By Terry Duffy
So, you're looking for something a little different to do this Saturday?
It's mid-August. And as locals know, there's always a host of things to do on the Buffalo-Niagara scene come this time in summer - from the ongoing Erie County Fair in Hamburg to a Bills-Giants preseason contest in Orchard Park; the Tropicolor World Tour "island-style" 5K at Canalside; a live (by TV) Tragically Hip show at Larkin Village; a Puerto-Rican Hispanic Fest in Niagara Square; Shark Girl's birthday bash at the Albright-Knox, and more.
How about something a little "out there" right up here in Niagara?
Well, this Saturday, you'll have your choice of not one, but three different events on the local scene.
Got your interest?
Hop on the Discover Niagara Shuttle or take a drive up to Youngstown. There, you will find an on-water concert happening called Aquapalooza taking place stating at 2 p.m. off shore in Lake Ontario from Fort Niagara and continuing at the Youngstown Yacht Club.
"It's a lower river bash," said Pat Stack, proprietor of the nearby bar Somewhere, who is working with the yacht club to present this event. "Everyone complains the lower river is dull, nothing to do. "We are changing that for one day. And it's free, open to the public."
An on-water "Unlevel River Bash," open to visitors in all types of boats, as well as land-lubbers, Aquapalooza will feature three bands - opening with one called Castaways that will feature Stack and friends on a barge that afternoon out in the lake. Other members include Marcangelo Perricelli, Charlie Lo Tempuo, Joe Brennen, Frank Cantanese and Steve Dillon.
"We will be playing some great music," Stack said of the band's selections, which are expected to range from Jimmy Buffett to what he calls Caribbean country. Visitors are invited to check the band out - whether in a boat or kayak, or on the beach at Fort Niagara that afternoon.
The party moves to the nearby YYC grounds on Water Street, where local boy band favorite No Vacancy will play from 4-7 p.m., followed by the JJ Wing Band from 8-11 p.m.
Cost? Nothing to attend, and drink specials will be available at the yacht club.
"Come spend the day with us," Stack said.
For more on Aquapalooza, visit www.yyc.org.
As you're milling about the village Saturday, do take time to check out yet another water-themed but unusual event - this one taking place on land.
The second annual Mermaids of the Mighty Niagara Festival, presented by the Porter, Youngstown Ransomville Business Association, takes over Main Street in Youngstown from 4-8 p.m.
A family-oriented affair, this one will feature a children's costume contest, performances by the TNT children's theater group of musicals "The Little Mermaid" and "Shrek," other children's activities including face painting by Mermaid Jessica, a wet bounce house and crafts, plus a host of fun events for the older ages.
Included will be a mermaid promenade featuring a special appearance by Mermaid Tory; also, an adult costume contest, a pie-throwing contest, a dunk tank, and a finale stop for the Bob Weaver Motorsports-sponsored Lions Clubs Motorcycle Dive Run for Charity.
PYBRA organizers invite all to attend for a fun afternoon, enjoy the area and help support a good cause.
"This event is to promote the lower Niagara," PYRBA spokesman Aaron Dey said. "It is also to raise money for the Care-N-Share Food Pantry, which, in turn, helps to feed families in need, both in our village and local areas."
Dey reports that, as part of its promotional effort for Mermaids of the Mighty Niagara, PYRBA.org held a contest to create collectible poster.
"We had entries from Niagara Falls to Rochester, and the winning artist, who was chosen by an expert panel with deep roots in the business was Liz DiFiore of Youngstown. Because the event supports a very worthy cause in the Care-N-Share Food Pantry, Liz donated her $100 prize money directly to the charity," said Dey.
He adds that 40 prints of the collectible poster will be available for sale at the festival for $19.95 with all proceeds going to the Care-N-Share Pantry. DiFiore will attend to sign the limited edition posters.
Dey and PYRBA spokesman Gary Beaty see the two Youngstown events as working toward the benefit of the community, while also offering something a little different to experience for visitors.
"Along with local business, we are all working together to
support and promote each other. It's how we do things in Youngstown," said
Beaty, co-president of
PYRBA. "It's a way that we all benefit while presenting the offerings in Youngstown and the neighboring communities.
"It's going to be an amazing time for kids and adults alike - come visit us!"
For more information on this event, visit www.pyrba.org.
Yet another on your list of "different" things to do in Niagara this Saturday is the 24 Below Café's third annual Dance of the Fireflies 2016 festival, taking place from 1-10 p.m. on Old Falls Street, in downtown Niagara Falls.
"This is for the Niagara Falls fireflies who live here, and for those who live far away, but always seem to be drawn back to the Cataract City," penned Niagara Falls author Brook D'Angelo of the children's book "Dance of the Fireflies!" "A story for those who love Niagara Falls! ... Shine on fireflies!"
An all-day affair, activities will feature an afternoon craft show and sale, featuring a psychic shop, live art with Falls artist Sal Anello; food and ice cream trucks; a Fairy House contest and crafts with Eileen Wroebel; plus evening events, including a fairy dance recital and a Firefly Glowing Procession featuring Firefly Godmother Violet Claire.
It's "a nighttime, glowing, moving happening," commented Andre Megan of 24 Below. "It will feature glowing creatures, dance troops, sidewalk food entertainment and the bizarre."
D'Angelo said 175 copies of her book would be available at no cost for attending families.
"Join us this Saturday," she said.
Visit the 24 Below Café on Facebook for more on this event.
Check out all three events this Saturday.