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Weekend in WNY: New concert venue in Clarence, National Margarita Day

There's obviously more to do than drink alcohol and (safely and responsibly) carouse in Buffalo.

But, thanks in part to winter blues and a burgeoning craft beverage culture, the event landscape lends itself to this type of party.

This weekend, christen a new music venue with a country bent, chuckle with Jeff Dunham and choose from a robust party list. We'll throw in National Margarita Day suggestions for good measure.

The Stage opens, 6:30 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22 at 8166 Main St., Clarence. Cost is $5 in advance.

New life has been breathed into the former Howdee's and Club Infinity, on Main near Transit. The Stage, a new concert venue with country leanings, will debut Saturday, doubling as WYRK Country Night.

Christian Kramer and the Backwoods Revival and West of the Mark are the two groups slated to perform. Line-dancing lessons will precede the show.

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Jeff Dunham, 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22 at KeyBank Center. Admission is $49.50.

As an only child, I have a long history of developing personalities for fictional characters (usually stuffed animals, often pandas). Comedian/ventriloquist Jeff Dunham is a master of the art, with Achmed the Dead Terrorist and Peanut among his best-known creations – to call them "dummies" would be selling them short.

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42 North Brewski, noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22 at Knox Farm State Park (437 Buffalo Road, East Aurora). Admission is $25 in advance, $30, in cash, on-site.

The mode of transportation is up to you: cross-country skis, snowshoes or hiking boots are encouraged, but the gorgeous 2.5-mile trail through Knox Farm – with ample stops for beer tastings – is one of the highlights of winter in East Aurora.

The snowy trek, as well as the after-party at 42 North, is dog-friendly.

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Guinness Toast, 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21 at Buffalo Irish Center (245 Abbott Road). Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door.

St. Paddy's Day draws near. The Guinness Toast, known sometimes as St. Practice Day, invites a wealth of Celtic/Irish musicians to serenade the Irish Center, a cultural and neighborhood hub. Penny Whiskey, Blarney Bunch, Crikwater and Poor Ould Goat are among the lively entertainers.

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Winter Hop Fest, 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22 at Gene McCarthy's/Old First Ward Brewing (73 Hamburg St.). Tickets are $30.

Bundle up and venture into the Old First Ward for a popular winter beer fest, highlighting the top hop-heavy concoctions of local breweries such as 12 Gates, Big Ditch, Community Beer Works and the hosts. A pig roast, not included with admission, will smell delightful and produce epic crackly, luscious skin.

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TWO FOOD EVENTS FOR SUNDAY FUNDAY

Kegs and Eggs at Resurgence, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 22 at 1250 Niagara St. No cost to attend.

This returning event has veered more experimental, and with brews such as guava sherbet dry-hopped sour and maple blueberry pancake bock on the agenda, Sunday will be no different.

Churn Ice Cream Social, noon to 3 p.m. Feb. 22 at Churn (1501 Hertel Ave.). No cost to attend.

Churn will lay out a build-your-own-sundae bar with wacky toppings, while adjoining Lloyd Taco Factory and Lockhouse Distillery will join the fray for alcohol-fueled ice cream floats.
Read more on Churn
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WHERE TO CELEBRATE NATIONAL MARGARITA DAY

A smattering of deals from local bars and restaurants:

Papi Grande's (4276 Maple Road, Amherst): Live music by Selfish Nate & the Enablers,$5 margaritas all month.
La Tolteca (7530 Transit Road, Amherst): $3.99 house margaritas.
El Ranchito (9780 Main St., Clarence): $1 off all five margarita flavors, $1 off tequila shots, $1 off beers.
Aguacates (5674 S. Transit Road, Lockport): $4 house margaritas, $20 pitchers.
Taqueria Ranchos La Delicias (1516 Niagara St.): $2.99 margaritas (eight flavors), $4.99 tequila shots.
Deep South Taco (two locations): $2 off margaritas, $8 off margarita pitchers.
Don Juan's, 484 Harlem Road, West Seneca): $5 house lime rocks margaritas, live DJ, tequila specials.
El Canelo (3670 McKinley Parkway, Blasdell): $3.99 lime margaritas.
Casa Azul (128 Genesee St.): $5 house margaritas from 4-7 p.m., $8 specialty margaritas all day.

[Read more: Taqueria Ranchos Dos to open in former Snooty Fox]

GRAB BAG OF MORE EVENTS FOR THIS WEEKEND

Journey of Healing at GCR Audio, featuring Ten Thousand
Winter Music Jam in Ellicottville
NYBP Mardi Gras Party
Buffalo Mule and Mimosa Fest
Mrdwilson's The Experience at Templeton Landing
Pocket Vinyl, music/art hybrid at Milkie's
Brickyard Pub & BBQ 15th anniversary

5 EVENTS TO LOOK FORWARD TO NEXT WEEK

The Lumineers in KeyBank Center
Lundi Gras at Toutant
Paczki Day at the Broadway Market
Fuzzy & the Rustbelts at Nietzsche's
Bash Before the Ash at Chester's

Email: btsujimoto@buffnews.com

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