Buffalo is a great place to live all year long, but our city and the surrounding area just explodes with activity over the summer as we take advantage of the warmer months.
Starting today, weekends are filled with lawn fetes, carnivals, fairs, arts and crafts shows and festivals to suit every taste -- and we mean that literally. Food takes the cake at events celebrating strawberries, burgers, barbecue and corn as well as tastes of Alden, Clarence, Lancaster, Lewiston and Buffalo.
We can enjoy a garden walk or admire vintage cars; take in a Native American Pow Wow and experience diverse cultures at the Hungarian, Ukrainian, Scandinavian, Serb, Lebanese and Italian and Irish festivals. Love music? We've got jazz fests, blues bashes and a cross-border friendship festival.
So bring the kids, bring your appetite and bring your sense of fun. Here's a list to help you plan your summer.
June 15: BBQ & Blues Bash. 5 to 9 p.m. Mississippi Street in the Cobblestone District. Food, brews and music by the Mick Hayes Band. 783-3356. www.BBQBluesBash.com.
June 15-17: Buffalo River Fest. 6 p.m. to midnight June 15, 11 a.m. to midnight June 16, noon to 6 p.m. June 17. Buffalo River Fest Park, 249 Ohio St. Includes the Rigidized Metals River Fest Regatta, displays, food, a softball tournament, a kids area, arts and crafts, tours and entertainment. 823-4707. www.thevalleycenter.com.
June 15-16: St. Jude the Apostle Parish Carnival. 4 to 11 p.m. June 15, 3 to 11 p.m. June 16. St. Jude the Apostle Parish, 800 Niagara Falls Blvd., North Tonawanda. Live entertainment, a midway, a car cruise, raffles, food and a kids zone.
June 15: Strawberry Social and Benefit. 6 to 8:30 p.m. Stockton Community Church, 4554 W. Railroad Ave., Stockton. Food and music by the Mountain Railroad Band. 595-3424.
June 16: German Festival. Noon to 8 p.m. Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village, 3755 Tonawanda Creek Road, Amherst. Family activities, food and music. 689-1440. www.amherstmuseum.org. $6 adults, $2 kids, free children ages 3 and under.
June 16: Deco-Fest. 4 p.m. Central Terminal, 495 Paderewski Drive. Live music, swing dance lessons and demonstrations. www.deco-fest.com. $15 general, children under age 12 free.
June 16: Discover Amherst Street Festival XV. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Amherst Street between Elmwood Avenue and Military Road. Family activities, food, contests, a parade and live entertainment. 316-8167.
June 16: Hope Chest Buffalo Niagara Dragon Boat Festival. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Gallagher Beach, Outer Harbor. Features a competition, raffles, children's activities, music and food. 713-4179. www.hopechestbuffalo.org.
June 16-17: Crossborder Blues, Brews & Que. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. June 16, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 17. Woodcock Brother's Brewery, 638 Lake St., Wilson. Live music, barbecue and microbrew crafters. 622-8329. http://crossborderbbq.com.
June 16-17: Juneteenth of Buffalo. Martin Luther King Jr. Park, Best Street and Fillmore Avenue. Vendors, food, entertainment and activities. www.juneteenthofbuffalo.com.
June 16-17: Strawberry Festival. Noon to 4 p.m. St. John's Episcopal Church, Main Street, Youngstown. Food, live music, a raffle and an armed forces tribute.
June 16-17: Summertime in the Vineyard. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 16, noon to 6 p.m. June 17. Eveningside Vineyards, 4794 Lower Mountain Road, Cambria. Features artisans, crafters and wine tastings.
June 21: Taste of Alden. 5 to 8 p.m. Alden Town Park, Main Street, Alden. Features approximately 20 local food establishments plus live music. 937-5177. www.aldenny.org. $10 for book of 20 tickets.
June 21-24: Buffalo Citybration. On the waterfront and venues throughout the city. Hot air balloon rides, music, exhibits, a race, contests, vendors, activities and food. www.citybration.com.
June 22-23: West Seneca Community Days. 6 p.m. June 22, 2 p.m. June 23. Centennial Park, 1250 Union Road, West Seneca. A midway, live entertainment, food, fireworks and a parade (2 p.m. June 23).
June 22-24: Boston Hills BBQ Fest. 5 to 11 p.m. June 22, noon to 11 p.m. June 23, noon to 9 p.m. June 24. In the Family Entertainment Complex and Grange Building, Hamburg Fairgrounds, 5600 McKinley Parkway, Hamburg. Food, vendors and entertainment. 913-3918. www.bostonhillsbbqfest.com. $5, free children ages 12 and under.
June 23 and 24: Lewiston Garden Fest. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Center Street, Lewiston. Garden tours, vendors and talks. www.lewistongardenfest.com.
June 23 and 24: Roycroft Summer Arts & Crafts Festival. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Parkdale Elementary School, 141 Girard Ave., East Aurora. More than 75 juried artisans and music by Creek Bend and Doug Yeomans & Lo Blu Flame.
June 23 and 24: Lockport Outdoor Arts & Crafts Festival. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Main Street, Lockport. More than 200 vendors. 940-0554.
June 23-24: Niagara Falls Music & Art Festival. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. June 23 and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. June 24. Main Street, Niagara Falls between Linwood and Niagara avenues. Displays, vendors, wine tastings, a chalk walk, classic car show, entertainment and food. www.WoMadistrict.com.
June 30: Strawberry Festival/Jumble Sale. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Baker Memorial United Methodist Church, 345 Main St., East Aurora. Food, activities and sale. 652-0500.
June 24: Wurstfest. 3:30 p.m. Rose Garden Restaurant & Grove, 2753 Wehrle Drive, Williamsville. With the German American Musicians, plus music, food and children's activities. 864-1965. www.BuffaloGermanBand.com. $6 advance, $8 door.
June 26: A Taste of Lewiston. noon to 9 p.m. Center Street, Lewiston. Food and entertainment. www.townoflewiston.us/news_events.htm.
June 29-July 4: Friendship Festival. Live music, midways, food and drink, children's activities, contests and fireworks. Events take place in Riverside Park and Mather Arch, Fort Erie, Ont. (888) 333-1987. www.4thatriverside.com, www.friendshipfestival.com.
June 30-July 1: Town of Niagara Bicentennial Celebration. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. June 30, noon to 5 p.m. July 1. Veterans' Memorial Park, 7000 Lockport Road, Town of Niagara. Parade, tournaments, food, children's activities, a puppet show, displays, vendors, live entertainment and fireworks. www.townofniagara.com.
June 30: Earth Bowl Festival. 4 to 7 p.m. Riverside Salem United Church of Christ Environmental Cottage, 3449 W. River Road, Grand Island. Live music, food demonstrations, screenings, vendors, games and family activities. 773-1426 or 741-8815. $40 adults, $10 children under age 12.
July 1: Tri-Five Car Club Annual Event. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Great Pumpkin Farm, 11199 Main St., Clarence. Car show, live music, children's activities and games, vendors, raffles and a flea market. 634-1149. $15 show cars, $7 general, free for children under age 12.
July 5-8: Queen of Heaven Carnival. 6 p.m. July 5 (car cruise), 6 p.m. July 6, noon July 7 and 8. Queen of Heaven Church, 4220 Seneca St., West Seneca. Includes a midway, games, live entertainment, food and activities. 674-3468. www.qofhcarnival.com.
July 7-8: Taste of Buffalo. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. July 7 and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. July 8. Food from more than 50 restaurants and seven wineries, plus live music and entertainment. Food ranges from $1-$4. Delaware Avenue from Chippewa to Niagara Square. www.tasteofbuffalo.com.
July 8: Ford Lords Inc. Car Show. 8:30 a.m. American Legion Post -- George F. Lamm, 962 Wehrle Drive, Williamsville. Open to all makes and models, includes music by Crash Cadillac, a kids corner and food. 633-9242.
July 12-15: Sorrento Cheese Italian Heritage Festival. 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. July 12-14 and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. July 15. Hertel Avenue between Delaware and Colvin avenues. Food, contests, entertainment, vendors and activities. www.buffaloitalianfestival.com.
July 13-15: Mediterranean Festival. 5 to 11 p.m. July 13, noon to 11 p.m. July 14, noon to 7 p.m. July 15. St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, 1073 Saunders Settlement Road, Niagara Falls. Eighth annual event features Greek, Lebanese and Mediterranean food, a kids' village, raffles, music and dancing. 297-2668. $1.
July 14: Perry Chalk Art Festival. 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Village Park, Lake Street, Perry. Displays, activities, vendors, food and live music. (585) 237-5375. www.perrychalkfestival.com.
July 14-15: Olde Sanborn Days. Sanborn Fire Company Grounds, Route 429, Sanborn. Crafters, live entertainment, food, raffles, a petting zoo and a vintage car show. 693-1946.
July 14-15, 21-22: Wild Renn Fest. Hawk Creek Wildlife Center, 655 Luther Road, East Aurora. Features live full-armored jousting on horseback, falconry, displays, entertainment, vendors and activities. 652-8646. www.hawkcreek.org.
July 15-22: Canal Fest of the Tonawandas. Along the Erie Canal in Tonawanda and North Tonawanda. Rides, games, vendors, food, contests, crafts, tours, displays and live entertainment. www.canalfest.org.
July 20-22: Scandinavian Folk Festival. 1 to 10 p.m. July 20, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. July 21, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 22. Live entertainment, displays, contests, lectures, workshops, food and vendors. 484-0415. www.scandinavianjamestown.com. $7 July 20, $8 July 21, $4 July 22 ($5 after 7 p.m., $15 weekend pass), free children ages 10 and under.
July 21: Burgerfest. Noon to 11:30 p.m. Hamburg Village Municipal Parking Lot, Main and Buffalo streets, Hamburg. Live music, a classic car show, children's activities, food, arts and crafts, contests and a beer tent. 627-9694 or 648-4167.
July 21-22: Serb Fest 2012. Noon to midnight July 21 and noon to 10 p.m. July 22. St. Stephen Serbian Orthodox Church, 177 Weber Road, Lackawanna. Serbian pastries, cuisine, live music and tours. 823-2846 or 316-2716. $1.
July 21-22: Seneca Pow Wow. Veterans Park, 520 Broad St., Salamanca. Dancers, singers and vendors. 945-2655 or 244-1752. www.senecapowwow.org. $10 adults, $5 seniors and children ages 5-17, Free children ages 4 and under.
July 22 and 29: Masten District 17th annual Jazz Festival. 3 to 8 p.m. Buffalo Museum of Science, 1020 Humboldt Parkway. Live music hosted by James "Pappy" Martin.
July 23-29: Chautauqua County Fair. Gates open at 9 a.m. on the fairgrounds at 1089 Central Ave., Dunkirk. Rides, entertainment, exhibits, food, vendors and games. 366-4752. www.chautauquacountyfair.org. Free-$12.
July 23-28: Orleans County Fair. On the fairgrounds at 12690 Route 31, Albion. Exhibits, rides vendors, games, food and entertainment. (585) 798-4264. www.orleans4-Hfair.com.
July 26-Aug. 5: Buffalo Infringement Festival. Events by local and visiting theater and dance companies, poets, comics and musicians. Performances take place at various locations throughout Buffalo (centered around Allentown). www.infringebuffalo.org.
July 27-29: Balloons Over Niagara. Niagara County Community College, 3111 Saunders Settlement Road, Sanborn. Features hot air balloons, activities, a car show, entertainment, crafts and food. 614-6229. http://niagaracc.suny.edu/balloons/.
July 27-29: Lebanese Festival. 5 to 11 p.m. July 27, noon to 11 p.m. July 28, noon to 5 p.m. July 29. St. John Maron Maronite Church, 2040 Wehrle Drive, Williamsville. 14th annual event includes ethnic food, live entertainment, rides, raffles, games and vendors. 634-0669. www.stjohnmaron.org.
July 27-29: St. Martha Lawn Fete. 5 p.m. to midnight July 27, 1 p.m. to midnight July 28, 1 to 9 p.m. July 29. St. Martha Parish, 10 French Road, Depew. A midway, live entertainment, food, games and activities. www.olbsdepew.org.
July 28: Queen City Jazz Festival. Noon at 145 Broadway Ave. Performances by Jazzline, Taylor Made Jazz, Gruvology, Will Holton, George Scott Big Band, Larry Salter Big Band, Lady Lita and the Exoutics.
July 28-29: Garden Walk Buffalo. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Along Buffalo's West Side. Self-guided tour of hundreds of Buffalo gardens. Shuttle buses and maps of locations available. 879-0123. www.gardenwalkbuffalo.com.
July 30-Aug. 5: Cattaraugus County Fair. On the fairgrounds at 501 Erie St., Little Valley. Rides, exhibits, games, food, vendors and entertainment. 938-9146. www.cattarauguscofair.com.
Aug. 1-5: Niagara County Fair. Niagara County Fairgrounds, 4487 Lake Ave., Lockport. 433-8839. www.cceniagaracounty.org. $2-$3; free children ages 4 and under.
Aug. 2-5: Eden Corn Festival. 5 to 11 p.m. Aug. 2, noon to midnight Aug. 3, 11 a.m. to midnight Aug. 4, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Aug. 5. On the grounds off of Route 62 in Eden. 49th annual festival includes food, contests, live music, a parade, vendors and rides. 992-9141. www.edencornfest.com.
Aug. 4-5: Buffalo Creek Native Festival 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 4 and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 5. Features the culture of the region's Native American people and includes theatrical storytelling, reenactments, dance demonstrations, traditional games, crafts and vendors. Erie Canal Harbor Central Wharf, 1 Marine Drive. www.senecanation.com.
Aug. 4: Italian Festival in the Grove. Noon to 8 p.m. Fontana's Picnic Grove, 2299 Clinton St. Includes food, dancing and live music. 868-4444. $30 advance, $35 door.
Aug. 4-5: Pine Avenue Business Association Italian Festival. 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Aug. 4, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Aug. 5. Pine Avenue between 15th Street and Portage Road, Niagara Falls. Food, vendors, a bocce ball tournament, children's contests and activities and live entertainment. 523-0486.
Aug. 6: Taste of Clarence and Cruise Night. Clarence Town Park Pavilion, 10405 Main St., Clarence, Car cruise, food, wine tasting, activities and music. 631-3888. www.clarence.org.
Aug. 8-19: Erie County Fair. 2 to 10:30 p.m. Aug. 8, 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Aug. 9-19. On the fairgrounds at 5600 McKinley Parkway, Hamburg. Displays, a midway, entertainment, food, vendors, games and activities. www.ecfair.org. $10 adults, $7 seniors, free children ages 12 and under.
Aug. 11-12: Lewiston Art Festival. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Center Street, Lewiston. Artists and crafters displays, vendors, entertainment, food, workshops and demonstrations.
Aug. 13-20: Wyoming County Fair. On the fairgrounds off Route 19 in Pike. Displays, contests, parades, vendors, livestock shows, food, rides games and entertainment. (585) 493-5626. www.wyomingcountyfair.org. $5.
Aug. 18-19: Taking It To the Streets International Crusade Rally Festival. Martin Luther King Jr. Park, 778 Best St. Live music, family and children's activities. 891-4760 or 507-1931.
Aug. 18: Taste of South Buffalo Food & Music Festival. 8 a.m. Cazenovia Park, Cazenovia Street. Music, vendors, food, a 5K-run and basketball exhibition. 861-7442.
Aug. 18: Scottish Festival. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village, 3755 Tonawanda Creek Road, Amherst. Highland games, plus food, displays and live music. 689-1440. www.amherstmuseum.org. $10 adults, free children ages 12 and under.
Aug. 19: Hungarian Indoor Picnic. 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Hungarian American Social Club, 660 Tonawanda St. Hungarian food, pastries and music. 833-5195.
Aug. 24-26: Buffalo Irish Festival. 5 to 11 p.m. Aug. 24, noon to 11 p.m. Aug. 25, noon to 9 p.m. Aug. 26. Buffalo Waterfront near Erie Canal Harbor Central Wharf. Live entertainment, food, a theatrical production, crafts, vendors, displays and raffles. www.buffaloirish.com. $6 advance, $10 general gate, $8 seniors and children gate.
Aug. 24-25: Lewiston Jazz Festival. 5 to 10:30 p.m. Aug. 24 and noon to 10 p.m. Aug. 25. Center Street, Lewiston. Five stages of live jazz performances. www.lewistonjazz.com. 754-8271.
Aug. 24-25: Jamestown Regional Celtic Festival. 6 p.m. Aug. 24, 9 a.m. Aug. 25. Lakeside Park, Mayville. Live music, food, activities and entertainment. www.96thhighlanders.com/festival.html. $8 general, $6 seniors, free children ages 12 and under.
Aug. 25-26: Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 25, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 26. Elmwood Village. Includes artisans and crafters, vendors, food, live entertainment and children's activities. 830-2484. http://eafa.techriver.net.
Aug. 25-26: Infant of Prague Church Lawn Fete. Infant of Prague Parish, 921 Cleveland Drive, Cheektowaga. Rides, games, food, entertainment and a beer tent. 634-3660.
Aug. 26: Ukrainian American Day. 1 p.m. Ukrainian Cultural Center, 562 Genesee St. Ukrainian food, music and dancing, folk art and exhibits. 856-4478. www.UkrainiansOfBuffalo.com.
Aug. 26: Wild Wing Festival. 2 to 5 p.m. Gooseneck Hill Waterfowl Sanctuary, 5067 Townline Road, Delevan. Features 54 different species of endangered and protected ducks, geese and swans and includes music by the Rustic Ramblers, food and tours. 942-6835. www.gooseneckhillwaterfowlfarm.com. $5.
Aug. 31-Sept. 2: Buskerfest Niagara. Queen Street, Niagara Falls, Ont. Street performers, vendors and entertainment. www.lyndesfarnetheatreprojects.com.
Sept. 1-2: National Buffalo Wing Festival. Noon to 9 p.m. Sept. 1, noon to 7 p.m. Sept. 2. Coca-Cola Field, 275 Washington St. Serving wings from restaurants across the country, plus contests, vendors, entertainment and activities. www.buffalowing.com. $5, free for children under age 8.
Sept. 7-9: Niagara County Peach Festival. 5 to 11 p.m. Sept. 7, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sept. 8, noon to 10 p.m. Sept. 9. Academy Park, Center Street, Lewiston. Food, contests, a 5K run, parade, entertainment, rides and vendors. www.lewistonkiwanis.org.
Sept. 9: Ukrainian Festival. Noon to 7 p.m. St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church, 3275 Elmwood Ave., Kenmore. Ethnic entertainment, activities, food, tours and vendors. 873-5011.
Sept. 15: Music is Art Festival. Delaware Park by Marcy Casino. More than 100 bands and DJs on 10 stages, over 50 displaying/live artists, plus dance troupes, a projection tent, a kids village and food. 880-3377. www.musicisart.org.
Sept. 15-16: Quaker Arts Festival. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 15 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 16. Orchard Park Middle School campus, 60 Lincoln Ave., Orchard Park. Exhibits in oil, watercolors, pastels, mixed media, photography, jewelry and pottery. www.opjaycees.com.
Sept. 16: PCD Kiwanis Fall Festival/Car Cruise. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pembroke Town Park, 8799 Alleghany Road, Pembroke. Car cruise, vendors, raffles, music, food and children's activities. (585) 599-4083.
Note on festivals:
We've listed as many festivals as possible based on organizers' submissions and our reporting. To ensure that your event is on file with the Gusto calendar for use in our listings throughout the summer, email the follow information to email@example.com at least 14 days prior to publication: official title of the event; location and address of the event; date(s) and time; any contact information that can be published; ticket/admission information and prices. Also include details on entertainment or family activities.
Listings compiled by Evonne Austin