1. A total of 2,000 ping pong balls redeemable for prizes at local businesses, organizations and events will be dropped from the top of a Fire Department ladder truck at Third and Spring streets in the Chautauqua County city of Jamestown this evening in the fifth annual Jamestown Cycle Shop Snowball Drop. It follows the annual Christmas Parade, which steps off at 6:30 p.m. and ends at Tracy Plaza, where a variety of activities will be held.
2. National Public Radio disappears from the AM dial in Buffalo at midnight. That’s when Crawford Broadcasting Co. takes possession of the signal at WNED 970 AM, which has been simulcasting NPR since March with WBFO 88.7 FM. WBFO will remain unchanged. Crawford will use the AM station to simulcast the Christian programming of its other station here, WDCX 99.5 FM.
3. More than 150 local artists and artisans will have their creations on display and for sale in a variety of locations in the annual Artists in Buffalo Holiday Open Studios and Galleries event this weekend. It begins tonight from 5 to 9 and continues from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For locations, visit www.artistsinbuffalo.org.
4. Laughter reigns in two local concert halls this evening. Buffalo native Mark Russell, who has lampooned the political scene in Washington, D.C., with his merry songwriting since the 1970s, sits down at the piano at 8 p.m. in the Riviera Theatre, 67 Webster St., North Tonawanda. Tickets are $30 and $35. Meanwhile, stand-up comic Paula Poundstone, best known for her quirky observations on NPR’s comic news quiz, “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me,” visits Rockwell Hall Performing Arts Center at Buffalo State College at 7:30. Tickets are $30 and $35.
5. Today is the last day for teams to register for the sixth annual Labatt Blue Pond Hockey Tournament. To avoid complications from the weather, all games on the ice at Erie Basin Marina will be played on one day – Feb. 9. Or Feb. 10, depending on conditions. Or it will become a street hockey tournament again, like it did last winter. Ninety-six teams with seven-player rosters will be accepted to compete across 12 divisions. Registration, at $250 per team, can be made at www.labattbluepondhockey.com. Players find out next Friday if their teams have been chosen in a random lottery drawing.
6. The Buffalo Museum of Science is celebrating the first birthdays of its biggest denizens, Seymour the mastodon and Stanley the Albertosaurus, as it stays open late for its Final Friday program from 4:30 to 9 p.m. The first 200 kids to arrive will receive a free reflective Stanley backpack, and there will be cookies, refreshments and dinosaur-related activities until 7. From 6 to 8, Sabretooth and other team mascots will visit the Science of Sports exhibit for a Mascot Party, while children’s author Sue Buyer will sign copies of her new book about a friendly mastodon, “My Pal Seymour.”
7. FWS Home Furnishings at 1738 Elmwood Ave. was known for its bargain prices before it went into bankruptcy and closed earlier this year. Starting today, prices are plunging even lower in a going-out-of-business tag sale – 40 percent off today, 50 percent off Saturday, 60 percent off Sunday, 70 percent off Monday. Anything that’s still around after that will be auctioned at 10 a.m. Dec. 8. For info, visit www.blackbirdauctions.com.