Commentary: One of Buffalo's most popular Halloween parties - Buffalo Rising's masquerade ball - rages again on Saturday in the historic Statler.
Five categories of costume contests, with $1,000 doled out in prizes, are part of the fun, while several rooms of entertainment - ranging from SE2 Silent Disco to electronic dance music by local DJs to a series of drag and burlesque shows - should satisfy plenty of tastes, whether you're Sassy Snape or Peppa Pig. See the full schedule here.
2) The Iron Event, 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 28 in Buffalo RiverWorks (359 Ganson St.). General admission tickets are $50 in advance here or $60 at the door. VIP passes run for $85 and allow entry one hour early and free drink samples.
Commentary: Former Buffalo chef Daniel Tracy has been mired in an unfathomably difficult situation for some time. Battling Lou Gehrig's Disease, Tracy has also spoken out against the poor treatment he believes he's received in Emerald South, a nursing home on Delaware Avenue, The News reported last weekend.
Tracy's annual fundraiser, the Iron Event, unites some of the city's top chefs in raising support for those battling ALS, the technical name for Lou Gehrig's Disease. Find the lineup of chefs here, then look back at Smiles from the 2017 and 2016 iterations.
3) Pumpkin Run 5K, registration at 12:30 p.m., race at 1:30, post-race festivities run until 4 p.m. Oct. 28 at Gateway-Longview (6350 Main St., East Amherst). For individuals, it's $25 to run the 5K and $15 for the 1.5-mile walk; more info here. Day-of registration rises to $30 for the run and $20 for the walk.
Commentary: The fundraiser for Gateway-Longview, which works with children dealing with mental health and behavioral disorders in a residential setting, is a festive run around East Amherst's Brompton Road, Sheridan Drive and Youngs Road.
Although the post-race party is dry - not everyone runs in order to drink after, apparently - beverage specials will be available for participants at nearby Deep South Taco on Transit Road. The Cheesy Chick and Loose Cannon are the two food trucks scheduled to serve at the post-race party for an additional cost.
4) Truck or Treat, 4:30 to 8 p.m. Oct. 26 in Larkin Square (745 Seneca St.). Free to attend.
Commentary: And you thought food truck season was over! Larkin Square returns the congregation of mobile eateries Friday for Halloween-themed Truck-or-Treat, with 17 food trucks slated to participate in the haunted Hydraulic District. (Hey, no one said it's not haunted).
Costumes are encouraged, and live music will be provided by Mom Said No, an alternative band from Buffalo that featured contributions from members of 10,000 Maniacs, Arkells and Psychedelic Furs on its EP. There will be beer specials for adults and trick-or-treating for kids.
5) Halloween Boo-zin' Bar Crawl, 2 to 9 p.m. Oct. 27 at bars in the Chippewa District. Cost is $24.99 for individual admission, while a four-pack runs for $86.99 and an eight-pack for $159.99; full ticket details here.
Commentary: For those who prefer their Halloween activities in the afternoon, consider this bar crawl around the Chippewa District. Registration is at VENU, at 75 W. Chippewa St., where costumed participants may snag a commemorative cup and scorecard.
The crawl proceeds to Bottoms Up, Local Kitchen and Beer Bar, 67 West and Buffalo Taphouse, which will all offer drink specials.
Commentary: With guests approaching one thousand in their two previous Halloween parties, Rise Collaborative has moved its spooky shindig to Town Ballroom for the first time.
No specific theme has been set for this year, so attendees can be as imaginative as they'd like for attire. Best costume prizes range from $100 to $400, depending on the category.
Vin DeRosa and Vitamin D will play the main stage after DJ Toneyboi warms up the crowd, while SE2 Silent Disco will invade the Leopard Lounge with 100 headphones.
7) Rave that Must Not be Named, 9 p.m. Oct. 27 in DNIPRO Ukrainian Center (562 Genesee St.). Admission is $34, with a vending pass - which does not include admission - available for an additional $20. All details here.
Commentary: Sound Solution's Rinse 716 and Badwolf Entertainment present the latest of the Halloween parties on this list, with festivities raging until 5 a.m. Oct. 28. The Harry Potter-themed gathering is subtitled "Escape from Azkaban," the fictional prison that's guarded by soul-sucking dementors. But they've got nothing on Sirius Black!
The EDM-art-performance hybrid makes the most of the cavernous Ukrainian Center, boasting a well-planned sound and light display. Food trucks will be on the scene if you need a short break from the stimuli.
8) Knox Farm Holiday Arts and Crafts, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 27 and 28 at Knox Farm State Park (437 Buffalo Road, East Aurora). Admission is $5, and kids 10 years old and younger get in for free.
Commentary: It's a little early for a holiday garden and arts show, but you can't fault Knox Farm for its preparedness. While there's no parking at Knox Farm, a free shuttle will take guests from Moog, at 7021 Seneca St., to the Knox Farm Mansion.
Local vendors will be stationed throughout the venue with seasonal gifts, crafts and more. Look back at photos, right, from the event held last November.
Commentary: Expect more events to come at the historic Wurlitzer, with this Oktoberfest - with a full gamut of authentic German foods, including Black Forest ham, sauerbraten and apple-bacon cabbage, as well as complimentary beer tastings - just the start. A cash bar will feature Woodcock Brothers Brewing, while Nik & the Nice Guys will handle the music.
The Wurlitzer was an organ factory, beginning in 1908, and once employed 3,000 people. Now, the complex is multi-use and includes Platter's Chocolates and more retail and office space.
[Photos: Inside Platter's Chocolates]
Commentary: Finish off the week by seeing USS in action. The Canadian alt-rock duo of Jason Parsons and Ashley Buchholz delivers a wild live show and has entertained area concertgoers at Canalside last year and Gratwick Park in 2015.
The band's 2017 release, "New World Alphabet," marks its most-recent material.
[Update, 11 a.m. Oct. 25 - Justin Timberlake has decided to postpone his Buffalo show to Dec. 19 due to his vocal injury].
Commentary: Heal fast, JT. The former boy-band frontman turned solo superstar was forced to postpone his Madison Square Garden show Wednesday due to "severely bruised vocal cords," leaving his Buffalo stop Sunday in limbo. Timberlake has no gigs scheduled until KeyBank Center, so he'll have a bit of time to rest an injury that typically improves in a few days.
Would fans still attend if Timberlake danced while the lyrics were supplied by an audio track? Hey, it's possible.
BONUS: Cheektowaga's Favorite Pizza Finals, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 28 at the Cheektowaga Senior Center (3349 Broadway, Cheektowaga). Free to attend, with pizza paid for by the slice. See Smiles from the first round of Cheektowaga's Favorite Pizza.
BONUS 3: Howl O'Ween Children and Pet Parade, 3 to 5 p.m. Oct. 27 at Tres Chic Pet Boutique (660 Persons St., East Aurora). Free to take part.
BONUS 4: Cretin Hop Halloween Dance, 10 p.m. Oct. 26 at Duke's Bohemian Grove Bar (253 Allen St.). No cost listed.
5 events to look forward to for next week
*Soul Patch Beggars Night Bash in Iron Works
*Monster Ball in DBGB
*The Breeders in Town Ballroom
*Galleria of Treats in Walden Galleria
*Christmas in the Country at Hamburg Fairgrounds