Unexpectedly, I wound up watching a marathon of "Fixer-Upper" on HGTV last weekend. As a devoted viewer of "Chopped" on the Food Network, it wasn't hard to grasp the practical appeal of HGTV, even if Buffalo's buyers market isn't exactly ideal.
The Buffalo Home Show comes to town this weekend and next, with celebrities, designers and local businesses all showcasing their creativity, styles and wares.
Here's what's going on:
Buffalo Home Show, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 8 and 9, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, March 10 in Buffalo Niagara Convention Center. Tickets are $9 for adults, $3 for kids ages 6-12. The show continues March 15-17 at the same location.
The Home Show has a little of everything: Designer rooms by Ethan Allen, a farmhouse garden in the lobby through local businesses F+S Design Studio and A-1 Land Care, plus wine and beer rooms for those seeking a quick break from perusing. Check out the entire list of exhibitors, as well as the celebrity guests expected to attend. (Fans of HGTV will recognize designer Vern Yip, who's coming next weekend).
Federal government workers receive free entry on all days of the festival, a product of the recent government shutdown, while military members get in free on Fridays. Look back at Smiles from last year's Home Show.
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One of the biggest names in electronic dance music rolls to RiverWorks Sunday, as the Canadian producer is known for his stunning live performances - meshing stimulating lights with pulsating audio - and still churns out new music, including celebratory "Apex," his fourth studio production.
Excision's fans - and perhaps the genre's fans in general - embrace some crazy attire for these shows, apparent in the Smiles gallery from the artist's last visit.
The vast majority of local breweries will be represented at the NACC's annual fundraiser, with 13 food vendors - mostly from the Niagara Falls area - serving, too. A home-brewing demonstration by Niagara Tradition, whose expertise and equipment has been indirectly involved in the birth of several of Buffalo's breweries, will take place, and live music by six different artists should create a nice vibe to imbibe.
Buffalo Women's March, 3 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, March 10 at Niagara Square. Free to take part.
The Women's March of WNY has laid out its local goals in a thoughtful list, which should lend perspective for those curious about the purpose of the Sunday gathering. In short, the aims relate to representation in local government, equality in health and education, and care for the environment. The original event date, Jan. 19, was postponed due to inclement weather.
Ten short speeches by local female rights activists and organizations lead into the march, which begins at 3:50 p.m. and moves a block north on Delaware Avenue before heading a block east on West Mohawk Street. The next long stretch is south on Franklin Street before moving west on Church Street and then back up Delaware Avenue to the starting point.
Townsquare Media presents a "girls day out" in RiverWorks, with wine and food sampling, an abundance of shopping vendors from jewelers to salons and spas, a souvenir wine glass and a spring fashion show. VIP passes, for only $10 more, include two complimentary mimosas, early entrance and a gift bag.
Former teenage TV star Aaron Carter, the younger brother of former Backstreet Boys frontman Nick, hasn't faded too far since his days atop the celebrity world. Now, you won't find him on Billboard charts, and he's been open about his struggles with substance abuse following personal tragedies, but the 31-year-old has plodded onward, releasing new music - "Love," last February - his first work in 16 years.
Buffalo's The Mixtape, which reunited last fall after a long split, is listed as an opener on the bill for Evening Star.
Help raise money for Kevin Guest House - an Ellicott Street building where visiting families can stay temporarily while a loved one faces a medical crisis - by hanging out in one of Buffalo's newest event spaces, the Admiral Room in the Marin, which has come together nicely after a rocky start.
All-you-can-eat-and-drink is the allure, with Lloyd Taco, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Ru's Pierogi, Protocol and Salvatore's Italian Gardens handling the food, and Labatt, 12 Gates and Flying Bison in charge of the drinks.
St. Practice Day Bar Crawl, 12:30 to 11 p.m. Saturday, March 9 at bars throughout the Village of Williamsville. A $10 minimum donation to the Food Bank of WNY is encouraged.
This Allen Iverson-approved crawl through Williamsville is a true daylong affair, beginning at the Glen Park Tavern at 12:30 and concluding at the Irishman, whose turn begins at 9:30. Food and drink specials will be available at the participating establishments, which also include Creekview, Lloyd Taco Factory Williamsville, Milo's and Sorrentino's.
Consider this Williamsville Business Association event to be a tuneup to the St. Patrick's Day festivities that run in the City of Buffalo on March 16 and 17.
[Related: Smiles at the Winter Soup Stroll in Williamsville]
Irish-American Day, 1 to 5 p.m. March 9 in Flying Bison Brewing Co. (840 Seneca St.). Free to attend.
Spend the afternoon at Flying Bison, which intrigues through special Ru's Pierogi Irish fare (Irish Guinness lamb stew, corned beef sandwich and Reuben pierogi), music from 3 to 5 p.m. by Celtic rockers McCarthyizm and a new Irish pale ale brewed by the host.
The theme of the day - Irish heritage and how it's affected Buffalo and beyond - helps set the stage for St. Patrick's Day next Sunday.
Sold-out events: Mumford and Sons at KeyBank Center; Hozier at Shea's Buffalo; Casting Crowns at the Chapel at Crosspoint.
5 events to look forward to next week
Gusto Vinyl Happy Hour in Sportsmen's
Taste of Education in Salvatore's
Dockside anniversary party
Mental Health Association Dinner at Atrium at Rich's
Elmwood Village Association happy hour at Nine29