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This Week in Buffalo: Canal Fest, Vanessa Williams, Wines in the Wild

If you've enjoyed The 10, Gusto's weekly series previewing many of the area's top events each weekend, as a resource for things to do in Buffalo, then this new series will fill in the gaps for weekday happenings.

While Rockin' at the Knox, featuring Beck, sold out long before Monday's gig, there's plenty more on tap for a busy summer week in the Queen City.

Canal Fest of the Tonawandas

Runs through July 22 on Sweeney and Webster streets in Tonawanda and North Tonawanda, along the Erie Canal. Free to attend.

Straddle the boundary between the Tonawandas during this annual weeklong festival, replete with a carnival atmosphere, an abundance of food and games, and a chance to hang out along the peaceful Erie Canal.

Among the daily highlights for the weekdays is a tug-of-war between city officials from Tonawanda and North Tonawanda (Monday), the Canal Fest Parade on Tuesday, an elaborate car cruise on Wednesday and a four-mile Tim Frank Memorial run on Thursday. See the full schedule here.


Vanessa Williams with the BPO

Doors at 7 p.m., show begins at 8 July 19 at Artpark (450 S. 4th St., Lewiston). Tickets range from $12 for lawn passes to $67; full details here.

Expect a beautiful blend of sound as pop star-actress Vanessa Williams sings alongside the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, led by conductor Stefan Sanders for the evening, at the venue's Mainstage Theater, separate from the amphitheater that hosts the Tuesday and Wednesday shows. Read an interview with Williams, by Tim O'Shei, before the show, then look below at Williams' connections to WNY.

A Hollywood wedding with a Buffalo spin


Tedeschi Trucks Band

Doors at 6 p.m. July 17 at Artpark (450 S. 4th St., Lewiston). Tickets are $19 and may be purchased here.

A favorite of News pop music critic Jeff Miers, Tedeschi Trucks Band is no stranger to Western New York, but it's actually been two full years since Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi swooped into the area.

Here's Miers' take on Tedeschi, written in early 2017: "The heart of that organism is Tedeschi, one of the most soulful singers you'll hear on any stage in the present day, and a tasteful, incisive guitarist in her own right."


Wines in the Wild

6 to 9 p.m. July 18 at the Buffalo Zoo (300 Parkside Ave.). Cost is $45 and tickets may be purchased here.

This summer Buffalo Zoo fundraiser centers on wine and beer tastings while also serving as an opportunity to showcase and financially support the animals who've starred in the Zoo's tremendous social media accounts, both on Facebook and Instagram.

Wines in the Wild traditionally sells out, but tickets remain available a few days ahead of the event date.


Botanics and Brews

6 to 9 p.m. July 19 at the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens (2655 South Park Ave.). Tickets are $40 and may be purchased here.

After their two corpse flowers opened, released their foul stench and closed shortly thereafter, the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens rolls forward with its next fundraiser, Botanics and Brews.

Craft beer tastings from Try-It, music from JJ Swing, food supplied by Oliver's and raffle opportunities stick out at this annual party.


Kenny Wayne Shepherd at Canalside Live

5 to 10:30 p.m. July 19 at 44 Prime St. Cost is $5 general admission, while VIP tickets have sold out.

Heralded blues guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd is next up for Canalside Live. Australia's Beat Magazine lists Shepherd, a 41-year-old from Louisiana, among the elite all-time performers in his genre, which include Muddy Waters, Stevie Ray Vaughan, B.B. King and Eric Clapton.

According to Mixdown Mag, Shepherd is already recording a ninth studio album after releasing "Lay It on Down" last year, marking a serious run of production.

[Related: Read about the beer tent operation at Canalside]


Plate Expectations: The Supper Bowl XV

5:30 to 8:30 p.m. July 18 at ADPRO Sports Training Center (1 Bills Drive, Orchard Park). Cost is $60 in advance or $100 for VIP passes; complete ticket details here.

Meals on Wheels' largest fundraiser heads to One Bills Drive on Wednesday, offering food and beverage samples, games of chance, auctions and raffles, as well as a swath of football-focused games, such as on-field throwing and kicking contests.



7:30 p.m. July 16 at KeyBank Center. Prices range from $15-$65; details here.

Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins lead the World Wrestling Entertainment crew into Buffalo on Monday night, a few months after Roman fell to Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania, while Seth Rollins took down both Finn Balor and Miz to claim the Intercontinental Championship.


716 Patio Day

6 to 11 p.m. July 16 at Hydraulic Hearth (716 Swan St.). Free to attend.

To celebrate 716 Day - representative of Buffalo's area code and the numerical form of July 16 - Hydraulic Hearth will fittingly sell pizza and wings, while cocktail specialists The Veiled Pearl will roll out three special cocktails served out of hollowed-out pineapples - including one called the Buffalo Grog (three-rum blend, lime, honey and grapefruit).

Live music begins at 8 p.m. with surf-garage rock from local musicians/Buffalo Proper cohorts Jon Karel and Zack Mikida.


Morning Dew at Response Festival

6 to 10 p.m. July 17-19 in the Adam Mickiewicz Library (612 Fillmore Ave.), with more expanded hours over the weekend. Cost is $15 per person, and participants enter the experience two at a time at 15-minute intervals.

Torn Space Theater happily pushes the boundaries of art, and this intimate approach to futuristic reality, both physical and virtual, is worth exploring over the next week. The story line is a love story set before, during and after nuclear annihilation.

FLATSITTER handles the virtual reality aspect, with David Mitchell tackles the physical. Shawn E. Lewis and Brianna Battista perform accompanying music.

Teaser: Five Things for the Weekend
- Hamburg BurgerFest
- Lady Antebellum
- Buffalo Brunch Festival
- Poland Independence Gala
- Ronnie from "Jersey Shore" visits


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