September can be one of the most beautiful months of the year in Western New York: still plenty warm enough to enjoy outdoor activities, but without the blazing temps and hair-curling humidity. From an annual gala at our horticultural hub to a first-time beer and barbecue festival on the grounds of an 1800s Victorian mansion, these events give you one last chance to get out and bask in the sun.
Sept. 14-15: Chalkfest Buffalo and Art Show
Buffalo RiverWorks, 359 Ganson St., Buffalo
The surrounds at Buffalo RiverWorks will be awash with color at this second-annual celebration of creativity. Watch as chalk artists create fall- and Halloween-themed masterpieces before your eyes, both on the ground and on the walls of the historic grain elevators. It also includes a large art show, live music, face painting, street performers, sweets and ice cream, kayaking, paddle boarding, Touch-a-Truck for the kids and Sunday football game on RiverWorks’ 25-foot screen. Walk the chalk between noon and 6 p.m. (Chalkfestbuffalo.com)
Sept. 17: Dining in the Dark Gala
Hyatt Regency, 2 Fountain Plaza, Buffalo
Experience first-hand what it means to be visually impaired at this eight-annual fundraiser for the Olmsted Center for Sight. Blindfolded diners will enjoy fabulous hors d’ oeuvres, wine, beer, dinner and dessert. There will also be basket raffles, live and silent auctions, and a special Art in the Dark auction featuring works by the blind and visually impaired. Gala hours are 5:30-9 p.m. (Olmstedcenter.org; 888-4627 or 888-4564)
Admission: Individual tickets, $140; two or more tickets, $125 each.
Sept. 20: Gala at the Gardens
Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo
Celebrating the importance of cultural institutions in Buffalo, this “rooted in history” fundraiser will treat attendees to a cocktail reception, live and silent auctions, basket raffles, mission moment and sit-down dinner catered by Salvatore’s Hospitality. The evening takes place on the front lawn of the Botanical Gardens and runs 6-10 p.m. Gala goers are encouraged to wear cocktail attire. (Buffalogardens.com; 827-1584 ext. 203)
Sept. 21: Niagara Barbeque Brew Fest
Kenan Center, 433 Locust St., Lockport
The Kenan Center is bringing their popular winter wine and beer fest concept out for a little sunshine with this inaugural event. Grab some grub from local barbeque restaurants and wash it down with locally made craft beer from the likes of Flying Bison Brewing Company and 12 Gates Brewing. Enjoy complimentary samples of beer and food or purchase full pints and meals. Music provided by classic blues band Freightrain. Held outdoors on the Kenan Center campus, the 21+ event runs 3-7 p.m. (Kenancenter.org; 433-2617)
Admission: $20 presale; $25 at the door
Sept. 28-29: Lewiston Harvest and Hops Festival
895 Center St., Lewiston (road closed to traffic)
Sample the bounty of this quaint foodie town with fare from local restaurants, craft beer from Brickyard Brewing Company, artisans and crafters, local musicians, farmers market, Hot Country Line Dancers and more at this 36th annual celebration from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Niagarariverregion.com; 754-9500)
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