The summer festival season is winding down for the Buffalo area, but the coming week - Monday through Thursday - still has much to offer for things to do.
From the Erie County Fair to the stretch run of two highly-regarded theater productions, consider this mix of events when planning your week ahead. Stay tuned for The 10, which previews the top events for the weekend, that's published on Thursday morning.
6 p.m. Aug. 15 at 1110 Elmwood Ave. Free to attend, with special deals for former employees.
You wonder how much has changed at Goodbar since the Elmwood Avenue favorite opened in 1968.
It's not hard to picture the pool tables and dimly lit bar area as roughly the same over the five decades and, as News contributor Dan Almasi wrote in his bar profile last year, keeping the bar's integrity intact was one of the few demands passed on by former owner Dominic Massaro to present proprietor Bobby Rabb.
Former Goodbar employees receive their first drink free, then employee pricing on the rest of their drinks as a thank you for their services. For other regulars over the years, Wednesday is a chance to gnaw on underrated wings, appreciate the deep, diverse beer list and challenge a friend to a game of pool.
10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Aug. 13-19 at the Hamburg Fairgrounds (5600 McKinley Parkway, Hamburg). Cost is $10 general admission at the gate; advanced sales have ended.
Each day at the Fair this week is strewn with highlights: The Oak Ridge Boys, LeeRon Zydeco and Terry Buchwald are all on the music schedule for Monday, for instance, while '70s-focused newcomer Midland is the featured performer Tuesday - $20 gets you reserved seating on the track; it's also the Fair Bear's birthday, too, which is not to be missed.
Wednesday brings freestyle motocross to the Buffalo.com Grandstand, and reggae band Dreadbeats is an alluring show. The Erie County Marching Band and the Boys of Summer stand out on Thursday, leading into a wild final weekend.
7 p.m. Aug. 16 at Darien Lake Amphitheatre (9993 Allegheny Road, Darien). Tickets begin at $33.50 for individual seats, while a lawn four-pack is available for roughly $26 per ticket. Full details here.
Country fans are in for a treat if Thursday's Darien Lake show is anything like what Houston witnessed on Friday.
Clint Hale, whose name practically screams "country concert reviewer," described a 50-minute combined set from Lambert, perhaps the elite female country artist in the game right now, and the two female members of Little Big Town, Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman - after the two bands played their own individual slots.
6 to 10 p.m. Aug. 14 at Artpark (450 S. 4th St., Lewiston). General admission is $17 and may be purchased here.
In a Buffalo summer seemingly obsessed with '90s bands and the usual cast of country artists, Trombone Shorty's Voodoo Threauxdown is a welcome change of pace. The trombone, as an instrument, sticks out from the pack - even among its brass buddies, thanks to the magic of the slide (sorry, euphoniums, but your buttons are not that cool).
Troy Andrews' performance at Artpark will be focused, as the New Orleans native progresses through the timeline of the music of his home city. Expect a healthy dose of jazz, R&B and funk, which the Boston Herald relayed in a late July review, here.
Final week of Shakespeare in the Park's "Much Ado About Nothing"
7:30 p.m. Aug. 14-19 at Shakespeare Hill at Delaware Park. Free to attend, although donations are accepted.
For those who complain about the length of Shakespearean productions, fear not - "Much Ado About Nothing" sails by quickly, and the plot hinges around the challenges of relationships which, let's face it, is remarkably relatable.
News contributor Ben Siegel had "nothing" but positive feedback for the performance, praising director Kyle LoConti and cast members Kate LoConti and Melinda Capeles in particular.
7:30 p.m. Aug. 14-16 at Shea's Buffalo Theatre (646 Main St.). Production continues through Aug. 19; full schedule here. Tickets begin at $39, and there's also a Me + 3 offer - more ticket information can be found here.
News reviewer Melinda Miller dropped golden prose when she called Iago the "feathered honcho" in her glowing review of the touring Shea's production, but the well-rounded Genie (that's not a subtle fat joke, Genie), attention-grabbing pace that follows Act I and the glittery cave of treasures were appreciated, too.
5 to 8 p.m. Aug. 15 at 660 Smith St. Cost is $20 for adults and includes two Flying Bison beers, while young adults ages 14-20 can get in for $10. Children ages 13 and under get in for free. Ticket details here.
Peaceprints is a Buffalo organization with a mission to "break the cycle of incarceration," offering services to inmates and helping assimilate released prisoners back into society through community supervision programs as well as support.
Executive director Cindi McEachon has already received recognition at 2015's Women Who Move the City gathering, and her influence and energy have pushed forward this not-for-profit.
Wednesday's food truck fundraiser, to raise money for Peaceprints' new college program, welcomes Lloyd Taco Truck, Totally Edible Food Truck and Lugia's Ice Cream truck to the host's parking lot, with beer from Flying Bison and a series of games also on the agenda.
Honorable mention: UniverSoul Circus at the Outer Harbor, Food Truck Tuesday at Larkin Square, Slice O' Havens at Rusty Nickel Brewing, New Orleans Night at Live at Larkin, Kevin Farley at Helium Comedy Club.
Looking ahead: 5 weekend events to plan for
*Jay-Z and Beyonce at New Era Field
*Mighty Mighty Bosstones at Canalside
*Puerto Rico Day Parade at Niagara Square
*Griffis Sculpture Summer Fest
*North Buffalo Flashlight Walk
Story topics: Aladdin/ Artpark concerts/ Darien Lake concerts/ Erie County Fair/ event previews/ Miranda Lambert/ Mr. Goodbar/ Peaceprints/ Shakespeare in Delaware Park/ Shea's Buffalo Theatre/ things to do/ Voodoo Threauxdown