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This Week in Buffalo: Loving local

It's tough to over-emphasize the importance of "local."

Supporting Buffalo businesses, events and people is absolutely crucial to the city's economy, well-being and growth. Like every week, local events are at the root of this list, with a chance to support farmers and other producers, artists, actors and restaurateurs all detailed below.

Giving back to the community not only feels like you're doing good; it leads directly to the betterment of those around you, too.

LOCAL Fest, 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 16 at Lexington Coop (1670 Hertel Ave.). No cost to attend.

Only one day this week is expected to be without substantial rain, and that's Thursday - the date for the outdoor LOCAL Fest at the Hertel Avenue location of the Lexington Coop.

The sprawling parking lot will be taken over by local vendors for a pop-up farmers market, with more than 40 different businesses participating. Scour what's fresh and new from Buffalo's legion of producers, then consider Lexi's Burger Bar for dinner.

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Paint the Town, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, May 16 at Buffalo History Museum (One Museum Court). Tickets are $50 for History Museum members, or $75 for the general public; "Patron-level" tickets, $100, include a tequila tasting.

Witness the 20th anniversary of Paint the Town, a History Museum social event that connects Buffalo's art, community and history. The History Museum isn't always a site that showcases Buffalo artwork, but the overlap is fitting here. Food for the fundraiser will be provided by Oliver's.

This Paint the Town is not to be confused with instructor-led, DIY painting events that may or may not include wine.

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Taste of Tanzania, 6 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, May 13 at Westminster Presbyterian Church (724 Delaware Ave.). Tickets range from $30 to $100.

Embrace Tanzanian culture on Monday, with authentic food - such as samosa (savory, stuffed pockets) and mandazi (East African doughnuts) - and basket raffles, featuring handcrafted items from Tanzania and even a 10-person dinner with Chef Louise Sano. Tickets include dinner, beer and wine.

The event raises money for the Kitenga Village Project, which teaches life skills to girls, ensures necessities for the poor community and spurs other improvements in the remote village in the northern tip of Tanzania.

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Ride of Silence, meet at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 15 at Front Park (121 Porter Ave.). No cost to participate.

This National Bike Month event is a somber ride to remember the cyclists who've died from collisions with motor vehicles, particularly those that did not obey the riders' rights to the road. Participants on Wednesday are asked to wear helmets, travel no more than 12 miles per hour and follow the rules of the road, while also remaining silent.

The Ride of Silence, which will complete this 7.8-mile course, will leave from Front Park at 7 p.m. Riders may join in progress.

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"Fun Home," 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 16 at Shea's 710 Theatre (710 Main St.). Tickets range from $18-$44.

In his glowing review of MusicalFare's new production, News contributor Anthony Chase explains how musical theater can, at times, communicate more effectively than speech, especially in demonstrating emotion.

"Fun Home" explores homosexual identity in great depth, through the lens of both adults and adolescents. Amid the serious thematic nature is an abundance of humor, providing balance for the play and the chance for several characters to shine in their roles.

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Gusto Vinyl Happy Hour: Deep Purple, 7 p.m. Monday, May 13 in Sportsmen's Tavern (326 Amherst St.). Cost is $7 at the door.

English rock band Deep Purple churned out studio albums at a relentless rate, releasing a remarkable seven between 1968 and '73. Gusto Vinyl Happy Hour homes in on 1972's "Machine Head," one of the discs credited with spawning the genre of heavy metal.

97 Rock's Anita West and Miers will guide a discussion on the album after a brief listening period, and then local musicians will perform their take on Deep Purple's work.

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Toutant's fourth anniversary, 5 p.m. Monday, May 13 at 437 Ellicott St.; Dobutsu first anniversary, 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 15 at 500 Seneca St., Suite 119. No cost to attend either.

It's a milestone week for Buffalo chef-owner James Roberts, who runs both New Orleans-inspired restaurant Toutant, celebrating its fourth anniversary, and seafood restaurant Dobutsu, which marks one year in business. For Toutant, menu throwbacks reappearing for the event include corn dogs and muffaletta, with $4 cocktail and beer specials, plus whiskey tastings.

At Dobutsu, Four Roses Bourbon will offer free samples and $1 pours, while select draft beers will also cost $1. A special dim sum menu will be offered, too, with each course just $1.

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Snarky Puppy, 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 14 at Town Ballroom (681 Main St.). Cost is $45 in advance, $55 at the door.

In his Soundbites column this week, News Pop Music Critic Jeff Miers briefly detailed the rise of Snarky Puppy, a musical collective from humble Texas beginnings that's developed into a household name without being defined by a genre.

While $45/$55 might be a steep cost for a Ballroom show, it's a testament to the Grammy award-winning quality of bassist-composer Michael League and his rotating cast of instrumentalists.

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Bid to Build, 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, May 16 at The Foundry (298 Northampton St.). Cost is $35 in advance.

The Foundry teaches hands-on skills to facilitate neighborhood change, vital especially in the Masten Park area where the site is located, but relevant for the city as a whole.

Thursday's event doubles as a chance to explore what the Foundry is up to, but also to raise money for its endeavors through a series of auctions. Most intriguing is a challenge involving a Barrel Wall, which contestants punch in order to win a prize.

Sculptor Sarah Fonzi and Rigidized Metals' Rick Smith will receive community awards from the Foundry, too.

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Perilously close to selling out: "Dear Evan Hansen," begins at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 14 at Shea's Buffalo Theatre (646 Main St.). Runs through May 19. Last remaining tickets run for $155.

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Continuing: Food Truck Tuesday in Larkin Square; "Passing Strange" at Ujima Theatre; Slow Roll Buffalo.

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Quick hitters:
• The Original Warehouse's first anniversary
• Noir Essentials' "Odd Man Out," from 1947
The Sea The Sea at the 9th Ward at Babeville

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5 events to look forward to this weekend

SkyRide at LaSalle Park
Full Circle Fest at 42 North
Buffalo Porchfest in Elmwood Village
Hamburg Music Festival
SpaceFest at Museum of Science

Email: btsujimoto@buffnews.com

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