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2011 Summer Guide

Winter in Buffalo is good for one thing: hibernating. It takes a full season of rest to get ready for a summer full of tours, garden walks, festivals, and humidity. Even if it gets too hot to move, rest assured that there won’t be a dull moment this summer. On any given day you can improve your historical knowledge of Buffalo, eat more food than you’ve ever imagined, pursue local artwork, and rub elbows with your neighbors. If you partake in at least four (that’s one activity per weekend for our mathematically challenged readers) of these events a month, you are guaranteed to have a well rounded summer. And we don’t mean “well rounded” like a proper course schedule (school is over, kids); we are talking about a robust, active, memorable summer.

—jill greenberg

Shakespeare in Delaware Park

Festivals & Parades


Buffalo Greek Fest

June 3-5, 11am. Hellenic Orthodox Church Of the Annunciation (146 West Utica St.) Greek cuisine, live music, folk dancing, imported food, bakery and gift shops, church tours. $2/Free Kids under 12.

Chatauqua Learning Festival

June 3-23. Learn a new hobby or skill, over 50 workshops.

46th Annual Buffalo Feis

June 4, 7am. Fairgrounds Gaming and Raceway Clubhouse (5600 McKinley Pkwy. Hamburg, NY). Dance, language and music competitions, memorabilia, art events, soda bread and other vendors. Presented by The Irish Cultural & Folk Art Association of Western New York. $15.

Taste of Diversity Festival

June 4, 11am-3pm. Grant Street & Lafayette Ave. Diverse restaurants, vendors, music, dancing, artwork by Buffalo Public Schools students, and a chalk walk. Performances by Grupo Varidad, N’Dais, Nadia Middle Eastern Dance, Sitar Jams, Flamenco Guitarist Meria Carns, The Rockaz and Diaspora Drum & Dance. Presented by The Grant-Ferry Association. Free/$1 per food ticket.

Fish & Wildlife Festival

June 4, 11am-4pm. Hyde Park (Niagara Falls, NY). Kids’ arts and crafts, hands-on displays, fish and wildlife agencies, and over 20 conservation partners. Free., 691-5456

10th Annual Dyke March

June 4, 4pm. 1195 Main St. Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Pride Center of Western New York.

Allen Street Festival

June 4, 5-10pm. Franklin & Pearl. Also known as the “Gayborhood Block Party.” Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Pride Center of Western New York. 21+ $2.

Pride Parade June 5, 11am. Lafayette & Elmwood. Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Pride Center of Western New York.

Quirky Summer Musts

Take photos at the Buffalo Zoo and have crepes at Sweetness 7

300 Parkside Ave. (Zoo) 301 Parkside Ave. (Sweet_ness 7)

The animals are always up to something fuzzy and adorable at the Buffalo Zoo. Enjoy the weather as you watch these creatures enjoy the weather (even the polar bears seem to appreciate sunbathing). Make sure that you bring your zoom lens to snap some close up photos; you might even want to enter the Buffalo Zoo’s photo contest. The contest runs through February 2012 so you have plenty of time to get the right shot. After all that strolling and photo taking, feed your appetite with some delicate crepes from Sweetness 7 Café, which offers sweet and savory choices.

Crystal Beach Ghost Hunting

Although it was named for it’s “crystal clear” water conditions, Crystal Beach might have a few secrets lurking beneath the surface. As the location of Crystal Beach Amusement Park from 1888 to 1989, Crystal Beach has a slightly eerie feel. Mostly because “abandoned amusement park turned quiet beachfront,” sounds like it was taken from a horror movie screenplay. Wait until it gets dark, grab a few friends, and let the spirits lead the way.

Hiking at Griffis Sculpture Park

If you’ve never been to Griffis Sculpture Park, if you haven’t been since you were a kid, even if you went last week, make sure you take at least one summer trip there. The larger-than-life sculptures make adults feel like they are a kid on a playground and make kids feel like they’ve fallen down the rabbit hole into Wonderland. Combine stretches of lush green grass, tranquil ponds, and fascinating outdoor sculptures and you will get a surreal experience.

Grab a six-pack of specialty beer and gourmet cheese from The Village Beer Merchant

547 Elmwood Ave.

The Village Beer Merchant is a great place to go during the cold months and the warm months, but there is only one season that calls for a porch party. If you don’t have a front porch, find a friend who does and have a beer and cheese tasting party. If you’re feeling classy, see who can create the best combinations. If you’re feeling less classy, make up your own drinking game (blind taste test the cheese, drink if you’re incorrect).

The Old Pink ‘til 4am

Staying at The Old Pink until close is a must, at least once...or every weekend.

Dip your feet into the water at Niawanda Park

Relax in the great outdoors and cool down thanks to the breeze off the water.

Ride your bike across the Peace Bridge along Canada’s bike path

Great views and a good way to get in shape. It is swimsuit season after all.

Pride Festival

June 5, 1-7pm. Canalside (Near the Naval Park & HSBC Arena). Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Pride Center of Western New York.

9th Annual Polish Heritage Festival

The Best of Buffalo Polonia. June 10-11. Fairgrounds Gaming and Raceway Clubhouse (5600 McKinley Pkwy. Hamburg, NY). Culture, tradition, exhibits, crafters, refreshments, entertainment, and dancing. Music by The Knewz, The Buffalo Touch, Phocus Polkas, and Stephanie Pietrzak. $5.

Taste of the Tonawandas

June 12, 12-7pm. Gateway Harbor (Webster & Sweeney St).

Shakespeare in Delaware Park

June 16-August 14, 7:30pm. The Merchant of Venice June 16-July 10, As You Like It July 21-August 14.

Wine & Cheese Weekend

June 17-19. The Niagara Wine Trail. Sponsored by Yancey’s Fancy New York’s Artisan Cheese. $20 adv/$25.

36th Juneteenth of Buffalo

June 18-19. Martin Luther King Jr. Park (Best St. & Fillmore Ave.)

Annual Rotary Strawberry Festival

June 22, 5-8pm. Island Park (Williamsville, NY, Behind Village Hall).


June 24, 5pm. Buffalo Central Terminal (495 Paderewski Dr.) Celebrate swing music and architecture, music by The Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, refreshments, dancing, contests, and vendors.

German Festival

June 25, 9am-5pm Amherst Museum (3755 Tonawanda Creek Road). German music, refreshments, beer, and ale. $5/Free for Members.

Old Falls Feast Nights

June 29-August 31, 5-8pm. BBQ June 29, Mexican July 17, Wings August 31.


Taste of Buffalo

July 9-10. 11am. Delaware Ave & Niagara Square. Over 50 restaurants and wineries, the largest two-day festival in the country.

Old Home Days Celebration

July 12-15, 11am-11pm. Island Park (Williamsville, NY, Behind Village Hall). Parade, live music, reunions, rides, fishing derby, refreshments, and more.,

Italian Heritage Festival

July 14-17, 11am. Hertel Ave. Local entertainment, bocce, Italian Idol contest, demonstrations, crafts, kid’s activities, second largest Italian street festival in the country.

Buffalo Museum of Science Star Lights, Drinks, & Bites

July 23, 8-11pm. Buffalo Museum of Science (1020 Humboldt Pkwy.) Star gazing, wine and beer tasting, live entertainment, and food. $40.

Buffalo Infringement Festival

July 28-August 7. Various arts performances, exhibits, events throughout the city.

Buffalo Dance Festival

July 30, 8pm. UB Center for the Arts. A celebration of dance in Buffalo. $22/$17 Students/$70 Workshop & performance.


Squeaky Wheel’s Outdoor Animation Festival feat. Brent Green

August 4, 8:30pm. Days Park (Allentown) Bring a blanet and watch films under the stars. In conjunction with Buffalo Infringement Festival. Free.

Eden Corn Festival

August 4-7. American Legion Post 880 (Legion Drive off Route US-62). Rides, games, refreshments, parade, contests, and various entertainment. Free.

Taste of Lancaster

August 6, 11am-9pm. Central Ave. (Between Broadway & Pleasant Ave.) Food, music by Tameron, Beatle Magic, and Breakaway, 5k race, and beer garden.

Niagara Tattoo Expo

August 6-7. Old Falls Street (Niagara Falls) Festival of Fools, cars and motocycles, indoor art show, kid’s area, DJ, and refreshments.

Taste of Ellicottville

August 6-7. Village of Ellicottville.

Taste of Williamsville, Savor the Flavor

August 7, 11:30am-9pm. Island Park (Williamsville, NY, Behind Village Hall). Refreshments for lunch and dinner from over 20 restaurants, pie baking contest, and live music.

172nd Erie County Fair

August 10-21. Fairgrounds Gaming and Raceway Clubhouse (5600 McKinley Pkwy. Hamburg, NY). Live music, community stage acts, concerts, fair camp, contests, 5K, talent contest, rides, refreshments, and animals.

America’s Grape Country Wine Festival

August 13-14. Chatauqua County Fairgrounds. Concert by Uncle Kracker.

Scottish Festival & Highland Games

August 20, 9am-5pm. Amherst Museum (3755 Tonawanda Creek Road). Highland games, heavy events junior world championship, dancers and entertainment. $5/Free for Members.

30th Buffalo Irish Festival

August 26-28. Buffalo Statler Building. Irish and Celtic music, Irish cuisine, Irish goods and crafts, refreshments by Shannon Pub.


Buffalo Chicken Wing Festival

Sept 3-4, 12-7pm. Coca-Cola Field (257 Washington St.). $5

Art Festivals


54th Annual Allentown Art Festival

June 11-12, 11am-6pm. Outdoor festival featuring local artists and crafters, sponsored by the Allentown Village Society.


Echo: Art Fair

July 9, 9:30am-5:30pm. Buffalo Central Terminal (495 Paderewski Dr.) Showing a broad scope of fine art mediums, all artwork priced under $3,000.

Old Sanborn Days Arts and Crafts Show

July 9-10, 10am-5pm. Sanborn Fire Company (Buffalo St., Route 429) Weekend residency by three artists, over 80 crafters, workshops, music, dancing, family activities, refreshments, and vintage automobiles on display. Presented by the Rotary Club of Niagara Country Central & National Endowment for the Arts. Free.

Williamsville Glen Park Art Festival

July 30-31. 10am-5pm. Glen Park Falls (5508 Main St. Behind the Water Mill). Handcrafted gifts and artwork by local artists, entertainment, and refreshments.


45th Annual Lewiston Art Festival

August 13-14, 10am. Center St., Lewiston, NY. Over 175 artists & fine crafters. Meet the artists, visit College Alley featuring student artwork, music, food, street performers, make and take workshops, and demonstrations.

KeyBank 27th Annual Chalk Walk Competition

August 13, 12-4pm. 5Th & Center St., Lewiston. Theme: Chalk One Up for Diversity. Free.

12th Annual Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts

August 27-28, 10am. Over 170 artists and crafters, over 50 performances, dance tent, Kidsfest, solar powered stages, cultural row, and refreshments.

Garden Walks (photo by Jim Charlier)

Garden Walks


National Garden Festival

June 24-July 31. Five-week celebration of gardening. Tours, seminars, guest speakers, workshops, and special events., (800) 242-4244

6th Annual Lewiston Garden Fest

June 25-26, 10-5pm. Over 50 garden related vendors, activities, speakers, demonstrations, and displays.

8th Annual Village Garden Walk

June 25, 10am-4pm. Village Hall (5556 Main St.). Walk the gardens and refreshments. Free.

14th Annual Parkside Garden Tour

June 26, 10am-4pm. Church of Good Shepherd (Jewett Pkwy & Summit Ave.) Walk the gardens. $7 for a guided walking architectural tour featuring local folklore. $5 Suggested donation.


Hamburg Garden Walk

July 9-10, 10am-4pm. Memorial Park (Lake & Union) 30 gardens and vendor fair.

Lockport in Bloom, 7th Annual City-Wide Garden Tour

July 9-10, 10am-4pm. Kenan Center (433 Locust St.) Self guided walking or driving tour, over 45 historic homes.

8th Lancaster Garden Walk

July 16-17, 10am-4:30pm. Self guided tour. Free.

Historic Niagara falls Garden Walk

July 16, 10am-5pm. Niagara Falls City Hall (745 Main St.) Mile long tour, the city’s historic Main Street showcased, vendors, and master gardeners.

South Buffalo Alive Garden Tour

July 17, 9am-3pm. Caz Café Coffee Shop (688 Abbott Rd.) Over 60 gardens featuring koi ponds, master gardeners, rock gardens, and public gardens. $2.

Ken-Ton Garden Tour

July 23-24, 10am-4pm. 50 gardens and Saturday Night Lights nighttime tour at 8:30pm.

17th Annual Garden Walk Buffalo

July 30-31, 10am-4pm. A record 372 urban gardens, a Graden Talk, free shuttle trolleys, and the largest garden tour in the United States.


7th Annual Black Rock & Riverside Tour of Gardens and Starry Night Garden Tour

August 6, 10am-5pm. Over 60 day gardens and 20 evening gardens.

Taste of Buffalo


(Various times and locations, view websites for full schedules.)

Historic Homes Walk

July 16, 11am-4pm. $12 Includes luncheon.

Buffalo Bike Taxi

Historical and architectural tours. 563-9325,

Buffalo Tours

617 Main St. Suite M108. 50 self guided audio tours and nearly 500 guided tours. Learn about Buffalo’s historical and architectural heritage. 852-3300,

Forgotten Buffalo Tours

244 Potters Road. Buffalo’s authority on unique landmarks, classic taverns, old world neighborhoods, and Nickel City oddities. Led by the host of Off Beat Cinema. 883-5211,

Marble Orchard Historic Walks & Ghost Walks

Saturdays. Courtyard on Center Street. History plus the grim and ghastly stories of Lewiston. $12/$6 kids under 12.

Mason Winfield’s Haunted History Ghost Walks

21 South Grove St. Suite 240. Author and researcher Mason Winfield’s haunted history tours explore history, architecture, mystery, parapsychology, and ghosts. 655-6663,

Open-Air Autobus of Buffalo

561 Forest Ave. #3. Historical and architectural attractions. 845-3749,

Paths, Peaks, & Paddles

1000 Ellicott Creek Rd. Hiking and backpacking tours, canoeing and kayaking. 213-0350,

Sundays in the Cemetery at Forest Lawn

1411 Delaware Ave. Walking and trolley tours.

Sunday Morning Vineyard Walks

9-10:30am. Johnson Estate Winery (West Main Rd., Westfield) 326-2191. Led by owner Fred Johnson. $20.

Western New York Helicopter Tours

6765 Heitz Rd. Buffalo’s waterfront and city tours. 353-1144,

Allentown Art Festival

Go Green Environmental Activities/Etc

350 Tree Planting

June 4, 10am-2pm. Tifft Nature Preserve (1200 Fuhrmann Blvd.) Wear clothes and shoes for outdoor working and bring a shovel and mallet if you can. Refreshments. Free. Sign up at 825-6397 or

Youth Fishing Contest

June 4, 8am. Hyde Park (Niagara Falls, NY). Bring your own fishing equipment, register 8am-9:30am, for kids 5-15. Sponsored by Niagara River Anglers Association. A NYSDEC Free Fishing Event.

Tree Identification Hike

June 11, 10am-12pm. Beaver Meadow Audubon Center (North Java). Led by John Sly, how to identity trees in the summer. 687-1225

The Great Lakes Experience Festival

June 18, 11am-6pm. Central Wharf/Erie Canal Harbor (Waterfront Circle). Celebration of the environment and ecology of the Great Lakes and the heritage of our region. Music, family entertainment, speakers, educational re-enactors and storytellers, an environmental film festival, food vendors, and a green businesses exposition.

Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper EcoTours

Every weekend. 1250 Niagara St. Tours for hikers, bikers, paddlers, and family friendly tours.

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