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5 things to do this July

Western New York summers may be short, but there is no shortage of fun to be had. From an intimate dinner amidst the Botanical Gardens to a giant party benefiting Hospice Buffalo, there’s an event for everybody and every mood.

July 4-7: Port of Call

Canalside, Buffalo

Land ho! Twelve historic tall ships from the US, Canada, Spain and South Pacific will make their way through the Great Lakes for a first-ever appearance in Buffalo. See and explore the fleet during four days of festivities that include the Parade of Sail, family activities, live entertainment, historical exhibits, reenactments, artisan foods and beverages and more. Boarding and excursion opportunities available at extra cost. Event runs noon-11 p.m. Thursday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

Admission: Sailing excursions must be booked online. Parade of Sail, $125; Day Sail, $65; Twilight Sail, $85. Boarding vouchers can be purchased online or at participating Wegmans locations. Adults, $20; Seniors and veterans, $18; children 11 and under, $10. (

July 9 & 23: Salvatore’s Secret Garden Dinner Series

Buffalo Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo

Now this is dining with a view. Enjoy an all-inclusive dinner prepared by Salvatore’s Italian Gardens inside the Botanical Gardens. Take a stroll, grab a drink from the Garden Bar, listen to live music and take a mini tour through the Gardens as part of the exclusive experience from 4:30-8:30 p.m. Each week’s specific, preset menus available in advance. Garden Bar beverages sold separately.

Admission: July 9, $75 (includes two-drink pairing with Ithaca Beer); July 23, $65. Access to the bar and restaurant is included in regular admission to the Botanical Gardens; $11 for adults, $10 for seniors (62+), $9 students (13+), $6 for kids 3-12, Botanical Garden Members and kids two and under are free. (635-9000;

July 20: Video Games Live with the BPO

Kleinhans Music Hall, 3 Symphony Circle, Buffalo

Bleeps merge with bassoons, chings with cellos at this event that is part rock concert, part symphony orchestra and part interactive experience. Players and non-players alike will be game for this concert that combines music, video screen visuals, synchronized lighting and live action for an explosive evening. Show starts at 7:30 p.m.

Admission: $29-$79 (883-3560;

July 25: Hospice Summer Affair

Buffalo RiverWorks, 359 Ganson St., Buffalo

Billed as “the best party of the summer,” over 600 guests gathered last year for this annual Hospice Buffalo fundraiser. Head down to the river for an evening of cocktails, dinner, auctions, raffles, live music and photobooth fun. Party goes 5:30-10:30 p.m.

Admission: $50, dinner and two drinks; VIP $100, VIP area with 5-hour open premium bar, dinner and swag bag. (686-8090;

July 26-28: Lebanese Festival

St. John Maron Church, 2040 Wehrle Dr., Williamsville

Take in traditional Lebanese culture, customs, music and authentic cuisine at this popular annual celebration. Enjoy Lebanese line dancing, games of chance, raffles and more while shopping for unique gifts, jewelry and food items. Festival runs 5 p.m.-11 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m.-11 p.m. Saturday and noon-8 p.m. Sunday.

Admission: $1 (634-0669;

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