1) Hamburg Oktoberfest, 2 to 11 p.m. Sept. 15 in Memorial Park, at Lake and Union streets, Hamburg. Free to attend, and discount tickets (for various purchases such as food and drink at the festival) can be found here.
Commentary: Although we're still roughly three weeks from the beginning of October, the Oktoberfest event season has begun. Head to Memorial Park in Hamburg for live music by the German-American Musicians, enough sausage to make your head spin, a kids area and more tents than last year.
Find the menu for food, desserts and drinks - as well as their respective ticket prices - at the Oktoberfest Facebook page. Proceeds benefit The Kathleen Mary House, a home for women and children to escape domestic violence, as well as to fund handicap-accessible equipment to the Armor Elementary School playground.
This isn't even the final Oktoberfest blurb in this post alone, so we'll have to dig deep into our knowledge of German culture over the next month.
2) Buffalo Beer Week, opens with a gala from 5 to 9 p.m. Sept. 14 in Flying Bison Brewing Co. (840 Seneca St.). Cost is $20 at the door and includes eight, 5-ounce tastings. More than 100 events are scheduled across the 10 days - the "week" ends Sept. 23.
Commentary: Prepare your mind (and perhaps your liver, depending on the intensity of participation) for the next 10 days, as Buffalo Beer Week pays special tribute to the local sourcing of Buffalo craft beers and the explosive growth of the industry here.
The News' Scott Scanlon wrote several stories - from a special beer crafted for the week to certain local beers to sample to major events to experience to why brewers rely on the most local ingredients - as a preview for the week. He seems to like beer.
The opening gala, hosted by the Buffalo Niagara Brewers Association and Flying Bison, features 14 locally produced beers, live music from Leroy Townes and the Panfil Family Bluegrass Band, plus sustenance from Lloyd Taco Truck and Lomo Lomo Food Truck.
3) Curtain Up!, begins with a Patron's Dinner Gala at Fountain Plaza, $100, here), followed by one of 12 shows participating. A street party from 10 p.m. until late on Main Street closes out the festivities. Many more details may be found in the official press release.
Commentary: Celebrate the dawn of a new theater season with a fancy, busy evening downtown that showcases Buffalo's wealth of venues - big and small - as well as the directors, cast members, set designers and other key cogs who work tirelessly to keep the city's theater scene vibrant.
In her 100 Things post on Curtain Up!, below, former News theater critic Mary Kunz Goldman wrote this about the event:
"As you sip champagne beneath the glittering marquee of Shea's, you can't help but revel in the theater's long-ago escape from the wrecking ball. The sparkle of the neighboring theaters reminds you of the resurgence and resilience of our region."
Commentary: It's hard to pick a better lineup of Buffalo-based Americana bands than the one cooked up by Sportsmen's for its late-summer music festival along the Buffalo River.
The Steam Donkeys, McCarthyizm, Critt's Juke Joint, Tom Stahl & the Dangerfields, Copper & Gin and The Brothers Blue are all set to perform outdoors on Saturday, with food, drinks and artisans hanging out nearby. Proceeds from the festival, an initiative of the Sportsmen's Tavern, benefit the growing Americana music community in Buffalo.
See Smiles and band shots from a previous SAMF fundraiser, held earlier this year in Flying Bison.
5) Tour de Farms, 7:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 15, meets in parking lot of Rich Products (1212 Niagara St.). Urban ride participation costs $50, while the rural ride is $75. Admission to the local feast at Massachusetts Avenue Project farmhouse - the post-race party - runs for $25. Online registration has closed, but day-of registration is accepted.
Commentary: One of the beauties of the annual Tour de Farms is the chance to celebrate two things - farms, both urban and rural, as well as sustainable methods of transportation - in one outing. As usual GObike Buffalo is at the helm of this tiring-yet-inspiring event.
Choose from an urban ride and a rural ride to East Aurora, then meet back at the new MAP farmhouse - a change from the usual post-party setting at Oles Family Farm - for a party trumpeting in-season local fare. The rides include stops at various farms along the routes, with tours included.
6) Resurgence Brewing's Oktoberfest, noon to 11:30 p.m. Sept. 15 at 1250 Niagara St. Free to get in, but the official Oktoberfest stein costs $10 and includes a complimentary beer, and teams of four pay $80 total to participate in the Bier Games - more details here.
Commentary: New to Resurgence's Oktoberfest party is the Bier Games, essentially a German-inspired beer Olympics featuring challenges in stein hoisting, barrel racing, stein carrying and corn hole, with the winning four-person team earning a 10-person party in Resurgence's taproom with free food and drinks. Much, much more info here.
Last but not least, the Oktoberfest welcomes the return of Wayno's BBQ to the city, as Hamburg Farmers Market vendor and caterer Wade Starnes - known for his tantalizing brisket and pulled pork - will hold a pop-up at the Niagara Street brewery.
7) Dozynki Polish Harvest Festival, 5 to 11 p.m. Sept. 14, 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sept. 15, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 16 in Corpus Christi Church (199 Clark St.). Admission is $1 for Saturday and Sunday, or a canned good donation to the Food Bank of WNY.
Commentary: From the free Polish Happy Hour on Friday night to the anticipated Buffalo's Best Pierogi Contest at 3 p.m. Saturday - with The News' Samantha Christmann as a returning judge to help determine who deserves the Golden Rolling Pin - to four hours of live music from the Special Delivery Polka Band on Sunday, the Dozynki Polish Harvest Festival has plenty scheduled for three days in and around the Corpus Christi Church.
Interesting note: Some non-traditional pierogi entries for this year are Indian samosa, roasted beet and goat cheese, smoked duck confit with cherry demi-glace and the Mac Attack, modeled after the Big Mac.
8) Bubblefest, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 15 in Buffalo Museum of Science (1020 Humboldt Parkway). General admission to the museum is $11, with discounts for seniors, students and military members with ID, as well a children ages 2-17.
Commentary: Who doesn't like bubbles? They're fun to poke, unpredictable in their paths and they zoom around without a care in the world. The Buffalo Museum of Science puts the focus on bubbles, with bubble crafts, a techno dance party with bubbles and special performances of Bubblemania, which can be paid for in advance here.
9) Orchard Park Festival of the Arts, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 15, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 16 at Orchard Park Middle School (60 S. Lincoln Ave., Orchard Park). Free to attend; find a map of the festival here.
Commentary: Vendors in virtually every trade imaginable (except for inflatable manatees) will set up at Orchard Park Middle, with products such as chocolate, photography, quilts, candles and wide span of artwork. See the full list of vendors, coming from all across the Northeast, here.
Adopted Buffalonian Ron Hawkins, frontman of Canadian band Lowest of the Low, is slated to perform on Saturday, with Carina and the Six-String Preacher also on the docket.
10) Buffalo Comicon, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 15, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 16 at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center (153 Franklin St.). Cost for Saturday is $13 for adults, $9 for kids; for Sunday, it's $9 for adults, $7 for kids. Two-day passes and group packages are also available at the ticket page, here.
Commentary: Five thousand free comics, an elaborate cosplay contest, special guest Jeremy Palko from "The Walking Dead," an appearance by two Power Rangers and works from several local comic creators fill out the biannual Buffalo Comicon, presented by the Queen City Bookstore.
We've written at length about Buffalo's nerd culture lately, and this is yet another example of its popularity.
BONUS 2: Great Pumpkin Farm opens for fall festival, 10 a.m. until dusk daily until Oct. 31 at the Great Pumpkin Farm (11199 Main St., Clarence), with tickets for weekend days available for $8 at the gate or for a discounted rate at local Wegmans. No admission on weekdays.
BONUS 3: Walk to End Alzheimer's, 8:30 a.m. registration, 10:30 walk begins on Sept. 15 at the Outer Harbor (225 Fuhrmann Blvd.). No registration fee, but each participant is required to give a donation.
5 events to look forward to for next week
*Buffalonia 2018 at Iron Works
*Symphonic Celebration of Prince at UB CFA
*Buffalo Beer Goddesses' anniversary party at Goodbar
*Food Trucks for Fidos at Avanti Mansion
*Docs vs. Jocks at the Adam's Mark Hotel