1) Alternative Buffalo's Kerfuffle, gates open at noon, music begins at 1:45 p.m. June 16 at Canalside (44 Prime St.). Tickets are $35 plus fees for general admission, $50 plus fees for premium view; more details here. Ticket prices rise to $55 on the day of the show.
Commentary: Kerfuffle is beloved for several reasons: it unites indie music fans on Buffalo's waterfront, draws popular bands such as AWOLNATION, Matt and Kim, and Taking Back Sunday, and lasts for a whopping nine hours, making the festival a bargain.
2) Thin Man Summer Solstice Festival, noon to 10 p.m. June 16 at 492 Elmwood Ave. Cost is $15 for general admission and may be purchased here. Cost rises to $20 day-of. All tickets include a Thin Man pint glass and one beer fill.
Commentary: Thin Man Brewery shuts down a small section of Elmwood Avenue, between Utica and Hodge, to celebrate its second anniversary, with a massive lineup of local music featuring The CPX, The Jumpers, Radarada, dreambeaches, Humble Braggers and several others.
Food options include Lloyd Taco Truck, Thin Man fireman's-style chicken and Allen Burger Venture burgers, while the host brewery's full rotation of beers will be available both inside and out. There's a DJ-driven after-party upstairs at Thin Man, too, if concertgoers somehow can summon the stamina.
3) Buffalo Juneteenth Parade, parade begins at 11 a.m. June 16, starts at Genesee and Moselle streets, heading along Genesee to Best Street and into Martin Luther King Jr. Park, where much of the festival activity takes place. Free to watch, with plenty of food and drink for purchase between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
The entertainment area, located at Fillmore Avenue and East Parade Street, runs from 2 to 8 p.m. June 16 and 1 to 8 p.m. June 17.
Commentary: The annual Juneteenth Parade and Festival remembers the celebration that marked the end of slavery, on June 19, 1865. Buffalo began recognizing the momentous day in 1976, 43 years ago, and now the Queen City's version is the third largest in the world, according to its website.
The festival's general goal is to treasure and showcase African-American heritage through educational and cultural activities.
4) BBQ and Blues Bash, 5 to 9 p.m. June 15 at the Cobblestone District, at Illinois Street near the KeyBank Center. General admission is $25, VIP is $65 and both may be purchased in advance here. Cost includes music, beer and parking; food tickets are available for additional $2 donations.
Commentary: The title says it all; barbecue will be provided by Babz BBQ, BW's Smokin' Barrels and Jake and the Fatman BBQ, while blues performers include the Hayden Fogle Band, Freightrain and That Gateway Band.
5) Hope Chest Dragon Boat Festival, 7:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 16 on the Buffalo River. The event headquarters is at Buffalo RiverWorks (359 Ganson St.). Free to watch, and there are vendors to explore in RiverWorks. See the day's schedule here.
Commentary: Decorated boats with dragon heads, filled with 22 people - 20 paddlers, a drummer and a steer person - will race throughout the day to raise money for Hope Chest, a regional not-for-profit begun by a breast cancer survivor that emphasizes nutrition and fitness. Roughly 80 of the paddlers are breast cancer survivors, while other teams comprise police, firefighters and local businesses.
Read more in The News' Scott Scanlon's interview/feature/preview, below.
6) Discover Kenmore, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 16 at 2900 Delaware Ave., Kenmore. Free to attend.
Commentary: Delaware Avenue will be closed to traffic between LaSalle and Victoria for the Kenmore Business Association's event intended to draw attention to nearby local businesses.
More than 80 vendors - although not all hail from Kenmore - will take part, with a lawn-game tournament, children's area and live music providing the festival feel.
Commentary: Artpark presents both the Fairy House Competition (noon to 4 p.m.) and the return of the William Close & the Earth Harp Collective in tandem on Saturday, entertaining the ears and eyes of families across the area. The top three fairy houses will be recognized at 4 p.m.
Choreographer Jon Lehrer, designer Jessica Wegrzyn and stage director Kate LoConti have assembled an event that includes mini activities as follows: a dedication to Irish author James Joyce, a Caribbean cooking demonstration by chef Krista Van Wagner, a beer garden and food area, plus yoga and crafts and potion making.
8) Buffalo River Fest, 6 p.m. to midnight June 15, 11 a.m. to midnight June 16 and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 17 at Buffalo River Fest Park (249 Ohio St.). Cost to attend is free, although there's a cost to participate in the Rigidized River Fest Regatta, in either the traditional ($20/$25) or "build your own" ($30/$35) categories.
Commentary: The Valley Community Association presents a weekend chock full of events - highlighted by the creative and competitive Rigidized Regatta - but also including live music from local party bands Hit-N-Run and Breakaway, the "I Got It" carnival game, rides on the historic and remarkably red E.M. Cotter, children's activities, a beer tent and refreshments in the Tewksbury Lodge.
Sunday concludes the festival with a Father's Day fishing derby. For more on the happenings at River Fest Park, look back at the Smiles from the first Wednesday concert of the season, featuring SuperCharger.
9) Trash to Treasure, 9 a.m. at 5 p.m. June 16 at the Town of Niagara Veterans Memorial Park (7000 Lockport Road, Niagara Falls). Free to attend.
Commentary: Think of Trash to Treasure as one giant garage sale, a chance to scour the castoff goods of Town of Niagara citizens to unearth valuable items. Food trucks and live entertainment should produce a lively atmosphere on the green space of Veterans Memorial Park, also the home to the Music Mania Mondays weekly concert series.
Commentary: Support the mission of Plymouth Crossroads, which houses, feeds and educates homeless, runaway and abused young men between the ages of 16 and 20, through the sixth annual Blues Fest in West Seneca.
The music, which begins at 2:45 with the Hayden Fogle Band (for whom it's a very busy weekend!), will also star Jony James Band, the Rod Horning Project, Blues Daddios and Doug Yeomans. Plus, how many times do you get to see live music at a venue called the Chicken Coop?