Commentary: Set-to-debut Borderland has everything necessary for a big music festival: a gorgeous setting, a strong and varied lineup of live music, local art and craft vendors, and a wealth of local food and drink choices, while leaving ample room for exploration and hanging out.
The News' Francesca Bond delves into the festival's intricacies to prepare you for the weekend, highlighted by Sam Roberts Band, John Oates from legendary duo Hall & Oates, and the Revivalists.
2) Chalkfest Buffalo, noon to 6 p.m. Sept. 22 and 23 in Buffalo RiverWorks (359 Ganson St.). Free to attend.
Commentary: It would be easy to remind you how chalk invites waves of nostalgia and inspires the artist inside each of us, but that sounds a little corny. But props to RiverWorks for stepping in to save Chalkfest, held previously on the 500 block of Main Street, from demise.
The family-friendly event, with an autumn/Halloween theme for 2018, will enliven the GLF grain elevator, both outside below the zip lines and inside on the walls and floor. There's space for 100 artists, and here's a request form if interested. There's chalk art opportunities even for those who aren't seasoned professionals, too, with kids activities and a free Touch-a-Truck.
3) 'Rick and Morty' bus tour, 3 to 6 p.m. Sept. 23 outside Lockhouse Distillery (41 Columbia St.). Free to attend, although expect the venue to fill up quickly.
Commentary: The Rickmobile, a roaming collectible shop dedicated to "Rick and Morty," the adult animated sci-fi sitcom on the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim, will arrive Sunday afternoon outside Lockhouse, and the distillers have a few plans to complement the intergalactic visitors.
The Black Sheep will roll in with (less controversial) Szechuan sauce, music from "Rick and Morty" will flow from the distillery, and Lockhouse will craft cocktails related to the show. Believe it or not, cosplay is encouraged.
4) Williamsville Oktoberfest, 3 to 10 p.m. Sept. 21, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sept. 22 at Island Park in Williamsville, off Main Street. Free to attend, although there's a $5 cover at the main stage after 5 p.m. both days, plus $25 in advance, $30 day-of to participate in the Follow the Lederhosen 5K, for which registration begins at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, with the race at 11.
Commentary: Anticipate a jam-packed weekend in Island Park, beginning with a remarkably short parade from the Village Hall to the green space, and then followed by loads of live music, a German dessert and pie baking contest, the annual and exceptionally titled 5K, a beer tent, stein-hoisting competition sponsored by Sam Adams (not the former Bill, but that would be funny) and much more.
*New York Fall Beer Fest, 6 p.m. Sept. 21 at Woodcock Brothers (638 Lake St., Wilson). Cost is $3 per drink ticket, which entitles the purchaser to 5-ounce beer samples.
Commentary: The marathon of local beer events draws to a close on Sunday, but two popular annual events run Friday in the city and in Niagara County. For a taste of each event, look back at the Smiles from the 2017 Ballpark Brew Bash and last year's Fall Beer Fest.
Although it's not associated with Buffalo Beer Week, the Buffalo Zoo's Fall Zoo Brew ($20, includes one drink ticket) is another event for local beer-lovers to consider. [Update, 3 p.m. Sept. 20: Fall Zoo Brew has been rescheduled to 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Sept. 22 at 300 Parkside Ave. It was previously scheduled for Sept. 21).
Read Scott Scanlon's feature about the week dedicated to beer production, local breweries and beer sourcing, here.
6) Buffalo's Best Food Truck, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 22 at the Boulevard Mall (730 Alberta Drive, Amherst). Free to attend.
Commentary: The annual Food Bank of WNY fundraiser hits the Boulevard Mall parking lot on Saturday during lunchtime, with 15 food trucks vying for the best signature dish.
Familiar names such as Lloyd, Polish Villa and Mineo & Sapio will face stiff competition from newcomers such as Loose Cannon, Sham Halal and Big Ed's Ba Ba BBQ. See the full lineup here.
7) Oinktoberfest, 5 to 9 p.m. Sept. 21, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 22, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 23 at the Great Pumpkin Farm (11199 Main St., Clarence). Cost is $8 per person on Saturday and Sunday, while Friday is free.
Commentary: A bit of a curve ball thrown by the longest-running barbecue competition in New York State, as this year's focus is barbacoa, from which the word barbecue is derived. A popular Mexican style (with origins in Barbados) of preparing meat, the process involves marinating in herbs and spices before the meat is slow-cooked over an open flame or covered by fragrant leaves.
See how the Oinktoberfest barbecue vendors – arriving primarily from New York State – approach the task, as well as the usual Kansas City Barbecue-sanctioned challenge Saturday and a smorgasbord of challenges Sunday; find a detailed schedule here.
Friday night kicks off the weekend, with live music from Miller & the Other Sinners and a celebrity appearance from "Chopped: Grill Masters" victor Melvin Johnson.
8) Amplify 2018, 7 p.m. Sept. 22 (runs until 5 a.m. Sept. 23, which is past my bedtime) at DNIPRO Ukrainian Center (562 Genesee St.). Advance tickets run for $20 for one, $35 for two or $60 for four and may be purchased here. Day-of cost rises to $30 apiece.
Commentary: Jolt the senses at Buffalo Rage Community and Se2 Silent Disco's annual Amplify event, with fire-spinners, a meditative gong bath (!) and food trucks new to the festival this year.
Event organizers take the light and sound quality seriously, with a diverse enough cast of electronic musicians to fill three floors throughout the night.
9) Three dog-based events:
*Paws in the Park, registration at 8:30 a.m., walk begins at 10 a.m. at Beaver Island (2136 Oakfield Road, Grand Island). Cost is $35 in advance here, or $45 day-of. Proceeds benefit the SPCA Serving Erie County.
*Barks N Brews, noon to 6 p.m. Sept. 23 at Woodcock Brothers Brewing (638 Lake St., Wilson). No admission.
10) Fall Fest Meet in the Center, 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Sept. 21 at the Four Corners of Goodrich and Clarence Center, in Clarence. Free to attend.
Commentary: Celebrate community in Clarence, as this street party brings together the town's restaurants, coffee shops, merchants and other businesses to frolic on a Friday. Live music from Harvey Brice and the Unbroken is among the specific highlights, and a litany of kids activities (petting zoo and hayrides) makes it family friendly.
BONUS: Gypsy Parlor five-year anniversary, 7 p.m. Sept. 22 at 376 Grant St. Free to attend.
BONUS 2: Sponge Candy 5K, 3:30 p.m. Sept. 22 at Platter's Chocolate in the Wurlitzer Building (908 Niagara Falls Blvd., North Tonawanda). Cost is $30 and registration may be done on-site, beginning at 2 p.m. More activities are scheduled for Saturday, too; find the full Sponge Candy Fest schedule here.
BONUS 3: Lewiston Harvest and Hops Festival, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 22 and 23 in Lewiston on Center Street. Free admission.
BONUS 4: Taste of the Market, noon to 4 p.m. Sept. 22 at Broadway Market (999 Broadway). Admission is free.
BONUS 5: Country Harvest, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 22 at the Buffalo Zoo (300 Parkside Ave.). Event is included with zoo admission.
5 events to know for next week
*J. Cole at KeyBank Center
*Neko Case at Babeville
*Providence Social grand-opening party
*Neck Deep in Town Ballroom
*"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" at Shea's