1) Taste of Diversity, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. June 30 on Grant Street between Lafayette and Auburn. Free to attend, with food for purchase.
Commentary: A wealth of ethnic food purveyors - such as Abyssinia Ethiopian of the West Side Bazaar and Kenmore's La Divina Mexican Store - will star at this annual event on Grant Street, which trumpets the diverse cultures and influences that make up Buffalo's West Side. Dance, live music and vendors will entertain along the main thoroughfare; expect a buzzing, lively neighborhood.
At roughly the same time, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., the Burmese Water Festival will run just down the road, at the intersection of Grant Street and Breckenridge. The Karibu News' Kyaw Wunna wrote at length about the festival, specifically the significance of water in Burmese culture and the unifying aspect of the gathering.
Commentary: R&B fans will converge upon Canalside on Saturday for a music festival starring the duets of Eric Benet and Faith Evans. Supporting the headliners are Ginuwine, Next, 702 and Lil Mo'. Known for breakout hit "Pony" back in 1996 (!), Ginuwine was recently back in the spotlight for signing with Buchwald, a talent agency that covers several branches of entertainment.
Grammy-winning Evans joins forces with Benet, who's popped up in the news regularly for his commentary on hip-hop feuds and tweets on the political climate.
3) DJ Pauly D, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. July 1 at Sunset Bay Beach Club (1028 South Shore Drive, Irving). Limited tickets remain, specifically the general admission plus sunglasses, a beach backpack and a t-shirt for $50 here.
Commentary: Maybe it's his wealth, stardom and extreme tan, but "Jersey Shore" star Pauly D draws attention - even as a DJ. His afternoon birthday show at Sunset Bay Beach Club is close to a sell-out, with only merchandise packages, coupled with general admission, still available.
Look back at Pauly D's last visit to Buffalo, at downtown club VENU, last October.
4) Miss New York Pageant, 7 p.m. June 28-30, with the first two nights as preliminary rounds before the finale on Saturday, at Shea's Buffalo Theatre (646 Main St.). Tickets are $40 plus fees for each of the first two nights or $65 for the finale; purchase options here.
Commentary: The three-day competition is one of the last in the nation to feature the swimsuit and evening gown segments of the challenge, a controversial move that's saddened last year's Miss New York winner, Gabrielle Walter. The original group of 24 contestants will be narrowed down to 11 by the final day, from which one will be chosen at the conclusion of the night.
Proceeds from the event benefit the Empire State Educational Scholarship Fund, a not-for-profit initiative that supports young women in their academic endeavors.
[Related: Tim O'Shei's profile on Gabrielle Walter, 2017 Miss New York winner]
5) Ellicottville Summer Music Festival, gates open at 6 p.m. for all three nights, June 29-July 1. Costs for night one range between $30-$75, while tickets for Saturday and Sunday are $50 apiece. Purchase details here.
Commentary: Take in nostalgic jams all weekend at the first fairway of Holiday Valley's Black Diamond Course, as the Ellicottville Summer Music Festival kicks off with a show featuring Uprooted, a solo project of Rusted Root's Michael Glabicki, follows Saturday with Dennis DeYoung and the Music of Styx, and wraps up with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and a scintillating fireworks display.
Preceding DeYoung's set on Saturday, a "surprise regional band" will play one song each from the headlining groups over the festival's 20 years, offering a chance to cherish the musicians who've helped grow the annual event.
6) HollowFest, noon to 11 p.m. June 29 through July 1 in Clarence Town Park (10405 Main St., Clarence). Free to attend.
Commentary: Clarence Town Park will glow with a carnival-like atmosphere all weekend, with special events such as kid-focused Touch-A-Truck (Saturday), a hot-dog eating contest with a $250 prize (Sunday) and live music from Nerds Gone Wild (Friday), Hit-N-Run (Saturday) and Cock Robin (Sunday), with fireworks concluding the fair. Don't miss the spacious beer tent, too.
Commentary: Veteran singer-songwriter James Taylor has plenty of personal gravitas - even if he spends far too much time thinking about Carolina - but tack on Bonnie Raitt, who just returned to the stage after a health-related absence for the tour's first leg, and it vaults Sunday's show into the must-see category.
Roughly 50 tickets remain, and you'll pay a pretty price, but the Green Bay Press Gazette's review of the duo suggests the Buffalo show will be a sparkling, lively affair - and maybe we'll get the two duets by the headliners during the encore, too.
Commentary: Miami-native house music phenom Borgeous released new music, in the form of a five-track extended play called "Dear Me," last month, continuing a rapid rise up the electronic dance music ranks.
He can credit wise cross-genre collaborations - like one with Dirty Heads' Jared Watson on his most recent EP, but also Wiz Khalifa, Waka Flocka, Lil Jon, Lights and Ciara - for mushrooming his popularity, but the now-Los Angeles-based musician can pull off a live show, too.
9) Fireworks at Seneca Niagara Casino, 9:40 p.m. July 1 outside 310 4th St., Niagara Falls. Free to watch; chairs are encouraged.
Commentary: Independence Day celebrations keep starting earlier and earlier it seems, and that's not shocking considering the holiday falls midweek this year. Take a lawn chair over to Seneca Niagara on Sunday night for a rousing fireworks display.
Here are the Smiles taken before last year's colorful explosions.
Commentary: Amherst-based A Purr-fect Fit Animal Rescue and Adoption Center will host a fundraiser on Saturday at Resurgence, with admission included two drinks, snacks and raffle tickets. The event, held in the brewery's beer garden, is dog-friendly. Our guess is that you probably won't need the fire pit.