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This Week: Summer heats up Buffalo's event schedule

Why does Buffalo's summer stampede by so quickly? It's likely because there's so much more scheduled during the week, in addition to jam-packed weekends, that the whole concept of time becomes a blur.

Though June, July and August can feel frenetic, Buffalonians understand how crucial it is to take advantage of warm temperatures.

The Tall Ships and Fourth of July holiday captured the area's attention at the end of last week, and while there's no mega-event this week to match that excitement, there are legitimate reasons to go out every night of the week.

Jam in the Valley begins, 3 to 11 p.m. Thursday, July 11 in Varysburg (1629 US 20A). Costs vary for one day or all three days - Thursday's general admission runs for just $27.50; the country music festival runs through Saturday night. Here's the ticket info, as well as a new campsite map for 2019.

The first day of Jam in the Valley, the popular camping-trip-meets-country-festival, arrives Thursday, the three-day event's most affordable ticket that still features live country music for roughly eight hours.

Ashley McBryde is the headliner, with local artist Jillian Eliza slated as the opener. Austin Jenckes, Eric Chesser and Axton Landing are all on the bill, which will build momentum for weekend stars Easton Corbin and Brothers Osborne; here's the full lineup. Look back at last year's Smiles for the party-heavy country weekend.

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Sugar Ray, Better Than Ezra, 6 to 10 p.m. Tuesday, July 9 at Artpark (450 S. 4th St., Lewiston). General admission lawn costs $22, while GA bowl seats cost $43; full details.

Think back to the time when Sugar Ray and Better Than Ezra were mainstays in your iTunes library or Sony Walkman. (You're probably much different now, and you've likely forgotten Walkmans).

While both bands formed originally in the mid-1980s, they achieved mainstream success around the turn of the century; Sugar Ray in the pop realm and Better Than Ezra in alt-rock. Each group has held onto its original lead singer - Mark McGrath for Sugar Ray, Kevin Griffin for Better Than Ezra - which should greatly aid fans' sense of nostalgia during this Niagara County double bill.

[Related: See the full summer concert calendar for 2019]

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Allen Street Hardware's 15th anniversary, 7 p.m. Thursday, July 11 at 245 Allen St. No cost to attend.

Sweaty, cramped late-night dance parties in Allen Street Hardware - both in the front and back rooms - have been the norm over the last 15 years, aside from the short-lived drama with the city in 2016.

The bar staff will throw a celebratory bash on Thursday night, featuring jazz by Walter Kemp 3 and Nelson Rivera Vybes Duo, and late-night beats by DJ Crespo will keep the party revving until 3 a.m. Cocktails and appetizers will be served between 7 and 11 p.m.

[Related: Smiles at Hardware's holiday party in 2017]

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"E.T." phones home from Canalside, 7 p.m. Monday, July 8 on the Great Lawn at Canalside, at 44 Prime St. Free to attend.

Canalside's green space maintains flexibility for activities aside from concerts; there's free exercise classes, lawn games to wile away time and, beginning Monday, the annual free summer movie series keep the waterfront busy on weeknights.

The classic "E.T.", short for Extra-Terrestrial, was directed by Steven Spielberg and released in 1982 - and it's an entrancing family-friendly movie (with some at-times suspect language). See what other free outdoor flicks are on tap for the summer.

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Strictly Hip at Thursdays on the Water, 5 to 9 p.m., concert begins at 6 on Thursday, July 11 at Gratwick Park (1300 River Road, North Tonawanda). No cost to attend.

Now that lead singer Jeremy Hoyle has fought off a health scare and local fixture Strictly Hip is back in action, Buffalo's summer can go on as planned. The Tragically Hip tribute band will play a rather underexposed weekly concert series, held Thursdays at Gratwick Park along the river in North Tonawanda. Food trucks, a car show and a family fun zone add depth to Thursdays on the Water.

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Salvatore's Burgers and Brews, 5 to 10 p.m. Thursday, July 11 at 6461 Transit Road, Depew. No entrance cost, but you have to pay for the food.

It's a big week for Salvatore's-related activities, with the Burgers & Brews event committing 20% of purchases at the Chandelier Bar to benefit Cradle Beach, which hosts a summer camp for kids with special needs or from economically disadvantaged homes. The Depew restaurant's burgers will be available for just $10.

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Folkfaces' CD release, 7 to 11 p.m. Thursday, July 11 at Sportsmen's Tavern (326 Amherst St.). Cost is $12 in advance, $15 day of the show.

Fresh off a slot at the Great Blue Heron Jazz Festival, Folkfaces surges forward with the release its second album in Sportsmen's, and the title - "Fat Ol' Rat" - is certainly amusing. The local jazz-roots band, comprising Tyler Westcott, Ellen Pieroni, Dan Schwach and Patrick Jackson, has been making music since 2011, and its sound squares nicely with Sportsmen's M.O.

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Buffalo's Funniest Person semifinals, 7 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, July 9 and 10, at Helium Comedy Club, 30 Mississippi St. Cost is $15 in advance.

Twenty-four local comedians will roll through their routines, split into groups of 12 on Tuesday and Wednesday, at Helium. Returning finalists Phil Machemer, Brian Netzel and Ryan Fay will compete in Tuesday's semifinals, while 2018 runners-up Sam Minney, Chris Plumer and Jesse Winterhalter are back in the pool Wednesday.

Will a newcomer upset these experienced comics to earn the lofty title of "Buffalo's Funniest Person"? Past champions include Brian Herberger, Rick Matthews, Jameel Key and 2018's winner, Clayton Williams, among many others.

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Noir Essentials: "Moonrise," 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 10 at Eastern Hills Dipson (4545 Transit Road, Clarence). Adults get in for $9.75, with discounts available for kids, seniors and veterans.

1948 film "Moonrise" is the final entry in Noir Essentials' Departure series, which has included greats such as Alfred Hitchcock and Orson Welles. The last film is considered a late-career masterpiece by director Frank Borzage - quite the statement considering his absurdly long list of credits - and it tells the story of son trying to escape the fate of his father. Sounds rather dark.

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Resurgence Brewing Co.'s Chicago Street location begins grand-opening weekend, 3 p.m. Thursday, July 11 at 55 Chicago St. Free to attend.

While the new Old First Ward Resurgence location has been in soft-opening phase for a few weeks, the grand-opening weekend begins at 3 on Thursday, with a slew of beer releases on the agenda.

The new Resurgence, a cavernous, 28,000-square foot space, is the next step in the brewery's quest to become a major player in regional craft beer, but it hasn't sacrificed its sense of place, connecting Old Buffalo to New Buffalo, wrote Scott Scanlon in his thorough preview. The brewery's original location on Niagara Street will remain open, too.

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5 more events to consider this week

CoreLife grand-opening in Hamburg
Tops Markets in Alden re-opens after renovations
"Dumbo" at University at Buffalo North Campus
BPO at Picnic in the Parkway
Buffalo Reading Invasion No. 2 at Five Points

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5 events to look forward to this weekend

Jam in the Valley continues
Taste of Buffalo in Niagara Square & Delaware Ave.
East Side Festival at the Central Terminal
CRNVL at Buffalo RiverWorks
Queen of Heaven Carnival in West Seneca

Email: btsujimoto@buffnews.com

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