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The Weekend in WNY: Timeless riffs and lingering ships

Fireworks across the area may have left ears ringing into Friday morning, but the colorful explosions were merely the first spark of another busy weekend ahead.

Don Felder, the former guitarist for the Eagles who was integral in the timeless riffs of "Hotel California," will rock Ellicottville with Caitlin Koch, a country singer-songwriter who embarked on a musical career in Nashville back in 2015, for the village's biggest summer event.

Tack on the fascination with the 12 Tall Ships perched at Canalside and the 11-Day Power Play hitting its stride, and the downtown area will be slammed with visitors, too.

Ellicottville Summer Music Festival, 6 p.m. Saturday, July 6 with Don Felder and Caitlin Koch; and Sunday, July 7 with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra at the Holiday Valley Resort (6557 Holiday Valley Road, Ellicottville). Tickets are $50 for Saturday and $45 for Sunday; all ticket details.

Ellicottville is best known for its must-attend fall festival, but this weekend's summer spectacular isn't too shabby, either. Felder and Koch may not share much in common, but the fact they're from two different eras and represent two different musical styles might actually attract more than deter.

Sunday invites the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra for a patriotic performance, with the "1812 Overture" and John Phillip Sousa's "Stars and Stripes Forever" among the recognizable songs.

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The Tall Ships are at Canalside, gates open at 11 a.m. July 5-7 at 44 Prime St. Cost is $20 for a passport to tour the ships, and limited tickets remain for two of the three excursion ships.

Twelve Tall Ships paraded into Canalside on the Fourth of July, ranging from sleek and elegant to the most eye-catching of them all, the Barque Picton Castle. Expect serious crowds, especially on Saturday and Sunday, to see the ships docked, with a trio zooming about for excursions (very limited seats available on the Appledore V for Sunday evening, while the Spirit of Buffalo still has a wide open schedule).

The News' Caitlin Dewey talked to a slew of people involved in the growth of the Buffalo waterfront; the quip from Bette Midler alone makes it worth reading. But from the perspective of someone who's worked on the waterfront for the past decade, the slowly-but-surely pace of development has created a colorful, dynamic and welcoming area for city-dwellers and suburban visitors alike.

[Related: Smiles at the arrival of the Tall Ships at Canalside]


Jazz at the Albright-Knox: Brendan Lanighan Sextet, 2 p.m. Sunday, July 7 at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery (1285 Elmwood Ave.). Concerts are free to attend, and parking is $3 for members, $5 for general.

A sign that summer is in full swing is the Jazz at the Albright-Knox concert series, which kicks off Sunday on the Delaware Stairs with trombonist Brendan Lanighan, who holds a degree from Eastman School of Music and is working on a master's degree at Juilliard (the musical equivalent of tackling Harvard for undergrad and Princeton for a post-grad degree).

Five other musicians join Lanighan in front of the art gallery for a sultry afternoon of jazz.


11-Day Power Play opening celebration, 5:30 to 9 p.m. Friday, July 5 at Harborcenter (100 Washington St.). Free to attend. Spectators are also welcome at any time in Harborcenter, too, through

The cancer-fighting 11-Day Power Play, in which amateur hockey players sign up in shifts to play around-the-clock for 11 days, officially returned Friday morning in Harborcenter, with an opening celebration - dedicated to 11-Day Power Play board of directors member Andrew Bouquard, who died in March - that includes games to honor the endeavor's top fundraisers, sled hockey and wings and mac-and-cheese from (716) Food & Sport for purchase.

Look back at Sean Kirst's touching story about the background of the Power Play.


Clarence HollowFest, noon to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, July 6-7, at Clarence Town Park (10405 Main St., Clarence). Free to attend, with a beer tent and $20 all-day ride bracelet.

Even after a sparkling Fourth of July at Clarence Town Park, the pace doesn't slow down, with a solid lineup of eating contests, live bands, rides, a petting zoo and daily Chiavetta's barbecue (the smell alone makes this worthwhile).

Saturday's Paula's Donut eating contest will likely impress and slightly disgust you, while Friday's music featuring Christian Kramer and the Backwoods Revival Band is followed by beloved Nerds Gone Wild on Saturday.


M&T First Friday: Collaboration, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, July 5 at Albright-Knox Art Gallery (1285 Elmwood Ave.). Free to attend.

While the seating for Chef Darian Bryan's Art of Food and Drink is sold out, First Friday programming at the Albright Knox is so well rounded that there's still much to enjoy: a jazz happy hour featuring Walter Kemp 3oh!, two options (6 and 7 p.m.) for a gallery talk on new exhibition "We the People: New Art" and a free performance by 16-member Buffalo Afrobeat Orchestra. In a previous show preview, Jeff Miers dug into what makes the mega-group special.

There's no Allentown First Fridays for July.


Amherst Garden Walk, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 6 at residential gardens throughout the Town of Amherst. Free to take part.

Explore Eggertsville, Snyder and Amherst gardens at the Amherst Garden Walk, a self-guided tour that invites the public to marvel at gorgeous residential displays. Maps are available at Arbordale's, Hi-Way Garden, Donald Spoth's Nursery, Badding Bros Garden Center, Lincoln Park, Lavocat's and Mischler's, as well as 111 Campus Drive West, Snyder.

A digital map of the seven zones has been posted on the Amherst Garden Walk Facebook page, too. The News' Susan Martin highlights three other garden walks for this weekend; see her full summer guide, too.


Handsome Jack European send-off show, doors at 8 p.m., show at 9 on Saturday, July 6 at Buffalo Iron Works (49 Illinois St.). Cost is $10 in advance, $12 day of show.

Proficient in "boogie, soul and rock 'n' roll," Handsome Jack plays a final gig in Buffalo before flying to Europe. The Lockport band, fronted by Jamison Passuite, will be accompanied by a full horn section specially for this performance, teased News contributor Mac McGuire in his "3 can't-miss shows." Fellow locals First Ward will open the Iron Works show.

Among the European shows Handsome Jack has booked is the Binic Blues Festival in Binic, France, on July 26-27.


Pentimento, doors at 6 p.m. Friday, July 5 in Town Ballroom (681 Main St.). Tickets are $25.

The Buffalo-born punk band has been eerily quiet since 2015's "I, No Longer" and an opening slot for local legends Snapcase in January 2018; not long ago, the four piece was billed as an up-and-coming act that persevered through adversity with its debut album.

The long silence ended when Pentimento announced a gig with I Can See Mountains, Post Prom and Young English for Town Ballroom. We're sure they'll have some surprise up their collective sleeves.


5 quick-hitters for this weekend

Kidz Bop at Darien Lake
Ellicottville Rodeo
Great Blue Heron Music Festival in Sherman
FC Buffalo Fan Appreciation Day vs. Rochester
Mom Said No! at Canalside boardwalk


5 events to look forward to next week

Jam in the Valley in Varysburg
Resurgence Brewing Co. opens on Chicago Street
Sugar Ray and Better Than Ezra at Artpark
Chippewa Heats Up kickoff event
Allen Street Hardware's 15th anniversary


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