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Festival season kicks into high gear this weekend. We are already mapping our food route as we iron our stretchy pants. Yes, we know about the Taste of Buffalo (July 13-14) and Erie County Fair (Aug. 7 to 18), but there’s a lot more to dig into, so get to it. Variety is the spice of life. International plates We are partial to the festivals that bring a world of food tra…

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I only started shaking about 10 seconds to showtime. For one night, I played the (minor) role of a mariner in Shakespeare in Delaware Park's "The Tempest," in the name of journalism. I had one simple job. I arrived about an hour to showtime and Angelo Heimowitz, a fellow mariner, guided me through our stage blocking in the opening scene. "The Tempest" opens with a na…

Festivals

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 holi…

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There's not one correct approach to eating at the Taste of Buffalo, but entering with at least a simple plan can make a difference when exploring the largest two-day food festival in the United States. The iconic summer event runs from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. July 13 and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. July 14 in Niagara Square and north on Delaware Avenue. There's no cost to wander the fe…

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Fireworks across the area may have left ears ringing into Friday morning, but the colorful explosions were merely the first spark of another busy weekend ahead. Don Felder, the former guitarist for the Eagles who was integral in the timeless riffs of "Hotel California," will rock Ellicottville with Caitlin Koch, a country singer-songwriter who embarked on a musical care…

Buffalo

Mary Badami knew the day. She just did not know the time. She traveled into Buffalo in spring 1946 from her home in Geneseo. Mary was about to meet her boyfriend, Dominic "Monte" Montemarano, who was coming home on a train after a couple of years away in World War II. Joined by one of Monte's sisters, Mary went to Buffalo's Central Terminal. The young women were exci…

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There's an ample contingent that welcomes summer months as a time for laid-back ease, with days and nights best spent with no agenda, no concerns and no care for the constraints that clamp down throughout the region's less idyllic months. This may sound lazy to some. To others — such as the late English banker, scientist and scholar Sir John Lubbock — it's entirely purp…

Family

American pop star Katy Perry invented fireworks in 2010. Just kidding. (That was the song, "Firework," for anyone who didn't listen to the radio during the summer of 2010.) Fireworks have actually been around since sometime between 600 and 900 A.D., the History Channel estimates, when Chinese alchemists mixed a few of the right chemicals together, stuffed them into bamb…

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A nod to Buffalo's fame as a 19th-century port city and the city's intimate connection with the Great Lakes, 12 tall ships from around the world will converge upon the waterfront from July 4-7 in a festival dubbed Basil Port of Call. It's a special time, News contributor Michael Farrell explains, and the eye-catching fleet is here for more than just ogling from afar. Ti…

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There's a tendency for Buffalo natives to become insular, like when we adore when outsiders pump us up and lash out defensively when others put us down. While some might view these knee-jerk reactions as negative and excessive, they're also signs that Buffalonians are fiercely proud of their hometown. World Refugee Day and the Taste of Diversity, both running this weeke…

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Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay seems like an odd place to hatch a plan for heightened appreciation of Buffalo’s maritime history. Not for Mike Vogel and Paula Blanchard, the chair and co-chair of the forthcoming "Basil Port of Call: Buffalo," a four-day family event that will bring the most dramatic tall ship fleet to the city’s waterfront since the Erie Canal’s 1800s heyday…

Festivals

It's the 16th year of the Taste of Diversity, an annual summer festival that celebrates the West Side's culturally diverse community through food, dance, music and shopping. Be warned: If you're reading this article in an office while eating a sad salad, or basically anywhere that isn't a kitchen or restaurant, it might be hard to get through. Words like sesame cookies,…

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Buffalo is blessed with a marvelous lineup of cheap, weekly events, usually centered around local musicians and/or food trucks. But scattered throughout the city's summer event calendar are worthy fundraisers, sometimes one-offs, that support landscape-changing projects. This week, for example, lends an opportunity to scope out the Massachusetts Avenue Project farmhouse…

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It was an often deeply moving cultural mashup, structured around themes of connectivity, compassion, mutual respect and inclusivity. On Saturday, the inaugural Strawberry Moon Festival took place at Artpark. Not just a music festival, Strawberry Moon celebrated the fact the sky does not acknowledge borders, as different cultural factions from Western New York and Canada…

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Buffalo's summer event schedule would be more dull if it just repeated festivals year after year. There's nothing wrong with tradition - this weekend's Ride for Roswell and Alternative Buffalo's Kerfuffle are reasons to look forward to each summer - but the spice of new, creative options injects a little more excitement to this list of things to do. Artpark's Strawbe…