: Local artist Chuck Tingley's free-form, mixed media installation, dubbed "Stream," will debut Friday in the Tri-Main Building. According to Buffalo Arts Studio, Tingley's work disregards a chronological narrative from childhood to the present, instead embracing a stream of consciousness approach to the storytelling.
The featured artist teased a fort constructed out of sheets on the Facebook event page, which creates some intrigue. The opening of "Stream" will also unveil a few elements coming to TriMania 2018, slotted for April 14.
BONUS 1) Fresh Catch Poke's grand-opening party, 4 to 7 p.m. March 25 at 5933 Main St., Williamsville. There's no cost, and there are specials on bowls and drinks.
Commentary: $6 signature bowls, $3 Hawaiian beers and $5 wines are among the specials slated for Fresh Catch's official grand-opening party. The Williamsville restaurant, the first eatery predicated on poke in Western New York, has been open for roughly two months across from Williamsville South High School.
BONUS 2) Try a glitter beer from Sato Brewpub (110 Pearl St.), 4 to 7 p.m. happy hour dollar-off deal, bar-restaurant remains open until around midnight on March 23. Glitter beers are priced between $6.50 and $7.50.
Commentary: Don't worry - the plant-based glitter doesn't affect the beer's taste and it simply looks cool, especially when a glass of one of Sato's new seasonal brews is swirled in relatively bright light. Further details and an interview with brewer Andrew Hardin, below.