5:30 to 9 p.m. in the Buffalo Zoo (300 Parkside Ave.). Cost is $25 in advance here.
The Buffalo Zoo devotes an event to all things connected with the Buffalo area, from locally brewed beer and wine to 25 food trucks and 55 artisans with Buffalo-themed products.
Advance tickets include two complimentary drinks, as well as live music from XOXO and the Keith James Band. Look back at Smiles photos from the 2016 and 2017 BuffaLoveFests, then see photos of XOXO in action at Savoy.
4 to 8 p.m. in Buffalo Niagara Convention Center (153 Franklin St.). Admission is $15 in advance here. The festival continues from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Saturday tickets run for $20 in advance, while Sunday costs $15 ahead of time. Costs rise at the door.
Nickel City Con rolls once again for three days beginning Friday, when the highlight of the evening is several quality photo ops, from Lou Ferrigno (The Hulk) to Richard Dreyfuss ("Jaws") to Jon Heder ("Napoleon Dynamite").
While Hulk Hogan is the star of the show Saturday - read an interview with the wrestling hall-of-famer below - you don't have to choose just one day to hit the convention center; a three-day pass is available for $40 in advance here.
7:30 p.m. in Hamburg Palace (31 Buffalo St., Hamburg). Cost is $17 in advance here or $22 at the door.
The music of Hamburg natives including Peter Case and Gurf Morlix, will be celebrated during “Hamburg Rocks” in the Hamburg Palace Theatre.
The event features eight members of the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame with Jim Whitford, Mark Winsick, Tom Stahl, Alison Pipitone, Graham Howes and Rob Lynch (the only non-Hamburgonian) completing the bill.
[Related: See Smiles and performance shots from 2018 Hamburg Music Festival last weekend]