A true swashbuckling weekend of events lies ahead for the Buffalo area, with a wealth of festivals - ranging from ethnic to music to art - planned.
Considering the pace of activity slows considerably on Labor Day Weekend and beyond, now is the time to grab summer's tail and hold on tight.
Commentary: One of Buffalo's most underrated outdoor music venues - granted, Buffalo isn't exactly swimming in outdoor music venues - is Silo City, which invites musicians from all over the globe to take advantage of the acoustics of the silos.
While Sunday's second annual festival may not take advantage of the wild reverb, there's still three stages for an intriguing group of diverse performers.
Local breakthrough rapper Benny the Butcher, regular Buffalo performers Miller & the Other Sinners, Intrepid Travelers, Lindsay Niccs, Vin DeRosa, Chae Hawk and many more artists will entertain during the daylong festival.
[Related: Smiles at the 2017 Beau Fleuve Music and Arts Festival]
2) Spikes for Tykes, noon to 5 p.m. Aug. 26 at Woodlawn Beach (3580 Lake Shore Road, Hamburg). Cost is $40 general admission and includes an open bar as well as food from Blasdell Pizza.
Commentary: The annual coed volleyball tournament to support Kelly for Kids hits the Hamburg sand Sunday, and Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly is expected to be in attendance at some point during the fundraiser.
Look back at Smiles from last year's Spikes for Tykes, organized by Ryan Stang, for an idea of what to expect at the event.
3) Festival of India, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Aug. 25 at Canalside (44 Prime St.). Free to attend.
Commentary: Experience a full day of Indian culture presented by the India Association of Buffalo, with Bollywood dance, yoga sessions, henna, live music, art and jewelry vendors, kids activities and more are on tap for the waterfront festival.
This year's theme is India Rising, and there's an elaborate festival trailer!
4) Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 25, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 26 on Elmwood Avenue between St. James Place and West Ferry Street. It's free to attend.
Commentary: Traipse around Elmwood this weekend to peek at more than 170 vendors, enjoy live music on four different stages and embrace the Kids Fest, which is run by local artists and educators.
As in years past, the Food Truck Alley and Cultural Row will be two of the hotter areas. Look back at Smiles from 2016 here and 2017, to the right.
5) Buffalo Irish Festival, 4 to 11 p.m. Aug. 24, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Aug. 25 and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Aug. 26 at the Outer Harbor (325 Fuhrmann Blvd.). Pre-sale general admission is $10 at Consumer's Beverages, and $8 for seniors (60+) and kids from 5-12. $15 walk-up, with $10 rates for seniors and kids.
Commentary: A celebratory jig may be in order as the Buffalo Irish Festival weekend has arrived, featuring another bounty of live music - with Seamus Kennedy, the Dady Brothers and Glengarry Bhoys all in tow - and a slew of Celtic vendors prepared to set up shop.
Three Irish dance troupes - Rince na Tiarna, Clann na Cara and InnisFree Ceili - are all on the performance schedule, too.
For those who can't say no to free, there's no charge for admission from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 24.
Commentary: Few would argue that Leonard Oakes Estate Winery's SteamPunk Festival is one of the more oddly themed gatherings of the summer.
Now a part of Cider Week WNY, the festivities weave together freak-show experts Savage Buffalo Carnival, a performance at dusk by fire-wielding Pyromancy and the presence of several SteamPunk organizations from Western New York and Canada.
One mini event to try: Parasol Dueling. It looks both fierce and elegant. The SteamPunk Festival - which is easy to forget that it's based around a hard cider - produces one of the top Smiles galleries of the year, too.
7) Ukrainian Independence Day Festival, 1 p.m. Aug. 26 at DNIPRO Ukrainian Center (562 Genesee St.). Free to attend.
Commentary: Help Buffalo's Ukrainian population celebrate the country's 27th year of independence, with dance, music, art, homemade Ukrainian desserts and food, a backyard bounce house for kids and more scheduled for the Genesee Street cultural hub (the place is cavernous).
8) NICYO Funk Fest: Jefferson Avenue Block Party, 6 to 10 p.m. Aug. 24 on Jefferson Avenue between East Utica Street and Glenwood; then 3 to 10 p.m. Aug. 25 in LaSalle Park for the Party in the Park. Both events are free to attend.
Commentary: In loving memory of Buffalo funk icon Rick James, the N.I.C.Y.O. Funk Fest is split into two lively events - a neighborhood block party, featuring four DJs, on Jefferson on Friday, then the premier outdoor party Saturday - starring Joanne "JoJo" McDuffie, James' former backing vocalist and former front of the Mary Jane Girls.
See the full music lineup for Saturday on Facebook here.
9) Northwest Jazz Festival, 5 to 10:30 p.m. Aug. 24, noon to 10:30 p.m. Aug. 25 on Center Street in Lewiston, with parking at Academy Park, three blocks from the event. It's free to attend, with the exception of $20 reserved seating for the mainstage shows, cash only.
Commentary: Bebop-swing vocalist Veronica Swift is the major name on the docket for Friday, supported as usual by the Benny Green Trio, while classical jazz pianist Elio Villafranca grips the starring role on Saturday.
Medium's interview with Swift late last year tells the story of her bebop roots, while Villafranca, a Cuban star in his own right, has put together a fantastic ensemble of jazz musicians, as the Niagara Gazette details in its preview here.
The annual festival is more than just the headlining acts, however, as the well-curated lineup touches on different branches and eras of jazz.
10) ParaHorror, 5 to 9 p.m. Aug. 24, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 25, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 26 in the Buffalo Central Terminal (495 Paderewski Dr.). Cost is $8 presale, $12 at the door, and $18 for a weekend pass. Kids ages 10 and younger get in for free.
Commentary: Beyond Ghosts' seventh annual convention again converges upon the Central Terminal, a suitable locale for the horror-themed festival.
Celebrity guests such as Tom Atkins from "Halloween III," Steve Railsback from "Helter Skelter" and David Howard Thornton - the new actor for deranged Art the Clown - will be in attendance, with vendors, speakers, ghost tours, tarot readings and the festival's first haunted house also on the agenda.
BONUS 2: Egyptian Festival, 3 to 10 p.m. Aug. 24, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Aug. 25, noon to 8 p.m. Aug. 26 at the St. Mary and St. Moses Coptic Orthodox Church (350 Wheatfield St., North Tonawanda). No cost listed.
BONUS 3: Discover 716 Bash, 4 to 11 p.m. Aug. 25 at Niawanda Park (310 Niagara St., Tonawanda). Free to attend.
*Note: The Mixtape's reunion show, slated for 6 p.m. Aug. 24 in the Rec Room, has sold out in advance.
5 events to anticipate for next week
*Boy George and Culture Club at Artpark
*Pizza and More Fest at Gratwick Park
*"Killer Klowns" for Thursday Night Terrors
*Hannibal Buress at Helium Comedy Club
*Polish Happy Hour kickoff party at St. Stan's
Story topics: beau fleuve/ Buffalo Central Terminal/ Buffalo Irish Festival/ Dnipro Ukrainian Center/ Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts/ event previews/ Jefferson Avenue/ Lewiston/ Spikes for Tykes/ steampunk cider/ The 10/ things to do