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Free Summer Activities in Buffalo, New York

Buffalo, Elmwood, Free Summer Activities, Juneteenth

Thursdays at the Square

Thursdays in the Square is one of the most popular summer events in Buffalo. The season for Thursdays in the Square begins on May 31st, and ends on September 1st, after a total of fifteen weeks of entertaining Thursday evenings in Buffalo. Thursday in the Square takes place every Thursday during the concert series season, offering free live music and entertainment.

Thursdays in the Square is held at Lafayette Square in Downtown Buffalo. Nearby parking lots and ramps are available for parking, and vendors sell food and drinks in the Lafayette Square area. Many Buffalo residents come out for Thursdays in the Square for the lively atmosphere and excellent feature bands. In the 2006 season, Blues Traveler performed, and The Goo Goo Dolls, with native Buffalonian singer, Johnny Reznik, have performed in Buffalo. This is a must-see free event in Buffalo on Thursday evenings throughout the summer months.

Canal Fest

Canal Fest is a week long event that is held every year, just North of Buffalo, on the border towns of Tonawanda and North Tonawanda. Canal Fest events include craft shows, concerts, the Canal Fest Beauty Pageant, a parade, local food vendors, canal activities, and rides (for a fee). The area comes alive during Canal Fest, drawing residents and visitors to the many Canal Fest events.

Canal Fest takes place July 15 through July 22, this year, in the Gateway Canal area between Tonawanda and North Tonawanda, with events and activities located on both sides of the canal area. The majority of the events are free. Parking is available on side streets in the area, as well as in a few parking lots.

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Canal Concerts

Saturday nights at Gateway Harbor Park in Tonawanda/North Tonawanda are a good time for music lovers. The Molson Canal Concert Series offers free live bands and music every Saturday evening from 6:00 pm until 12:00 am. Food and drink vendors sell beer, wine coolers, and fast food options at the concerts. The concets are held at the Gateway Canal, right at the water’s edge. The concerts begin in June and end in September. On July 29th, Trick Pony is sceduled, and Foghat performs on August 8th.

Wednesday evening concerts at the Gateway Harbor Canal are another free event for residents and visitors. The Wednesday evening free concerts feature well-known local bands. Food and drink vendors are also at the Wednesday concerts.

Taste of Buffalo

The 23rd Annual Taste of Buffalo will be held on July 7th and 8th this year. This annual free Buffalo event draws an estimated 400,000 visitors each year. Local Buffalo restaurants are featured at the Taste of Buffalo, allowing visitors to try samples of Buffalo’s best restaurant specialties. The Taste of Buffalo is set up each year in the Elmwood/Niagara Street area near Downtown Buffalo. Parking is available at the many parking ramps in the area.

50th Annual Allentown Art Festival

The Allentown Art Festival is one of the largest in the country. The annual festival is held in a half-mile area near Downtown Buffalo, in the historic Allentown district. Artists and crafters feature their best work at the Allentown Art Festival, with many art and craft items for sale. For the past fifty years, the Allentown Historic Preservation of Buffalo Society has kept this unique, free event going.

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The Allentown area can be reached from the 1-190 from the Elm Street exit, turning on Goodell until reaching Elmwood. Allen Street is then on the left.

Juneteenth Festival

The 32nd Juneteenth Festival takes place from June 10th through June 17th this year in Buffalo. The Juneteenth Festival is a celebration which features music,a parade,crafts, ethnic foods, art, and entertainment. This popular free event is one of the best in the country for Juneteenth celebrations. The festival takes place at Martin Luther King Jr. Park, between Best Street and Filmore Avenue.

National Buffalo Wing Fest

Buffalo’s famous Buffalo Wings are the highlight of the National Buffalo Wing Festival. Visitors from all over the country attend this annual Buffalo event. This year, the National Buffalo Wing Festival will take place at Dunn Tire Park on September 1st and 2nd.

Children are free (under 5) and adults pay only $5 to visit the National Buffalo Wing Festival. Some of the highlights include the Chicken Wing Run, Miss. Buffalo Wing Pageant, and the Buffalo Chicken Wing Eating Contest. Visitors interested in entering the Buffalo Chicken Wing Eating Contest must pre-register at www.ifoce.com. There is a $1500 prize for the first place winner of the contest.