1) Allentown Art Festival, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 9 and 10 in Allentown, on Delaware Avenue between West Tupper and North, a portion of Allen Street between Elmwood Avenue and Franklin Street, plus a middle square that heads east of Delaware to include Franklin. Festival map can be found here; the event is free to attend.
Commentary: Here's your answer to the "What are all those people doing in Allentown and why are all these roads blocked off?" questions you might be asked this weekend.
While last weekend's Greek Fest got the festival season in motion, the Allentown Art Festival is at a much larger scale, attracting artisans from all over the country to showcase their creations to tens of thousands. The News' Colin Dabkowski presents two items expected to be trendy, including delightful mosaic glass turtles.
2) WYRK's Taste of Country, 4 p.m. gates, 6 p.m. show on June 8 at Coca-Cola Field (275 Washington St.). Tickets are $35 in advance and may be purchased here. You can find set times, via the radio station, here.
Commentary: Is Thomas Rhett in the top tier of country musicians? He might not be Zac Brown, Dierks Bentley or Jason Aldean, but his most recent album, "Life Changes," has remained in the top five of Billboard's country chart for 38 weeks, which means he's at least in the conversation.
Joining Rhett on the bill at Coca-Cola Field is Chris Janson, Scotty McCreery, Danielle Bradbery and local contest winner Kate Mallen. Look back at Smiles and artist shots from last year's Taste of Country.
3) Thunder of Niagara Air Show, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 9 and 10 at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station (10405 Lockport Road, Niagara Falls). Flying begins around 11 a.m. both days. Admission and parking are free.
Commentary: A slew of air crafts will fly over the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station on Saturday and Sunday, and the public is invited to attend for free. Among the highlights are the precision of the USAF Thunderbirds, the technology of fighter F-22 Raptor Demo and the hybrid nature of the USMC MV-22 Osprey Demo. See the featured performers here.
Sunglasses will be smart to have in tow in case it's especially bright, and there will be concessions - including alcohol - available for purchase on site.
4) Allen West Festival, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. June 9, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 10 on Allen Street between Elmwood Avenue and Wadsworth Street, then on Wadsworth Street north to Hudson Street. Free to attend.
Commentary: An alternative to the Allentown Art Festival is the separate Allen West Festival, the history of which The News' Colin Dabkowski tackled in depth this year. Surprisingly, The News' art and theater critic doesn't trace the roots to an artistic pioneer named Allen West; rather, the mini festival was intended to reduce excessive drinking.
Unquestionably his best sentence, Dabkowski writes: "The general vibe of curated funkitude for which Allen West has become known will pervade." That is comforting.
Commentary: Sophisticated and unsophisticated wine samplers will congregate on the green spaces near the Hamburg roundabout at Buffalo and Main streets on Saturday afternoon, sampling wines from throughout the region - Ten Thousand Vines, A Gust of Sun, Flight of Five, Winery of Ellicottville and more will be in attendance.
Hard ciders, meads and kombucha will also be doled out. No streets will be closed for the event.
Commentary: Unfamiliar with mixology specialists the Veiled Pearl? Check out the relatively new pop-up organization, with Danny Dispo at the helm, in its partnership with Lloyd Taco Williamsville on Sunday night.
The night's theme is uniting tiki-inspired drinks and Polynesian food, a perfect fit given Lloyd Taco chef Chris Dorsaneo's background. Tickets include three full-size cocktails, all-you-can-eat food and giveaways and door prizes.
7) Resurgence Summer Party, noon to 11 p.m. June 9 at 1250 Niagara St. Free to attend, although a commemorative Willi Becher glass is available for $10, with the first fill free and additional fills with a 50-cent discount.
Commentary: According to the Facebook event page, the pitch is simple: Beer, Games, Clams, Music. Resurgence's local brews will be augmented by the return of its strawberry IPA and lime Berliner Weisse, two summer-friendly beers, as well as a beer truck stationed in the parking lot to ease the stress on the indoor bar.
The venue's cornhole boards, life-size Jenga and giant Connect Four address the second. Steve's Clam Bar, the seasonal project of Steve Meli - usually at Salumeria Belsito - will be a special food guest, with food trucks arriving on the scene later at night.
8) DBGB Artfest, 6 p.m. until late on June 9 and 10 at 253 Allen St.
Commentary: If a few hours of moseying around the crowded streets of Delaware/Allen/Franklin are not enough to push you to covet sleep, then Duke's will help you keep the festivities moving with two all-night parties - Saturday and Sunday - with live music featuring Sonic Garden and Friends the first night, and Radarada and Buffalo Wrecking Crew on Sunday.
A complimentary clam bake soothes the stomachs of attendees on Saturday, with a pig roast pleasing on Sunday. The Allentown bar will unveil its reformatted tiki patio bar for the weekend, too.
9) East Aurora Music Fest, 2 p.m. June 9, at 20 venues in East Aurora. Music runs until roughly midnight, with the Main Street shuttle stopping at 1 a.m. Cost for a wristband, which includes shuttle use and entry in the venues, is $10 in advance at the venues listed here or $15 day-of. See the full schedule and participating bands here.
Commentary: Influenced by Alison Pipitone's dedication to the Hamburg Music Festival - see Smiles from that event - the East Aurora Music Fest presents live music at several venues in the village and beyond, with restaurants such as Elm Street Bakery, coffee shops such as Taste and bigger venues like Fireman's Field and the Ice Rink all participating.
Peek back at Smiles from the music fest last year.
Commentary: The annual 5K run or walk for Susan G. Komen of Upstate New York will take place at RiverWorks to support the collective fight against breast cancer, cherishing survivors and remembering those who've died from the disease. The mission of the Race for a Cure is to reduce deaths from the disease by half by 2026.
A breakfast for survivors will be held at 7:30 a.m. in RiverWorks, with the run/walk beginning at 10 a.m. The after party is slated for 10:30 a.m., with the awards and entertainment reaching full speed by 11:30.
BONUS: Lucky Day first anniversary party, noon to 10 p.m. June 10 at 320 Pearl St. Free to attend.
Commentary: Whiskey-focused bar-restaurant Lucky Day welcomes eaters and drinkers to celebrate one year of business on Pearl Street.
Intimate whiskey tasting groups - complimentary from 5 to 7 p.m., live music from Marigold, dreambeaches and First Ward, and a special brunch menu (reservations required, served noon to 3 p.m.) make the day special.
Created by the owners of Ballyhoo, a popular bar near KeyBank Center, Lucky Day earned a solid 7 plates from News food critic Andrew Galarneau.