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The 10: Buffalo's Biggest Halloween Bash, Local Restaurant Week, 'Big Fish'

An impressive number of Buffalo-area events has already sold out this week, with Johnny Marr, Hospice Harvest Fest Ruby Gala, the Hallowine Murder Mystery on the Niagara Wine Trail and all three Goo Goo Dolls shows filled to the brim.

Don't fear, though, or just fear a little because it's the Halloween season. There's plenty to do this weekend in the Buffalo area.

1) Shredd & Ragan Buffalo's Biggest Halloween Bash, 6 p.m. to midnight Oct. 19 in Buffalo RiverWorks (359 Ganson St.). Admission is $20 here.

Commentary: The first major bash of the Halloween season comes from Shredd & Ragan, hosts of the morning show on 103.3 The Edge FM, with the annual Buffalo's Biggest Halloween Bash. The event benefits Variety, the Children's Charity of Buffalo.

Nerds Gone Wild, who thrilled and spooked attendees last year, is back on the bill, with newcomers Last Call - a haunting name in itself - joining the entertainment. The grand-prize winner for best costume will be awarded $2,000, while the best superhero attire will net $500. Drinks and food will be available for purchase, too.

[Photos: Smiles at the 2017 Shredd & Ragan Halloween bash]

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2) Local Restaurant Week, through Oct. 21 in restaurants throughout the Buffalo area. Costs for meals range from $20.18 to $50.18.

Commentary: Local Restaurant Week rolls along, with Buffalo restaurant workers trying dutifully to keep up with increased demand and a special menu. They deserve an extra nap, plus patience and kindness from customers.

From our 10 dish suggestions to Francesca Bond's detailed "what to know" guide, savor the final days of Local Restaurant Week for 2018 before it returns in April of next year.

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3) "Big Fish" at Second Generation Theatre, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 18, 8 p.m. Oct. 19, 2 and 8 p.m. Oct. 20, 2 p.m. Oct. 21 at Shea's Smith Theatre (658 Main St.). Tickets are $30 and may be purchased here.

Commentary: News contributing reviewer Anthony Chase knows a four-star play when he sees one, and he saw one at Second Generation Theatre's takeover of Shea's Smith Theatre.

Opportunity for a better visual delivery of Daniel Wallace's novel, "Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions," came after the failure of the Broadway adaptation in just three months, Chase wrote in his review, below, and the reviewer credits Second Generation with illuminating qualities of "playful imagination, simplicity and love."

The story of a complicated relationship between father and son will be relatable to many, too.

Anthony Chase: With big-hearted 'Big Fish,' Second Generation takes a major leap forward

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4) Family Promise Choctoberfest, 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 20 in Resurgence Brewing (1250 Niagara St.). Cost is $26 in advance here, price rises to $30 at the door.

Commentary: Head over to Niagara Street for the second annual Choctoberfest, a fundraiser for Family Promise WNY, a local branch of a national organization that provides temporary emergency shelter and support for families facing homelessness.

Admission includes one drink from Resurgence, all-you-can-eat chocolate, hors d'oeuvres, and a basket auction and raffles, for which you can see some of the items here.

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5) Science After Hours, 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 19 at Buffalo Museum of Science (1020 Humboldt Parkway). Tickets are $16 and may be purchased here.

Commentary: Not to simply rehash everything coworker Bond features, but the Museum of Science's Science After Hours series proves adults can enjoy the same concepts that kids adore at the museum, just with a more adult-y twist.

Electrical demonstrations, live dissections of cow eyes and an activity featuring spooky natural phenomena are all on the docket for this Halloween-themed iteration.

We're still getting over the fact that Stuffy the American Bison, who becomes more impressive after each booth stop at the annual Beerology, is not actually stuffed; browse Derek Gee's A Closer Look gallery if you're perplexed by this startling info.

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6) Park Edge Sweet Shoppe's 70th birthday party, 5 to 8 p.m. Oct. 19 at 325 Abbott Road. Free to attend.

Commentary: Known for its highly touted sponge candy, Park Edge Sweet Shoppe in South Buffalo celebrates 70 years in business with a Friday night party. The Cheesy Chick food truck will serve between 5 and 6 p.m., with make-your-own s'mores and a raffle for $800 worth of chocolate, delivered monthly over eight months, among the perks.

Proceeds from the raffle, for which tickets are only $1, benefit the Babcock Boys & Girls Club, located just two miles away.

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7) Hippo Campus, doors at 7 p.m. Oct. 21 in Town Ballroom (681 Main St.). Tickets are $20 in advance here.

Commentary: Minnesota indie rockers Hippo Campus have played virtually every major music festival, from Bonnaroo to Lollapalooza to Red Rocks to South by Southwest. The five-piece just released "Bambi," the group's second studio album, less than a month ago, so fans can relish some of the new music live before most other markets.

Check out Billboard's extensive interview with the band, here, to learn about the personal nature of the new disc, connections to the #MeToo movement and much more.

There's no truth to the rumor that Lady Cerebellum is opening for the show.

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8) Haunted Happy Hour, 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 19 at Iron Island Museum (998 E. Lovejoy St.). Tickets are $30 and may be purchased here.

Commentary: October is the month when the Iron Island Museum thrives, with last weekend's Haunted Food Truck Rodeo setting the stage for Friday's happy hour.

Maybe it's just the power of the human imagination - or our tendency to blow things out of proportion - but haunted tours of the grounds, psychic readings for a small additional fee, an open bar with wine and beer, and bites of food are among the myriad reasons to check out Friday's happy hour, which runs again Oct. 26.

Advance purchase of tickets entitles the guest to a commemorative glass, too.

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9) Handsome Jack album release party, doors at 8 p.m., show at 9 on Oct. 20 in Buffalo Iron Works (49 Illinois St.). Cost is $10 in advance here or $12 at the door.

Commentary: Fall seems to be the season of new music in Buffalo. Rock-soul-blues band Handsome Jack, hailing from Lockport, will debut "Everything's Gonna Be Alright," which doubles as Alive Natural Sound Records' 200th album release as a label.

Two of the founding members of Handsome Jack, Jamison Passuite and Joey Verdonselli, have remained with the group through its 15 years of existence.

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10) Crawl-O-Ween in East Aurora for Buffalo Autism Project, 2 p.m. Oct. 20 at several participating bars. Cost is $15 here to participate, increases to $20 day-of.

Commentary: Support the Buffalo Autism Project, a committed resource for those battling autism and for those who desire information regarding the disorder. And when "support" means participating in a bar crawl through East Aurora - with 13 participating venues - it's pretty enticing.

Each of the participating bars will offer drink specials, and prizes will be awarded for best Halloween costume. Fewer than 10 tickets remained as of 10:30 a.m. Thursday.

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Bonus: Autumn Boo-nanza, 1 to 3 p.m. Oct. 20 at Lakeview Village Shoppes (5955 Ontario St., Olcott). Free to attend, although pre-registration for pumpkin painting is required by emailing lakeviewvillageshoppes@gmail.com.

Bonus 2: Apple Festival 2018, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 20 at Clarence United Methodist Church (10205 Greiner Road, Clarence). No cost to attend.

Bonus 3: Ballyhoo fourth anniversary party, 5 p.m. Oct. 21 at 211 South Park Ave. Free to attend.

Bonus 4: BPO's Symphonic Spooktacular, 2:30 p.m. Oct. 21 at Kleinhans Music Hall (3 Symphony Circle). Prices range from $14-$24 and are available here.

Bonus 5: BlackBird Cider Hall Buffalo opening weekend, Oct. 19-21 at 155 Chandler St. Free to attend.

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5 events to look forward to next week

*Dan Tower fundraiser in CBW taproom
*A Toast to Literacy at Resurgence
*Enchanted Evening at Buffalo History Museum
*Oktoberfest at Local Grille
*Cupcakes and Cocktails at the Alley Cat

Email: btsujimoto@buffnews.com

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