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Spellbinding summer fun

From music to fairy dust, there’s definitely something in the air. Discover the magic of summer in Western New York — including beautiful homes you may not have seen, bands you may not have heard and mouthwatering foods you may not have tried.

June 16: TR Site Twilight Tour of Homes
Tour headquarters: Buffalo Seminary, 205 Bidwell Parkway, Buffalo

New neighborhood, same go-at-your-own pace. This year’s tour takes walkers along Frederick Law Olmsted-designed Chapin and Lincoln Parkways to enjoy interior access to some of the most beautiful historic homes in Buffalo. Tour lasts two to two-and-a-half hours, so wear comfy walking shoes and dress for the weather. Guidebooks can be picked up June 13-15 at the TR Site, 641 Delaware Ave., Buffalo and at Buffalo Seminary after 4:30 p.m. day of event. (884-0095;

Admission: $40 general; $75 for VIP tickets (includes drinks and hors d’oeuvres at Marcy Casino)

June 18: Hope Chest Buffalo Niagara Dragon Boat Festival
Buffalo RiverWorks, 359 Ganson St., Buffalo

Buffalo RiverWorks is the new home for this thrilling and colorful summer event where teams of 20 paddlers synchronize strokes to the beat of their boat’s drummer. Cheer on the mix of teams supporting breast cancer survivors, and enjoy ample viewing perches, live music, refreshments, basket raffle and children’s activities. Races followed by the “Awakening the Dragon” Ceremony, when a local dignitary will dot the eyes on the heads of the boats to signify bringing the dragon to life. (930-3410;

Admission: Free to spectators

June 18-19: Fairy House Festival
Artpark (Lower Park), 450 South 4th St., Lewiston

Indulge your sense of whimsy and wonder at this annual outdoor event that features international theater groups and visiting performance artists from around the world. Hundreds of fairy houses will be on display and there will also be a “build your own” workshop in the woods. Storytellers, dance performances, music, nature exhibits and food are also part of the festivities that run Saturday 2-7 p.m. and Sunday noon-5 p.m. (754-4375;

Admission: $10 (includes parking)

June 22: Starry Night in the Garden
Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo

Botanical Gardens. Enjoy fare from local restaurants, wineries and breweries, along with performances by indie rockers American Authors and acclaimed singer/songwriters Ben Rector and Birdy. General admission includes entry to concert and gardens, plus food, wine and beer. Outdoor event will run rain or shine from 6-9 p.m. (827-1584;

Admission: $55 general admission; $105 VIP (includes private party and concert viewing area, exclusive food and wine, and possible band /celebrity appearances)

June 24: Sci-Jinks and Drinks
Buffalo Museum of Science, 1020 Humboldt Pkwy., Buffalo

Experience the thrill of childhood carnivals at this cash bar adult event that is one part science magic, one part games, and topped with a generous splash of live entertainment. Conquer the obstacle course, tame the mechanical bull, be the last one standing in a game of arrow tag, show off your jousting skills, or create a masterpiece in the giant Lite Brite. Celebrate your inner kid from 6-9 p.m. Ticket includes all activities, one drink, snacks and access to museum. Cash bar and food truck fare available. (896-5200;

Admission: $40; BMS members, $35

June 24-25: The Ride For Roswell
UB North Campus & Roswell Park Cancer Institute

Ride, volunteer, donate or encourage at this annual celebration of community support for Roswell Park. Each year, more than 8,000 riders and 2,000 volunteers come together to raise funds for cutting-edge research studies and innovative patient-care programs at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. With routes ranging in distance from 3 miles to 100 and dozens of volunteer positions available, there’s a part for everyone. Friday’s Celebration of Hope will run from 4-8:30 p.m. and the first Ride Day route leaves at 6:15 a.m. on Saturday. (843-7433;

Registration fee: $20

June 25: Taste of Diversity
Grant Street between Lafayette and Auburn avenues, Buffalo

Celebrate a world of flavor at this block party-style event that showcases the West Side’s revitalization and contributions from Buffalo’s new immigrant population. Last year’s menu included dishes from Ethiopia, Peru, India, Columbia, Thailand, Puerto Rico and more, along with entertainment ranging from a Brazilian and Cumbia band to Salsa and Bachata music. Visit website for current lineup. Unique clothing, jewelry and other artisan wares also available. Expand your palate (and horizons) from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. (881-7482;

Admission: Free; food sold separately

July 9: Buffalo Niagara Blues Festival
Silo City, 92 Childs St., Buffalo

The talent at this third annual event will be as immense as the concrete silos backdrop and includes a top ten-rated British blues guitarist, a four-time winner of the Memphis Blues Music Awards’ “Best Drummer” and a Best of 2014 Blues Breaker artist. Showcasing Matt Schofield, The Cedric Burnside Project, Vanessa Collier and many more, the festival also features a beer and wine tent, food and merchandise vendors and shuttle service from Fuhrmann Boulevard. On-site parking also available. Gates open at 11:30 a.m. (;

Admission: $10 pre-sale online or at all Wegmans locations. $15 day of event. Western New York Blues Society members and kids 16 and under, free.

July 9-10: Lockport in Bloom
Tour headquarters: Kenan Center, 233 Locust St., Lockport

Stroll among more than 35 inspiring gardens at parks and historic homes during this self-guided walking/driving tour. While you’re there, be sure to check out all the shops, galleries and Erie Canal activities that Lock City has to offer. Tour runs 10 a.m-4 p.m. both days, rain or shine. The Twilight Garden Tour will be held Saturday from 6:30-9 p.m. Maps available after June 25 at various local businesses and at the Kenan Center on event dates. (439-1524;

Admission: Free

July 15: Bricks and Brews at the Martin House
Darwin Martin Complex

What do Frank Lloyd Wright and local brewers have in common? They’re all masters of their craft. Sample beers from 10 local breweries, enjoy live music by The Honey Smugglers and bid on fantastic auction items at this outdoor brewfest amidst a true architectural marvel. Event runs 6-9 p.m. and a la carte food will be available. Pre-sale tickets only. (856-3858;

Admission: $50, $45 members (includes 20 drink samples)

July 20: Wines in the Wild
Buffalo Zoo, 300 Parkside Ave., Buffalo

Lions and tigers and beers, oh my! Support the Buffalo Zoo’s Adopt an Animal program and enjoy a variety of wines and beers, food and dessert items, live music, basket and silent auctions, specialty vendors and visits from some of your favorite animal ambassadors. Rain or shine event runs 6-9 p.m. Guests must be 21 and over. Ticket price includes zoo admission and all food and drink tastings. (995-6133;

Admission: $45 early bird tickets available for limited time; $100 VIP tickets include one-hour early entry, VIP wine glass and champagne toast

July 22: Stiletto Run
Larkin Square, 745 Seneca St., Buffalo

Put your best fashionista foot forward and strut your stuff. Anyone can participate in this half-kilometer “race” to raise awareness about ovarian cancer, but only runners in 3” heels or higher can compete for trophies and prizes. Not up for pacing yourself in pumps? Don any fun shoes and walk the course. Or simply plant yourself at Larkin Square and cheer on the runners as they cross the finish line. Plenty of food and beverages available, as well as local vendor booths to shop. Race starts at 7 p.m., while Larkin Square party goes ‘til 9 p.m. (;

Admission: Registration fee, $35-50; VIP registration, $75 (includes complimentary hors d’oeuvres and cash bar at Filling Station); spectators free.

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