The Taste of Buffalo is only one of a multitude of food-centric local summertime festivals. In addition to the focus on food, they all have other makings of festivals such as music, rides and other activities.
Macedonian Festival, July 8-10 at St. Cyril and Methody (4785 Lake Ave., Blasdell). The 32nd festival is known for its traditional Macedonian dishes including lamb and kebab dinners, baklava and tulumba. Macedonian flavors extend beyond food to the beer and entertainment with folk and Macedonian dancing and cultural exhibits. Hours: 5 p.m. to midnight July 8, noon to midnight July 9 and noon to 9 p.m. July 10. Takeout is available.
Galbani Italian Heritage Festival, July 15-17 along Hertel Avenue. The Italian festival rightly returns to its longtime home of Hertel Avenue, stretching from the Italian Cultural Center (2351 Delaware Ave. at Hertel) up to Virgil. Italian food is the focus in multiple ways: eating, cooking demonstrations and even a Celebrity Cheese Building for charity on July 17. Other activities include grape stomping, Sicilian puppet shows, Bocce games and cultural displays. The Main Stage (Hertel and Delaware avenues) includes performances by Angelo Venuto, Christina Custode, Austin Giorgio (season 14 of “The Voice”) and Frankie Scinta. “Italian Idol” singing competition returns at 2 p.m. July 17. Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. July 15-16 and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. July 17.
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After years of experience and an all-access pass to the event’s eating opportunities, here’s Andrew Galarneau’s list of the stands he would show up to first at the biggest open-air buffet in New York State.
Serb Fest, July 30-31 at St. Stephen Servian Orthodox Church, 177 Weber Road, Lackawanna. Enjoy Serbian pastries and food specialties including grilled ćevapčići (sausages), spit-roasted lamb and pig. Entertainment includes continuous live music outside with Kalca Band; inside with Orkestar Sokoli (Saturday) and Adriatic Braca (Sunday). Children will perform Serbian folk dances. Tours of the Byzantine-style frescoed church are also offered. Hours: Noon to midnight July 30 and noon to 10 p.m. July 31.
BurgerFest. 11:30 a.m. July 16 along Main and Buffalo streets plus the Hamburg Municipal Parking Lot in Hamburg. There will be burgers. Plenty of them. Plus food trucks, music, entertainment, an arts and craft show, car show and inflatable rides for the kids.
Polish American Heritage Festival, July 29-31 at Cheektowaga Town Park, 2600 Harlem Road, Cheektowaga. Parade, interactive cultural experiences, entertainment, cuisine and vendors.
Eden Corn Festival. Aug. 4-7, American Legion Post 880 grounds on Legion Drive, Eden. The 58th version of the festival that celebrates corn also has other stands serving a variety of summertime food. There will be a parade, midway, craft show and family activities. Hours: 3 to 11 p.m. Aug. 4-5, noon to 11 p.m. Aug. 6 and noon to 9 p.m. Aug. 7.
Asian Food & Culture Festival. 10:30 a.m. Aug. 21 at Canalside, 44 Prime. While details are still being set, expect the tastes, sights and sounds of Buffalo’s Asian cultures.
National Buffalo Chicken Wing Festival. Sept. 3-4 at Highmark Stadium, Orchard Park. Go beyond the mild at this long-running festival with multiple flavors of the mighty wing available at this annual event. There’s entertainment and eating contests, too. $20 admission plus $1.50 food tickets. Hours: noon to 9 p.m. Sept. 3 and noon to 7 p.m. Sept. 4.
Niagara County Peach Festival. 5 p.m. Sept. 8-9, 11 a.m. Sept. 10-11. Academy Park, Lewiston. More than seven tons of peaches will be served in a variety of ways – peach shortcake, peach pop, peach baked goods – during this sweet event that includes a parade, entertainment, rides and games.
In addition to the larger festivals, most towns now have a “Taste of” event that showcases food and drinks from neighborhood businesses. Here are some still to come.
Taste of Orchard Park. 5:30 p.m. July 27 at the Four Corners (West Quaker and North Buffalo streets), Village of Orchard Park.
Taste of Clarence and Cruise Night. Noon to 8 p.m. Aug. 1 at Clarence Town Park.
Taste of Ellicottville. Aug. 13-14 in Downtown Ellicottville.
Taste of East Aurora. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 10 along Main Street (between Olean Road and Elm Street), East Aurora.