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A Memory of June

"The linden, in the fervors of July, Hums with a louder concert.
When the wind
Sweeps the broad forest in its summer prime,
As when some master-hand exulting sweeps
The keys of some great organ, ye give forth
The music of the woodland depths, a hymn
Of gladness and of thanks."

- William Cullen Bryant, Among the Trees

ON THE MOVE From Celeste Lawson

Greetings, After50 friends! Here we are in July and getting ready to jump headlong into the dog days of summer, celebrated from July 3rd right through until August 11th, and considered to be the most hot and muggy days of the year. Named so by the ancient Romans because typically at this time of year, Sirius, the Dog Star, rises at the same time as the sun between these dates and the ancient Romans always used the relationship between the sun and stars to define time periods. This particular time benchmarks a period of extreme heat that can also bring about draught or deliver strong thunderstorms; I think we have witnessed both these phenomenon across the country recently.

Other special occasions that we can have fun with during the month of July include celebrating National Ice Cream Month, National Blueberry Month, and National Picnic Month– all great things to enjoy in July!

This is also the month we can show our love for our children on July 16th, Global Hug Your Kids Day, which is always recognized on the third Monday of July. Parents Day is July 22nd and is always the fourth Sunday in July; Cousins Day is July 24th and Aunt and Uncle Day is July 26th. July 30th is Father-in-Law Day as well as International Day of Friendship. So, all in all, July is the made-to-order month to enjoy family and friends in extra special ways. Let’s not forget our neighbors to the north who celebrate their birthday on July 1st, as Canada Day or Dominion Day, and our friends across the Atlantic in France celebrating the cause of liberty on July 14th, Bastille Day. We also certainly cannot overlook our own nation’s big celebration of our 232rd birthday this July 4th.

Whew! Lots of celebrating going on this month and there are plenty of things to do that are fun and both enriching and entertaining as you go about learning interesting aspects about the city we live in while taking advantage of these dog days of summer. I hope you make time to explore, discover, and make even more friends by attending a couple of the events listed in this month’s calendar. Please remember to send out good vibes to the men and women who serve in our military forces to keep them safe as they keep us safe. Peace! Enjoy your dog days!


Now – August 26

Burchfield Penney Art Center, 1300 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY, 14222

Thomas Merton and Robert Lax were internationally recognized artists and spiritual leaders. Western New York was their growth culture. Merton taught at St. Bonaventure and in 1941 entered the rigorous life in the Trappist Abbey of Gethsemane in Kentucky. His life was one of prayer and writing about it. Lax wandered the Western world writing for Time, the New Yorker, Parade, and Jubilee. He made long, skinny, contemplative poems and he made photographs, largely hidden until recently. This is an exhibition of the two friends’ work. Admission: $10 adult, $8 seniors, $5 students. Call 878-6011 for information.


Now – August 9, Thursdays from 5-8pm

The Queen City Social is a happy hour in downtown Buffalo at Main and Chippewa Streets at Fountain Plaza featuring local music, local craft beer, and of course local food! This event features a different live band each week. Show your love for the city and party along Main Street in this beautiful public space.


Now – August 23, Thursdays from 5-8pm

Held at the beautiful Tonawanda Gateway Harbor. You will have a hard time deciding which food truck to patronize! Special events each week, including kids/family activity nights. On July 5th and August 2nd, there will be a large craft vendor show. Check the Gateway Harbor website site for the line-up of music acts. No event on July 19th.


Now – September 23, Weekends, 1-4pm

The Roaming Table, Center Street, Lewiston, NY, 14092

This guided food tour offers unique one-of-a-kind, hearty food tastings while exploring the rich history of this quintessential small town. Sample tastings from six local restaurants nationally featured on Food Network’s Man vs. Food and the Travel Channel’s Best of the Road. Beer pairings included at two locations (21+). Explore Lewiston with history that includes links to the Underground Railroad, the War of 1812, and much, much more. Enjoy a seasonal tasting from Buffalo Eats’ 2015 Restaurant of the Year – Carmelo’s (open Wednesdays and for private events). Come discover why Rand McNally (Best of the Road) calls Lewiston one of the Best Small Towns in America – Best for Food. For information, call 1-800-656-0713.


Now – Sunday, August 26. Start time at 9am.

Elevator Alley Kayak, The Barrel Factory, 65 Vandalia Street, Buffalo, NY, 14204

Appreciate Buffalo’s many grain elevators from the water! From a kayaking perspective, the massive scale of the grain elevators and silos will be awe-inspiring. Learn about the history of the grain elevators in Buffalo. Many terrific photo opportunities on this guided kayak tour! Tickets: $45.


Now – September 29, Saturdays from 6-8pm

Flying Bison Brewery, 840 Seneca St., Buffalo, NY, 14210

This is an interactive evening of sleuthing. You see the crime scene, you interview the witnesses, and you collect clues to solve this mystery. The evening includes the murder mystery, double-decker bus ride, and stops at three historic taverns in Buffalo.

Friday Evenings: Killing at Buffalo Creek – This western themed murder mystery will keep you laughing and guessing about “who dunnit.”

Saturday Evenings: Death at Doug’s Dive – It’s Buffalo’s notorious waterfront, circa 1860. There’s trouble when Doug, the owner of the worst dive on the Erie Canal, is found dead.

Tickets: $30. Call 246-9080 for information.


Now – September 22, Saturdays, 10am–12pm

Forest Lawn Cemetery, 1411 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY, 14209

Celebrate the Bi-Centennial of the Erie Canal. On this trolley tour, you will learn about many of the movers and shakers that helped to make Buffalo the terminus of the Erie Canal. Tickets: $20. Call 288-5999 for information.


Now– August 14, Tuesdays, 7-9pm

Bidwell Parkway, between Elmwood Ave. & Potomac, Buffalo, NY, 14222

The Elmwood Village Picnic in the Parkway Summer Concert series kicks off its 21st season! The Picnic in the Parkway Summer Concert Series showcases local musicians for family-friendly evenings of entertainment. Free.


Now – September 5, Wednesdays, 6:30-10pm

Buffalo River Fest Park, 249 Ohio Street, Buffalo, NY, 14203

This concert series is a perfect way to enjoy the waterfront with family and friends. Lineup as follows:

July 11- Rock band, “The Kensingtons”

July 18- Classic pop band, “Flip Side”

July 25- “Heard of Buffalo”

August 1- “Crash Cadillac”

August 8- “The Buffalo 5”

August 15- Relive the sights and sounds of the 70s with “Disco Duck”

August 22- “Breakaway”

August 29- “West of the Mark”

Free parking is nearby and refreshments are available for purchase. Bring chairs or a blanket to sit on (no coolers). Call 823-4707 for information. There is no concert on Wednesday, July 4th.


Now – August 31, Fridays

1400 Block of Hertel Avenue, between North Park and Norwalk

Shop, Rock, & Stroll showcases all that is great about Hertel Avenue. Visitors get a chance to check out live music performed along the avenue. Hertel Avenue businesses participate with longer shopping hours, drinks, specials, and street vendors.


Now – October 27, Fridays and Saturdays from 8:30am-5:30pm

Margaret L. Wendt Archive & Resource Center, 1990 Main Street, Buffalo, NY, 14208

Enjoy a rare opportunity to experience a variety of Wright’s residential, functional, recreational, and monumental designs during this all-inclusive day package that begins at Forest Lawn’s Margaret L. Wendt Archive and Resource Center and proceeds on the enclosed, climate-controlled Forest Lawn trolley to key Darwin Martin landmarks, including Graycliff, viewings in Forest Lawn, and then back to the Archive and Resource Center. Tickets: $150. Package includes a lunch buffet. Call 856-3858 for information.


Friday, June 29 – Sunday, July 1, 9am-5pm

Old Fort Niagara, 102 Morrow Plaza, Youngstown, NY, 14174

Bring the family for a live history lesson at Old Fort Niagara’s annual recreation of the historic Siege of 1759. Admission: $12. Call 745-7611 for information.


Friday, June 29 – Sunday, July 1, 5pm

Holiday Valley Resort, 6557 Holiday Valley Road, Route 219, Ellicottville, NY, 14731

Street vendors, arts and crafts shows, live music, entertainment and more. The first fairway at Holiday Valley’s Double Black Diamond Golf Course becomes one of the best outdoor concert venues in the region for Independence Day weekend. There’s plenty going on in the village over the weekend as well. Tickets: $12 – $25. Call 699-2345 for information.



July 1 – October 20, Saturdays and Sundays from 8am-4pm

Antique World & Marketplace, 11111 Main Street, Clarence, NY, 14031

Free admission. Call 759-8483 for information.


Tuesday, July 3, 6pm -11pm

A Western New York tradition! A night of baseball, music by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, and fireworks! Admission: $28.


Wednesday, July 4, 7pm

Celebrate Independence Day with live entertainment and enjoy a dazzling fireworks display that begins at dusk over Lake LaSalle.


Friday, July 6, 5pm

Celebrate with Scharf’s on their 4th Anniversary on Clinton Street under a tent, Oktoberfest style! Authentic German food, drinks, and music. Tickets are $7 and available at Scharf’s during business hours.

Any thoughts, you can email me at


Celeste Lawson is a long-time arts advocate, arts administrator, and artist in WNY. Over the years she has worked with arts organizations locally, statewide, and nationally including the National Endowment on the Arts, Americans for the Arts, NYS Council on the Arts, the NYS Council on the Humanities and the NY Foundation on the Arts.