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Gusto

For kids, the buildup to Halloween can feel excruciating. That means lots of stress for parents, grandparents and caregivers – not to mention teachers. However, there is good news. October is saturated with spooky, Halloween-related events for families. Many of them free. The bad news is that your kiddos’ costumes might be in tatters by Oct. 31. That’s the price you pay…

Family

Mercy Flight will open its hangar to the public next weekend in memory of one of its biggest fans. The "Forever in our Hearts, Johnny" event will give visitors access to Mercy Flight's headquarters and allow them to get up close and personal with its life-saving helicopter and equipment. Mercy Flight crews will be suited up in their orange gear to teach visitors about w…

Bills

Tailgating can be a drag for fans who want to enjoy game day without the hassle of packing the car, finding a parking spot and firing up the grill — not to mention cleaning up the mess afterward. Take heart, Bills fans. Tailgate Guys will bring the party to you. “Tailgate Guys," a new hospitality service at New Era Stadium, provides an easier way for fans to “tailgat…

Environment

The annual Blessing of the Animals is planned for 1 p.m. Sunday at St. Francis Assisi Church in the Town of Hamburg. The blessing celebrates the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi on Oct. 4., when people across the world will be honoring St. Francis, said the Rev. Ross Syracuse, parish pastor. The event will take place rain or shine near the Social Center, the pastor sa…

Gusto

Pumpkin picking isn't just choosing a pumpkin worthy of elaborate jack-o-lantern carving. It's about the experience: The hayride, the baked goods, the baby goats. Some hot apple cider, freshly-sugared kettle corn or a doughnut. Experiencing a slice of nature, while double-fisting a cinnamon-coated piece of dough and a rather heavy orange gourd. The u-pick pumpkin far…

Health and Fitness

Embrace Recovery Buffalo, a new nonprofit group dedicated helping people and families challenged by addiction, will host a free related program this weekend. “Understanding Addiction and Recovery,” will run from 9 to 11 a.m. Sept. 22, at the HUB, 4999 McKinley Parkway, Hamburg. Presenters will include Dr. Arthur Weissman, who will focus on effective treatment and hop…

Health and Fitness

Seth Piccirillo rode his bike a lot while growing up in Niagara Falls, not far from the fringe of Hyde Park. “Ironically, this year, because it seems everything is returning to childhood, I've been riding my bike more often because there are more trails,” said Piccirillo, community development director in his hometown for the last six years. Longstanding and woeful h…

Health and Fitness

Linda Ramsey didn’t discover the name of the terrible disease that claimed the life of her 1-year-old son, Kevin, until after he died in 1997. Kevin was fine his first couple of months, but as he grew his body wasn’t giving him the energy he needed to prosper. He struggled to swallow and started missing milestones. "He wasn't sitting up,” his mother said. “He couldn'…

Health and Fitness

The Create A Healthier Niagara Falls Collaborative will host its second annual Walk the Falls event Saturday in continuing efforts to connect city residents and visitors to each other, the community and the waterfront. Walk participants are welcome to walk, run or bike, starting with on-site registration at 9 a.m. at the Niagara Gorge Discover Center in Niagara Falls St…

Health and Fitness

Roughly 100,000 boxes of paper records once stood up to 20 feet high in a sprawling warehouse on Grand Island. Then Ken Knight found pickleball. He started playing the racket sport with friends in July 2017, after managers of the Buffalo Launch Club on Grand Island put pickleball courts atop the club's outdoor tennis courts. "We didn't have a clue about what pickl…

Gamers of all skill levels and ages will find plenty to do at the seventh Queen City Conquest,  Sept. 7 to 9 in the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center (153 Franklin St.). The three-day gaming convention, “focused on the hobby of board, card and role-playing-games as well as video games and live-interaction events,” features such guests as Stacy Dellorfano, author and fou…

Health and Fitness

Some of the top outdoor fitness instructors at Canalside will return to the downtown waterfront park this weekend for one last summer hurrah. “We talked about it and said, ‘Let's end with a big splash,’ ” said Maureen Hanagan, manager of community relations with BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, which sponsors health and fitness activities at Canalside. The E…

Gusto

Clusters of friends are huddled around computers and flat-screen televisions, bent over the edge of their chairs and cushy couches. They rarely break eye contact, yet maintain animated conversations. Nearby, a solitary gamer is intensely concentrating as he plays "League of Legends." Lime green walls and tall drop-ceilings frame this video-game oasis, where there are as…

Local News

Organizers expect a crowd of 35,000 at the 61st annual Niagara County Peach Festival, which begins at 6 p.m. Thursday at Academy Park in Lewiston and runs through 11 p.m. Sunday. Buffalo’s three professional sports teams’ mascots, new-look Billy Buffalo, Sabretooth and Buster Bison will be at Academy Park when the festival opens. Fresh peaches from Bittner-Singer Far…

Local News

A long-awaited playground at ECO Park in Eggertsville opened to the public last week. The project — in the community park on Crosby Circle, off Eggert Road — had been in the works for several years, said Assemblyman Raymond W. Walter, R-Amherst, whose office secured $100,000 for the work. The Town of Amherst also contributed funding. The playground features KOMPAN eq…