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Scoping out Buffalo?

Some summer endeavors in the Queen City for you and your family

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The Spectrum

Buffalo may not necessarily appear on the typical concert junkie's list of venues, but now may be the appropriate time to reconsider. Have you ever heard the phrase, "there's nothing to do in Buffalo"? I'd have to argue for the contrary.

While it may not be the fabled Haight-Ashbury scene, the summer in Buffalo is not a bad gig. In fact, for many of us it's a cool new adventure.

Being in Buffalo probably beats staying at home; where else are you a short drive from Toronto, one of the great lakes, or a city of casinos built around the largest waterfall in the world?

Buffalo also boasts free concerts every Thursday and a plethora of global food festivals. Furthermore, Buffalo nightlife is in full-effect most nights whether you're exploring Chippewa, Allen, Elmwood, or Main.

Personally, my hometown didn't schedule Martin Sexton to play an outdoor concert in the heart of the city. My hometown doesn't have a downtown country market, where fresh, exotic foods are affordable. I certainly don't have scores of restaurants competing with each other to create the tastiest and most innovative chicken wing.

Buffalo, however, does.

Even if you can't spend the summer in Buffalo, have no fear. The summer doesn't have to end when school begins at the University at Buffalo.

On Labor Day, Buffalo holds its annual International Wing Festival at the Coca-Cola field. Here you are welcome to indulge in famous Buffalo chicken wings of varying size, shape, and spice.

As an added bonus, this may be the only opportunity to witness 80-pound women defeat heavy middle-aged men in a wing-eating contest. I know, it sounds crazy, but you won't believe it until you actually see it.

The Darien Lake amusement park is open everyday until September, after which it's open on weekends. The park is especially popular around Halloween, when they have special deals and events. They even have a water park if you're looking to cool off.

If spending your weekends at the beach is more your speed, Sunset Bay boasts an awesome waterfront Bar and grill called Cabana Sams. Despite the obvious opinion that Buffalo is cold year-round, you'll still be feeling the summer warmth well into October.

So while I may never see Led Zeppelin play an encore set or burn the good wood at the Woodstock festival, I can still walk down beautiful Elmwood Avenue in August, with the sun in my eyes and a summer breeze on my back, and know that I picked the best college town in the State University system.

My advice would be to enjoy the summer while it lasts; just because Buffalo is known for its winters doesn't mean that everyone is still hibernating during the warmer months. Whether it's a free concert at the Harbor or the taste of Buffalo showcasing the extensive local cuisine, Buffalo is a city ready to be discovered.

Questions? Comments? Have a better idea?

E-mail: features@ubspectrum.com



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