This weekend marks the final time to visit the Erie County Fair for its 2018 season, and the slate is littered with action-packed events, from tractor pulls to demolition derbies and more.
But since we've passed along the key details, previewed the new foods, introduced the ketchup-serving robot, snapped Smiles on opening day, reviewed the ZZ Top show and took in the scenes last Sunday, so the summer festival needs little further attention.
Commentary: Welcome HOV and Queen Bey to the Queen City (suburb) on Saturday for a long-awaited stadium show. The husband-and-wife duo dedicated its Detroit appearance earlier this week to Aretha Franklin, and with the legend's passing on Thursday, will likely do so for the Orchard Park stop. See the set list and review from Detroit, via MLive.
DJ Khaled, whose introduction to his songs rivals that of Jason DeRulo, may be a complicated case - as this Miami New Times feature unravels - but the opener will undoubtedly raise the energy level for the feature performance.
2) Griffis Sculpture Park Summer Festival, noon to 7 p.m. Aug. 19 at 6902 Mill Valley Road, East Otto. Cost is $20 in advance here, or $25 at the gate. Kids 12 years old and younger get in for free. Attendees are asked to bring a blanket or chairs.
Commentary: Alert - art that is not boring. That's the premise of Griffis Sculpture Park, which former News critic Mary Kunz Goldman described in detail in her 100+ Things series.
You might not find your way to East Otto very often - if you can find it on a map, you're a better Buffalonian than I am - but when Binghamton folk-rock band Driftwood rolls in Sunday, the summer festival lends a chance to both explore the grounds and relish live music outdoors.
3) Puerto Rican and Hispanic Day parade and festival, begins at 1 p.m. Aug. 18 in front of City Hall, with the post-parade festivities occurring in LaSalle Park (2 Porter Ave.). Free to watch the parade and enjoy the festival; food and drinks will be available for purchase.
Commentary: Join the revelry in the name of Hispanic heritage on Saturday, as a 16th annual parade begins in front of City Hall and marches up Niagara Street to LaSalle Park, the site of the annual festival packed with live music, food and vendors.
The unifying theme for Puerto Rican Day, which witnessed its biggest turnout last year, is "esperanza," Spanish for "hope." Salsa legends Domingo Quinones will provide the entertainment, while the event is presented by organizer Crystal J. Rodriguez.
4) Bark in the Park, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 19 as part of Buffalo Parks Conservancy's 150th Celebration, at Hoyt Lake in Delaware Park near Marcy Casino. Free to attend.
Commentary: Recognize the 150th anniversary since Frederick Law Olmsted came to Buffalo and (literally) changed the landscape of our city. Whether you're a regular at Delaware, Riverside or Front parks, just a few in the Olmsted Parks Conservancy system, this pup-centered event on Sunday is a standout of a busy 150 hours cherishing great green spaces.
A dog parade around Hoyt Lake, photo contest, K-9 demonstrations, free brush outs by Dog Days of Buffalo and a pet expo are the stations for Bark in the Park, which rhymes.
5) Mighty, Mighty Bosstones, 5 to 10:30 p.m. Aug. 17 at Canalside (44 Prime St.). Admission is $5 at the gate, or presale tickets may be purchased at Consumer's Beverages, where you can receive a free drink voucher.
Commentary: The Canalside concert scheduling has kept us on our toes this year, with Vanilla Ice and Ludacris veering away from the usual Thursday gigs to play Saturdays, while the Bosstones tackle the waterfront on a Friday.
No stranger to Buffalo, the Boston ska band is joined on the bill by Lowest of the Low, the Canadian rockers - fronted by Ron Hawkins - who are also well-acquainted. Rewind back to summer 2015, when the Bosstones played Canalside, for the Smiles and performance gallery.
6) North Buffalo Flashlight Walk, 7:30 to 9 p.m. Aug. 17, begins at North Park Academy's Public School 66 (780 Parkside Ave.). Free to take part.
Commentary: Unite by Night, a Buffalo non-profit startup, has invited Buffalonians to walk around the Hertel neighborhood on Friday to treasure diversity, battle racism and promote peace.
Inspired to gather together in the aftermath of the mass violence in Charlottesville, Va., last year, Unite by Night welcomes all - including dogs on leashes, strollers and wagons - to meet at Public School 66, with flashlights in tow. Meet the team of people involved in setting this up, here.
7) Take part in a Cider Week WNY event, several options to choose from through Aug. 26. Costs vary, too.
Commentary: Hard cider has begun to flow in abundance out of Western New York, and the inaugural Cider Week will prove just how far the craft industry has come.
Hosts of mini events over the 10-day span include Blackbird Cider Works, the Graycliff Estate, Embark Craft Cider Works and the Leonard Oakes Estate Winery, site of the annual (and quite popular) Steampunk Festival. See the full schedule here.
8) Scottish Festival, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Aug. 18, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 19 at Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village (3755 Tonawanda Creek Road, Amherst). Tickets cost $13 for adults, with reduced rates for seniors and BNHV members; full details here. Kids 12 years and younger get in for free. A weekend pass is available for $20.
Commentary: Perhaps Buffalo is better known for its Irish and Polish heritage as opposed to its Scottish lineage, but that shouldn't detract from this weekend's celebration. We're a melting pot, after all!
Highlights of the event include the Highland Games, presented by regional Buffalo Heavies and slated for both days in open and master-level competitions for each gender, a full schedule of live music and musical competitions, a Celtic marketplace, culturally appropriate food and drinks (go easy on the mead, please), and a guest lecture from certified tea specialist Judy Larkin (an additional $10).
9) Sugar City Flea Market, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 18 at 1239 Niagara St. Free to attend.
Commentary: The humble West Side arts organization - which hosts the popular Soul Night in Milkie's and continues to slowly raise money to back its Niagara Street location - hosts a flea market on Saturday.
Vendor spaces sold out well in advance of the event, which should be comforting in case you feared showing up to find five shady people proffering murky hand soap.
10) Kidz Bop Live, 6 p.m. Aug. 18 at Darien Lake Amphitheatre (9993 Allegheny Road, Darien). Tickets begin at $35 for individual seats, but four packs may be purchased for $33.50.
Commentary: It's a superb weekend for family events, as Kidz Bop Live - which abides by the slogan "sung by kids for kids" - is an electric dance party that will inevitably result in a nap on the ride home from Darien. Here's this year's lineup of kid stars.
If you attended the Darien 2017 visit and are concerned about a repeat, fret not - the performers, songs and choreography are entirely different.
BONUS: Crafters in the Field, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 18 and 19 at Sunflowers of Sanborn (Danielewicz Farm, 3311 Saunders Settlement Road, Sanborn). Free to attend.
Commentary: For the first time, the Danielewicz Farm has added a mini village and special events to its short time in the spotlight, thanks to the blooming of sunflower fields that have become a viral sensation as the backdrop to Instagram photos.
One of these events is a two-day arts-and-crafts gathering this weekend; more than 60 area vendors will sell their creations in the middle of the bright Sanborn fields.
BONUS 2: Cocktail City, 6 p.m. to midnight Aug. 18 at Hydraulic Hearth (716 Swan St.). Free to attend, each pairing costs money.
Commentary: Fourteen local and regional businesses - split evenly between distilleries and bar-restaurants - will take part in the annual Cocktail City in Hydraulic Hearth's beer garden.
The collaborative event matches New York-produced spirits with the bright cocktail imaginations of Buffalo bartenders and mixologists. Among the individual themes are Asian, Futuristic, Euro, Tiki, '90s, Literature and New Orleans.
*Note: Only single tickets remain for 3 Doors Down and Collective Soul at Seneca Niagara Events Center.
5 events to consider for the week ahead
*O.A.R. and Matt Nathanson at Artpark
*Pearl Street Grill and Brewery Patio Party
*Strictly Hip at Gateway Harbor
*Night Lights Music Festival in Sherman, NY
*"West Side Story" in Riviera Theatre