Family Fun


by Karen Huefner

Compliments of the Urban Dictionary

A Greek word used to describe a jubilant emotion of/during ‘celebration’.

Examples:

“Hooray! OPA!”
“It’s a boy! OPA! Cigars For All!”
“Come on, be a man, take another shot of Ouzo… OPA!”

Find your own reason to shout at The Buffalo Greek Festival (June 4-6, 2010)

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by Matt Steinberg

The inaugural National Garden Festival is coming to town this summer, and it’s an event like no other in the country. It’s a five week celebration (June 18 to July 25) of our garden walks, talks, tours and events. The Festival will be like a great, green umbrella under which garden tours, the Japanese Garden, the Erie Basin Marina Gardens, the Botanical Gardens, the Rose Garden, the Elmwood-Bidwell Farmer’s Market, the Olmsted Parks, Garden Walk Buffalo, garden symposia, and new special events will be presented to garden lovers, gardening enthusiasts and culturally inclined travelers who revel in the kind of tree lined streets, Victorian architecture and locally owned shops and restaurants that are found in abundance throughout out the Buffalo region. For more information, check out its new video and website, NationalGardenFestival.com.

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by Kathy Benzel

I’m ever in search of fun things to do with my grandchildren, and because their ages range from seven to fifteen, it can sometimes be a challenge to find something we’ll all enjoy. Delaware Park has always fit the bill, and we find plenty to keep us busy!

One of Frederick Law Olmsted’s first three parks in Buffalo, Delaware Park serves as the focal point of the Olmsted system and today contains many of Buffalo’s cultural institutions. Simply named The Park by Olmsted, this 350-acre setting serves as Buffalo’s “Central Park.” Delaware Park is the crowned jewel of the Olmsted system, with 350 acres of meadow, forest and lake.

The first thing we usually do is to play in one of the three playgrounds. Elijah’s favorite is in Rumsey Woods which is on the Lincoln Parkway side of the park. Next to the playground is the Rose Garden, which is extraordinarily beautiful when the roses are in full bloom. Hoyt Lake is next – a great place to explore or just sit peacefully, with rental boats on the lake during July and August; $10 for 30 minutes and $15 for 60 minutes for up to 4 passengers. Then we’re off to explore the many trails throughout the park. This could take days, and there’s always something new we discover.

That’s only one small part of Delaware Park. The other side of the park borders Parkside Avenue, and there you’ll find a golf course, baseball and softball diamonds, football, soccer and rugby fields. There’s lawn bowling courts, tennis courts, basketball courts, a couple more playgrounds, with plenty of picnic tables and shelters. And don’t forget the Parkside Lodge which houses the new restaurant, The Lunch Box and a Golf Shop.

And if Grandma isn’t exhausted by this time, we’ve sometimes even built in a trip to the Buffalo Zoo! But that’s a topic for another day!

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by Matt Steinberg

Spring has come early to Buffalo, with sunshine and 60° temperatures the norm now. And with the onset of spring comes the opening of the Buffalo Bisons season. Today is Opening Day at Coca-Cola Field, as “the Herd” take on the Pawtucket Red Sox at 3:05. Baseball has a 125 year history in Buffalo, and Buffalonians have seen many major league stars-in-the-making. The Bisons had a rough year last season (as did the parent club, the New York Mets), but are bouncing back this year and are aiming at a return to the International League playoffs. And the game itself isn’t the only reason to come downtown this summer – there are promotions galore at the ballpark this year. There’s a pre-game party and post-game fireworks at every Friday home game, Father’s Day giveaways, celebrations of Irish, Hispanic, Polish and Italian heritage, the annual Independence Day celebration with the Buffalo Philharmonic orchestra (and more fireworks, of course), appearances by Dora the Explorer and the Famous Chicken, and much more. Tickets are still Buffalo’s best entertainment value – the best seats are only $11 each! Major league quality action at very minor league prices. For more information, check out their website at www.Bisons.com.

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by Susan Braun

Visiting the Broadway Market in preparation for Easter has been a tradition in Western New York for more than 100 years. Although it is open all year round, this is the busiest time of year for the market which extends its hours on the days leading up to Easter. The aisles are filled with throngs of enthusiastic shoppers. Many of the businesses at the Broadway Market are well-known to regular shoppers because they have been owned by the same families who pass them from one generation to the next. Seasonal food and craft vendors are also on the scene at this time of year. Cakes, pastries and other baked goods, candy, meats, fish, butter lambs and prepared Polish foods abound. You can have a cup of coffee, eat a piece of poppy cake and listen to live musical entertainment. Bring your kids to visit the Easter Bunny and see how many marshmallow peeps they can consume in one minute at the second annual Peep Eating Contest at 1:00pm on Saturday March 27th. For more information about the Broadway Market and all the Easter-related events taking place there, visit broadwaymarket.org or call 716-893-0705.

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by Denise Drews

This weekend in Buffalo, everyone is Irish. It’s parade time and, boy, I DO LOVE A PARADE!

And Buffalo celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with not one, but two, parades this weekend! Here is some information on both of them.

Saturday, March 13 at noon: The Valley Community Association’s 17th Annual “Old Neighborhood” St. Patrick’s Day Parade will kick-off at the Valley Community Center, located near the junction of South Park Avenue and Elk Street. This parade retraces the original 1913 parade route, winding through Buffalo’s historic Valley and Old First Ward neighborhoods.

This year, the crowds along South Park Avenue, Smith Street, Elk Street, Hamburg Street, and O’Connell Avenue can expect the biggest “Old Neighborhood” parade yet, topping last year’s count of 60 contingents. There will be something for everyone – Irish dancers, marching bands, floats, clowns, classic cars, radio stations, police and fire department vehicles, unions, dignitaries, family clans, and more.

Following the parade, there will be a grand Irish “Hooley” at the Valley Center that will feature both inside and outside bars, live Irish music by “Blackthorn,” Irish dancers, and plenty of food and refreshments.

Sunday, March 14 at 2 p.m.: The larger of the two parades takes place on Sunday and runs up Delaware Avenue from Buffalo’s art deco City Hall. Each year, thousands of people flock downtown to carry on a Buffalo tradition.

Leading up to 2 p.m., excitement and anticipation fill the air, as enthusiastic crowds await the signal of the Grand Marshal. Then a roar goes up, as bagpipers, local dignitaries, Irish dancers, high school marching bands, Civil War reenactment groups, fire trucks, Irish-American philanthropic organizations, and many others march proudly by.

With Irish tricolor flags lining the parade route and children and adults sitting in lawn chairs along the curb, it’s a fun, colorful scene.

I’ll be on the Taste of Buffalo presented by Tops float, so if you see me, give a Shout Out!

I hop you go out and celebrate this wonderful time of year! After the parades, I always like to go and eat some corned beef and cabbage. Please share your comments on who has the best corned beef in town!

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by Susan Braun

What better way to celebrate the first day of spring on March 20th than to attend the opening of the Botanical Garden’s annual Spring Flower Show on the very day? The show will include thousands of colorful spring bulbs and plants. Come feast your eyes on and breathe in the fragrance of tulips, daffodils, hydrangeas, crocuses, primroses, and hyacinths. Admission to the flower show also includes a visit with the Easter Bunny on selected days and admission to Farmer Brown’s Petting Zoo where you can see baby chicks, lambs, rabbits, and goats. This year the Botanical Gardens will be open from 10 to 5 every day and on April 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6, they’ll remain open until 8pm.

Some special events are scheduled in conjunction with the Spring Flower Show. M & T Bank is sponsoring the Dress Your Easter Best Weekend and Contest April 2-4, the annual Easter Egg Hunt on April 3rd and Dollar Admission Day on April 11th.

For a preview of the Spring Flower Show, consider attending Paradise under Glass on March 19th between 6 and 9pm. Wear your tropical finest, listen to great music and munch on food from a variety of well-known Buffalo restaurants. Beer and wine will also be available.

For more information about all of these events, visit www.buffalogardens.com or call 716.827.1584 x 305.

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