This weekend's event lineup mingles old with new, trusty with trendy.
The enduring fascination with ancient Egypt and mummies might seem a giant leap from the curious popularity of eSports, video-game competitions with prizes on the line – but also long-term, educational utility. They're both cool in their own ways, and worthy of attention.
Since it's Buffalo in winter, there are food and beer events, plus cozy indoor concerts. Here's what's ahead for this weekend.
5 BIG EVENTS
It's undisputed that ancient Egypt is fascinating, thanks to its mystery and opulent lifestyles. Ornately decorated gold battle helmets, representations of bizarre deities and eight legitimate mummies are among the historical treasures making the jaunt overseas from Manchester, England, for the first time in the United States.
News photographer Mark Mulville's gallery gives a taste of what you'll see in person.
For the Love of Allentown: First Friday returns, 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7 at venues around Allentown. Free to attend.
The Allentown neighborhood and art community gets the monthly First Friday art walk underway for 2020 with a Black History Month theme. Consider an alluring display at Trend Up and MS Eye Candy, both at 85 Allen St., as well as more cultural vibrancy at Buen Vivir, Allen Street Dress Shop, Pine Apple Company, Indigo Art and Queen City Gallery.
Williamsville Winterfest, 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8 at Glen Park in Williamsville. Free to attend.
Glen Park is especially cool because it's a green space plopped down in the middle of a bustling village, and its tiered waterfall is both serene and powerful – I've never met someone who doesn't like waterfalls.
Winterfest is a strong family option for Saturday, with sledding, a scavenger hunt, horse and carriage rides, campfires and, if there's enough snow, a snowman-building contest.
[More Williamsville news: BriteSmith Brewing prepares to open]
Barleywine is the Arnold Schwarzenegger of beer styles: Very strong, at times a little jarring and certainly not to be trifled with. Community Beer Works has long been a champion of uncommon, traditional styles, and the West Side brewery has invited friends from near and far to showcase their best versions of barleywine.
The brassy Fredtown Stompers – potent in their own right – will handle the music.
[Photos: Smiles at Barrel Jam, another style-focused event]
Just Dishin' eSports debut, noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9 at Buffalo RiverWorks (359 Ganson St.). Free for spectators, competitor slots are full.
Expect a throng of curious attendees for Just Dishin's first major eSports tournament, where competitors – mostly between ages 16-28 – will vie for video-game supremacy at this NHL 20 LAN tournament. An eSports teacher at Lewis J. Bennett wrote a letter to the editor in December explaining why eSports isn't a frivolous excuse to play video games for school credit.
SPOTLIGHT ON MEANINGFUL FUNDRAISERS
Rachael Warrior Foundation, in memory of Rachael Wierzbicki, assists those suffering from domestic violence. The formal gala features a four-hour open bar, hors d'oeuvres, music by Total Eclipse WNY and a multimedia art exhibition by Michelle Jones.
ICP of Buffalo simultaneously fights against AIDS and advocates for homosexuals in the community. This formal event includes four hours of open bar and an array of colorful performance art throughout the evening. The elaborate masks are quite a sight to behold.
5 CONCERTS FOR YOUR RADAR
• Aircraft at Nietzsche's (Friday)
• Drea D'Nur at Shea's 710 Theatre (Friday)
• Will Holton's Love Cadenza VI at the Tralf (Saturday)
• Evening with Machine Head at Town Ballroom (Saturday)
• Bob Marley Night at Nietzsche's (Saturday)
[Read more: Holton shines a light on Buffalo soul]
3 FOOD EVENTS TO KNOW
GRAB BAG OF MORE EVENTS FOR THIS WEEKEND
• Oscars Watch Party at SteamPunk Cider in Barrel Factory
• February Gay Bingo at Amvets Medallion Post
• Two exhibitions open at UB Anderson Gallery
• Valentine Party at Buffalo Irish Center
• Winter Wonderland at Reinstein Woods
5 EVENTS TO LOOK FORWARD TO NEXT WEEK
• Gusto Vinyl Happy Hour at Sportsmen's Tavern, featuring the Cars' self-titled debut album
• Buffalo Zoo, Community Beer Works aid Victoria bushfires
• Belgian Beer and Chocolate Fest at Pizza Plant
• Sorrentino's turns 44 years old
• Scrabble Fest kickoff at Resurgence Brewing on Chicago Street