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The Weekend in WNY: Easy to please

A weekend of glorious weather approaches, which is thrilling in light of Buffalo's events on the agenda. In fact, there's not one indoor event on this list, which touches on food festivals, a wild assortment of live music and even activities to appease garden and art lovers.

The scenery at these events is also worth appreciating; there's Gratwick Park overlooking the Niagara River, the soothing summer concert setup at Artpark, a village-meets-nature setting in Glen Park and the mesmerizing decay of the Transfiguration Church, just to start.

Here's the lineup for the final weekend of July:

Glen Park Art Festival, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 27 and 28 at Glen Park between Mill and Rock (Cayuga extended) streets. No cost to attend.

Glen Park is an unexpected serene retreat - replete with an impressive waterfall - in the middle of the bustling Village of Williamsville, and nearby Glen Park Tavern has been a popular meeting place since 1987.

The Glen Park Art Festival returns for a 10th year with 135 vendors participating, plentiful food options, entertainers such as street dancers and the Friends of Harmony, and kids activities. Take a look at the scene in 2018.


Brews on the Water, 4 p.m. Saturday, July 27 at Gratwick Park (1300 River Road, North Tonawanda). Prices range from $40-$75.

Entercom radio stations have banded together for Brews on the Water, a part-wine-and-beer sampling, part live-music adoring festival in North Tonawanda. American Authors and In the Valley Below, two bands played often on Alternative Buffalo 107.7 FM, will serenade an audience that can choose from 100 craft beers to try between 5 and 8 p.m.

Gratwick Park sprawls far enough so you shouldn't feel too crowded. Peek at the 2017 Smiles gallery for more.


The Flaming Lips, gates at 5 p.m., show at 6 until 10 on Saturday, July 27 at Artpark (450 S. 4th St., Lewiston). Cost is $45 in advance, $50 day-of.

News pop music critic Jeff Miers has extremely high standards for his favorite bands - considering his wealth of knowledge across several genres - but he's quick to name the Flaming Lips among his top 10 of the last 25 years. His Soundcheck column before the Lips' Artpark show expounds on why he's pulled toward the psychedelic, surrealist live performances of the Oklahoma City rockers.

Taking into account the memorable Claypool Lennon Delirium show at Canalside in 2016, the openers aren't too shabby, either.


Kingdom Bound, 5 p.m. Sunday, July 28 through 11 p.m. Wednesday, July 31 at Darien Lake Amphitheatre (9993 Allegheny Road, Darien). Tickets are $69 to $159.

David Crowder is one of the biggest names in Christian music (and frankly has been, with band in tow or not, since the late '90s), while Brothers McClurg draw a sizable local crowd on a regular basis. They're both on the bill for Kingdom Bound 2019, a music festival predicated on worship through several genres and fellowship through camping out.

Miers digs deeper into what to expect during the four days in his preview.


Garden Walk Buffalo, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 27-28 at gardens throughout the West Side, Parkside and Park Meadow neighborhoods. The self-guided tour is free.

More than 400 gardens will be featured this year in the self-guided Garden Walk, which now includes the Parkside and Park Meadow neighborhoods, in addition to the West Side. (Tip: Little Summer Street is a hotbed of attention every year). The News' Susan Martin passes along five tips - on maps, shuttles and more - for how to make the most of the annual event.

[Related: July's Home of the Month features a Garden Walk participant]


Big Tent Revival by Buffalo Obscura, 6 to 11 p.m. Friday, July 26 at Transfiguration Church, 929 Sycamore St. Free to attend.

Three-person local photography collective Buffalo Obscura presents its seventh pop-up, with this iteration focusing on "the most dilapidated landmark in Buffalo," Transfiguration Church on Sycamore Street.

Eighteen photographers will present images interpreting the theme of Buffalo's revival - which can be a complicated conversation, given some numbers - with five prints of each of their 10 images available for purchase in a tent outside the church.

Learn more about what Daniel C. Britt, who purchased the church in 2017, plans to do with the project.

[Related: How Canalside, once a wasteland, became Buffalo's pride]


Live Well Festival, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 27 at the Outer Harbor (225 Fuhrmann Blvd.). Tickets are $10 in advance or day-of.

Step Out Buffalo cares about your health. The local media/marketing/events brand converges on the Outer Harbor to present a different fitness class every hour; attendees will be exposed to barre, boxing, yoga, boot camp and more, with a giant group of vendors to complement the activities.

Festival-goers don't have to participate in all of the fitness events; they may pick and choose throughout the day.


Madd Tiki Summer Luau, 2 to 7:30 p.m. Sunday, July 28 at Buffalo RiverWorks (359 Ganson St.). Tickets are $15.

Sunday marks the first-ever Madd Tiki Summer Luau - check out photos from the winter version - offered by Madd Ink Tattoo & Piercing, Music Is Art and a host of other sponsors.

The Hawaiian theme remains the same, but with a smorgasbord of perks: a festive dress contest, a bounce house, DJs, live bands, a vendor village, fire dancers (!) and RiverWorks' food and drink. Space Junk and Dusty Bits, the two headliners, will play a joint set to close the night's entertainment.


Niagara USA Wine Festival, noon to 7 p.m. Saturday, July 27, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, July 28 at Academy Park in Lewiston. Tickets are $25 before 9 p.m. Friday, then $30 thereafter.

Let the Niagara Wine Trail come to you through this wine festival, which gathers 15 wineries, a meadery and a cidery together in the heart of Lewiston. Admission allows attendees to sample three different wines from each participant, as well as $5 in coupons to purchase bottles to go.

A handful of food vendors will offer fare for purchase, and three musicians - Tim Britt, Cami Clune and Kirk McWhorter - are slated to perform over the course of the weekend.


Heart, 7 p.m. Friday, July 26 at Darien Lake Amphitheatre (9993 Allegheny Road, Darien). Tickets are $22.50 apiece in a lawn four-pack, or $29.50 for individual tickets. Full ticket details.

Cherish the power, personality and achievements of female band leaders who've etched their names in music lore. Ann and Nancy Wilson will rock hard in Lewiston on Friday night - just as they did at Artpark in 2014, according to this concert review - while Joan Jett and the Blackhearts set the stage.

Elle King, by far the youngest on the bill, is more country music name to watch rather than veteran superstar; she's also the daughter of comedian-actor Rob Schneider, if you wanted a cool trivia fact.


Continuing: Buffalo Infringement Festival, through Aug. 4, in Allentown venues; Pappy Martin Masten Jazz Festival, Part II, July 28, at Buffalo Museum of Science.


5 quick-hitters to consider this weekend

Jojo Siwa at Artpark
Art on the Farm at Five Loaves
Music of Jackson Browne at Sportsmen's Tavern
West Fest Beach Party at West Shore Brewing
American Yard Games Championship at Cheektowaga Town Park


5 events to look forward to next week

Chris Isaak in Artpark
Dierks Bentley at Darien Lake
Badfish at Canalside Live
Eden Corn Festival
Niagara County Fair


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