Bucket list items for June
Photo by kc kratt
In April, my book 100 Things to Do in Buffalo Before You Die hit Western New York shelves. It contains many destinations and activities; some of them can be done year-round, while others are really best in certain seasons. Rather than reinventing the wheel, I checked the book to see what was best for June and here are five picks (edited for length).
GRAB A PERFECT HOT DOG
There are many reasons to love Ted’s—the bright, clean surroundings; the friendly service; the always-fresh onion rings and fries—but it’s really all about the chargrilled dogs. Best choice here: an extra-grilled footlong with Ted’s famous chili sauce.
multiple locations, tedshotdogs.com
TAKE AN ART STROLL AT THE ALLENTOWN ART FESTIVAL
At sixty-one years of age, this large street festival is Buffalo’s longest-running outdoor arts event. More than four hundred juried exhibitors from all over the United States set up booths along the charming streets of historic Allentown every second weekend in June. Unbelievably, the event is run by an all-volunteer staff, the Allentown Village Society. Proceeds from the festival support arts education, beautification, and other regional improvements.
An outgrowth of the Allentown Art Festival, Allen West is held on the same weekend, about half a mile west of the larger event. This three-to-four-block-long fest focuses on local artists, artisans, and other vendors, as well as local nonprofits. It’s run by a neighborhood group, the Allentown Association.
VISIT A POPCORN STAND WORTH A JOURNEY
This tiny roadside magnet offers a minimal menu: popcorn done right. Bye’s Popcorn is only open March through December. In high summer, count on lines, especially for the always freshly made white popcorn. If you’re looking for caramel corn, it comes with a prepackaged option.
1667 Lockport-Olcott Rd., Olcott 716-778-8218, byespopcorn.net
ENJOY SHAKESPEARE UNDER THE STARS
What better place to explore the truths of the human heart than in a park designed by the father of landscape architecture? Each summer, Shakespeare in Delaware Park presents two productions, a comedy and a tragedy (King Lear starts June 21), on Shakespeare Hill, located behind the rose garden in the Olmsted-designed Delaware Park. Since its founding in 1976, more than eighty productions have been mounted. Shakespeare in Delaware Park is one of the largest free Shakespeare festivals in the United States.
TAKE A LONG WALK ON A LONG PIER AT BRODERICK PARK
Also known as the “foot of West Ferry,” this small riverfront park provides access to some of Buffalo’s best bird-watching and one of its best walks, the Bird Island Pier. Built by the Army Corps of Engineers, Bird Island Pier is a one-and-a-half-mile breakwall that separates the Black Rock Channel from the Niagara River and is topped with a walkway that provides spectacular views of Buffalo’s waterfront, the Peace Bridge, and the meeting of the river with Lake Erie. Like all City of Buffalo parks, Broderick is open daily from sunrise to sunset.
1170 Niagara St., at the bottom of West Ferry Street